The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

Know Your Evidence

Evidence is what we use to answer our research questions and establish conclusions. Once we have evaluated and analyzed the data we find in various sources we need to determine if the information helps to answer our research question. If it does, we use it as evidence to answer our question and support our conclusion. Evidence is classified as direct, indirect, or negative, and each type can be used to draw conclusions.

Direct evidence is that which completely answers the question. For example, if our question is “Who were John Smith’s parents?” and we find a church baptism record that states he was the “son of Ebenezer Smith and Mary Jones,” this would be direct evidence.

Indirect evidence is the complete opposite in that it doesn’t completely answer the question. For example, if our research question was “When was John Smith, son of Ebenezer Smith and Mary Jones, born?” and the same church baptism record only provides a baptism date, we could consider this indirect evidence. Although he would have needed to be born before that baptism date, the information does not provide his actual birth date.

Negative evidence is a situation where information does not exist where you expect to find it. For example, you have tracked a man in the census from 1880 through 1920, each time living in the same town in New York, but cannot locate him in that town come 1930. This absence of information could lend itself to the conclusion that the man died between the 1920 and 1930 censuses or that he relocated.

When assembling evidence to answer our research question, we tend to make assumptions based on the information we have collected, our general knowledge, and or research experience. Therefore, it is important to remember that we can make assumptions that are incorrect. That’s why we offer our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls  course, to help you with your evidence and avoid brick walls.

Who’s the Informant?

Once we verify the type of source we are looking at we need to evaluate the information found in that source. Then, after all of the information we have obtained from our sources has been evaluated and analyzed, it becomes evidence to help answer a research question.

According to the Evidence Analysis Process Map, information is based on the informant’s knowledge of the event and whether that knowledge is primary, secondary, or undetermined.

Used with permission. Angela Rodesky.

Primary information is that which is provided by someone who participated or witnessed the event. For example, the marriage date on a marriage return completed by the officiant would be considered primary information, as the officiant was present and performed the ceremony.

 

Secondary information is that which is learned in a manner other than being a participant or witness to the event. For example, if a wife provides her husband’s birth information on his death certificate it is considered secondary information since she was not present at her husband’s birth.

Used with permission. Angela Rodesky.

 

Undetermined is when the informant is not identified. A common example is the information supplied for household members on the US Federal Census prior to 1940.

Evaluating and analyzing genealogical documents is a challenging task. But when we take the time to properly do it, we are able to correlate all of the information and use it as evidence. Our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course will give you the tools needed to accomplish this and more.

September 2018 Virtual Meetings

Month by arztsamui/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Have any questions about your courses or your research? Virtual Meetings are a  great way for you to communicate with an instructor. Below are the scheduled sessions for the month of September. Join us!

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Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 PM EDT – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 1 – ARTICLE REVIEW with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Wednesday, September 12th – 7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 PM Pacific;
Thursday, September 13th – Midnight in London, England; 9:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asarticle1/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Saturday, September 15th at 10:00 AM EDT – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program – GENERAL with Gena Philibert-Ortega
This session is appropriate for students registered in the Analysis and Skills Mentoring courses.
Time zones:
Saturday, September 15th – 10:00 AM Eastern; 9:00 AM Central; 7:00 AM Pacific; 3:00 PM in London, England;
Sunday, September 16th – Midnight in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asgeneral/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Saturday, September 15th at 11:30 AM EDT – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 3 – ARTICLE REVIEW with Gena Philibert-Ortega

Time zones:
Saturday, September 15th – 11:30 AM Eastern; 10:30 AM Central; 8:30 AM Pacific; 4:30 PM in London, England;
Sunday, September 16th – 1:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asarticle3/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 PM EDT – American Records courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Saturday, September 15th – 1:00 PM Eastern; Noon Central; 10:00 AM Pacific; 6:00 PM in London, England;
Sunday, September 16th – 3:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/american/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Sunday, September 16th at 7:00 PM EDT – Internet Tools with Gena Philibert-Ortega

Time zones:
Sunday, September 16th – 7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 PM Pacific;
Monday, September 17th – Midnight in London, England; 9:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/internettools/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Sunday, September 16th at 8:30 PM EDT – Methodology courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega

Time zones:
Sunday, September 16th – 8:30 PM Eastern; 7:30 PM Central; 5:30 PM Pacific;
Monday, September 17th – 1:30 AM in London, England; 10:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/methodology/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Monday, September 17th at 3:00 PM EDT – Canadian courses with Kathryn Lake Hogan
Time zones:
Monday, September 17th – 3:00 PM Eastern; 2:00 PM Central; Noon Pacific; 8:00 PM in London, England;
Tuesday, September 18th – 5:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/canadian/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Thursday, September 27th at 6:00 AM EDT – Methodology courses with Brenda Wheeler

Time zones:
Thursday, September 27th – 6:00 AM Eastern; 5:00 AM Central; 3:00 AM Pacific; 11:00 AM in London, England; 8:00 PM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/methodology/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Saturday, September 29th at 7:00 PM EDT – English Record courses with Brenda Wheeler
Time zones:
Saturday, September 29th – 7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 PM Pacific;
Sunday, September 30th – Midnight in London, England; 9:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/english/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Saturday, September 29th at 8:30 PM EDT – Irish Record courses with Brenda Wheeler
Time zones:
Saturday, September 29th – 8:30 PM Eastern; 7:30 PM Central; 5:30 PM Pacific; Sunday, September 30th – 1:30 AM in London, England; 10:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/irish/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Genealogical Sources

Sources are the foundation of our research. They are the places from which we get information that provides evidence to form a conclusion. Examples of sources include, documents/records, books, photographs, artifacts, websites, newspapers, video or audio recorded interviews, and people. Sources are classified by type;  original, derivative, or authored.

Used with permission. Angela Rodesky.

Original sources are considered the first interaction of a record. For example, the first recording of a birth shortly after the birth occurs.

Derivative sources include transcriptions, abstracts, and translations. For example, using the birth record scenario above, if we requested this record from the county recorder’s office they may extract some of the information from the register and type it up on a certificate form. This certificate would be considered a derivative source since it was created based on the original register.

Authored sources are works that are created based on other sources and the author’s analysis of those sources. Sources such as family histories, local histories and case studies, would be considered authored sources.

Used with permission. Angela Rodesky.

While original sources are preferred, they are not always possible to obtain. It’s important to fully understand how to evaluate the sources used by family historians. Learn more about sources in our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls  course.

Keeping In Touch With The National Institute For Genealogical Studies

Red Telephone Box by Tom Curtis/Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Red Telephone Box by Tom Curtis/Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the genealogy world we need to communicate with each other to keep abreast of the constantly evolving research methods and resources. The same is true within The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. As a student of the National Institute, there are various ways you can communicate with us and your fellow students. Here is how:

#1 By email to the National Institute

When contacting us please include your first and last name and the course title, including the country the course applies to.

i) admin@genealogicalstudies.com – for general questions;

ii) alert@genealogicalstudies.com – to advise us of broken links in your course materials and assignments–please be specific as to where problem is;

iii) exam@genealogicalstudies.com – questions pertaining to your course exam.

#2 By email to a fellow student

When you view a fellow student’s public assignment SUBMISSION/ANSWER and you would like to contact them about something in their posting, simply click on the envelope icon to the right of the student’s name. A new window will open where you can type your message. For privacy reasons, you will not see the recipient’s email address and they have the option to reply or not.

#3 Attend a Virtual Meeting

VIRTUAL MEETINGS ARE THE BEST PLACE TO COMMUNICATE with an instructor and fellow students. Anyone can participate! You do not have to be registered in the course to attend. When attending virtual meetings, please bring questions applicable to the topic being discussed.

Watch for our emails outlining upcoming virtual meetings dates and times. Or visit our website at www.genealogicalstudies.com, click on Information in the top menu bar, and then Virtual Learning Room for the full schedule.

#4 Follow the National Institute’s Blog

Go to http://blog.genealogicalstudies.com/ and scroll down. On the right hand side of the page you will see Subscribe to Blog via Email. In the text box, enter your email address and click on the Subscribe button. Once subscribed, you will receive an email each time we post an article. Each blog article includes a link to write a comment or share via social media. Look for these options at the end of each blog post.

#5 Follow us on Twitter

Once signed into your Twitter account, search for us on Twitter by our Twitter name @GeneaStudies. On our Twitter page, click on the Follow button to subscribe to our tweets. Not a member of Twitter? No problem, just go to Twitter www.twitter.com and join. Membership is free.

#6 Follow The National Institute on Facebook

To follow us on Facebook you must be a member. To join Facebook go to www.facebook.com and sign up. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/National-Institute-for-Genealogical-Studies/110290648619 and click on the Like button on the top right of our page.

#7 Join a GenealogyWise group to communicate with your fellow students

Go to www.genealogywise.com and Sign Up. There are groups set up for each of the National Institute’s country streams; i.e. American, Australian, Canadian, English, German, Irish, and Scottish, as well as Methodology, Librarianship, Alumni, and First Timer FAQs.

#8 Follow GenealogyWise on Facebook

To follow us on Facebook you must be a member. To join Facebook go to www.facebook.com and sign up. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GenealogyWise and click on the Like button on the top right of our page.

#9 Consultation with an instructor ($)

If you want to have a one-on-one consultation with an instructor this can be arranged. Please email admin@genealogicalstudies.com to request an appointment. When emailing please provide some information as to what course and some background details you would like to discuss so we can recommend a consultation with an appropriate instructor. The consultation with an instructor is available for a modest fee.

Save on Eastern European Certificates

 

Ready to explore your Eastern European roots? Now’s the time to take advantage of our sale.

Get 20% off  any ONE Eastern European Packages including:

Eastern European Certificate in Genealogical Studies-40 Courses-Complete
Eastern European Certificate- Basic Level-9 Courses
Eastern European Certificate- Intermediate Level-9 Courses
Eastern European Certificate-Advanced Level-7 Courses
Eastern European Records- Complete-11 Courses
Eastern European Records- Basic Level-4 Courses
Eastern European Records- Intermediate Level-5 Courses
Eastern European Records-Advanced Level-2 Courses

 

Enter Code 20RT18EE at checkout. Save up to $570.00!

 

Hurry! This discount ends on August 26, 2018 at midnight (EDT). Only one discount code can be used per person.

SAVE on DNA Courses

“Dna” by dream designs/Courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net

Ready to take the plunge into learning more about DNA? Now’s the time with The National Institute’s DNA courses. And we have a discount for you!

Hurry! This discount ends on August 26, 2018 at midnight (EDT). Only one discount code can be used per person.

How About A Discount?

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Louise is gone.

Well more accurately, she’s at the FGS Conference. So let’s give out some discounts for courses!

Genealogy courses + Discounts = More genealogy!

Let’s start with a few discounts for those of us who aren’t at FGS 2018.

Hurry! This discount ends on August 26, 2018 at midnight (EDT). Only one discount code can be used per person.

August 2018 Virtual Meeting Schedule

“Month” by arztsamui/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Have any questions about your courses or your genealogy research? Virtual Meetings are a way for you to communicate with an instructor. These are NOT mandatory, but a fun and interactive way to ask questions about courses and/or research.

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Monday, August 13th at 7:00 PM EDT – Methodology courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega
This session is appropriate for ALL students no matter which country you are researching in.
Time zones:
Monday, August 13th – 7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 PM Pacific;
Tuesday, August 14th – Midnight in London, England; 9:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/methodology/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Monday, August 13th at 8:30 PM EDT – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program – GENERAL with Gena Philibert-Ortega
This session is appropriate for students registered in the Analysis and Skills Mentoring courses.
Time zones:
Monday, August 13th – 8:30 PM Eastern; 7:30 PM Central; 5:30 PM Pacific;
Tuesday, August 14th – 1:30 AM in London, England; 10:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asgeneral/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Tuesday, August 14th at 1:00 PM EDT – Scottish Record courses with Sheena Tait
Time zones:
Tuesday, August 14th – 1:00 PM Eastern; Noon Central; 10:00 AM Pacific; 6:00 PM in London, England;
Wednesday, August 15th – 3:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/scottish/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Thursday, August 16th at 4:30 PM EDT – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 2 – ARTICLE REVIEW with Gena Philibert-Ortega
This session is appropriate for students registered in this course.
Time zones:
Thursday, August 16th – 4:30 PM Eastern; 3:30 PM Central; 1:30 PM Pacific; 9:30 PM in London, England;
Friday, August 17th – 6:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asarticle2/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Thursday, August 16th at 6:30 PM EDT – Internet Tools with Gena Philibert-Ortega
This session is appropriate for students registered in/working on the Connecting Family: Online and Virtually, Google for the Wise Genealogist, and Social Media Tools for the Wise Genealogist courses.
Time zones:
Thursday, August 16th – 6:30 PM Eastern; 5:30 PM Central; 3:30 PM Pacific; 11:30 PM in London, England;
Friday, August 17th – 8:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/internettools/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Thursday, August 16th at 8:00 PM EDT – American Records courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Thursday, August 16th – 8:00 PM Eastern; 7:00 PM Central; 5:00 PM Pacific;
Friday, August 17th – 1:00 AM in London, England; 10:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/american/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Monday, August 20th at 7:30 PM EDT – Canadian courses with Kathryn Lake Hogan
Time zones:
Monday, August 20th – 7:30 PM Eastern; 6:30 PM Central; 4:30 PM Pacific;
Tuesday, August 21st – 12:30 AM in London, England; 9:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/canadian/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Tuesday, August 21st at 7:00 PM EDT – Methodology courses with Brenda Wheeler
This session is appropriate for ALL students no matter which country you are researching in. Note: This Virtual Meeting is available for the convenience of our Australasia students; however, everyone is welcome.
Time zones:
Tuesday, August 21st – 7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 PM Pacific; Wednesday, August 22nd – Midnight in London, England; 9:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/methodology/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Tuesday, August 21st at 8:30 PM EDT – English Record courses with Brenda Wheeler
Time zones:
Tuesday, August 21st – 8:30 PM Eastern; 7:30 PM Central; 5:30 PM Pacific;
Wednesday, August 22nd – 1:30 AM in London, England; 10:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/english/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Wednesday, August 22nd at 8:00 PM EDT – DNA with Shannon Combs Bennett
This session is appropriate for students registered in this program. Discussions will be at the advanced level.
Time zones:
Wednesday, August 22nd – 8:00 PM Eastern; 7:00 PM Central; 5:00 PM Pacific; Thursday, August 23rd – 1:00 AM in London, England; 10:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/dna/ (Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

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Calendar of Virtual Meetings is at www.genealogicalstudies.com; top menu > INFORMATION > VIRTUAL LEARNING ROOM.

If you have not attended a Virtual Meeting before, read the Instructions at www.genealogicalstudies.com/instructions.pdf.

Website Down This Weekend

Please note that both our websites — www.genealogicalstudies.com and www.genealogystore.com — will be down from Saturday, July 14th at 10:00 PM EDT until Sunday, July 15th at approximately 10:00 AM EDT for maintenance. We do not anticipate the websites being down for the full period of time, so check periodically.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause…

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