28 February 2014

MGP 2 - My Chapter 1 Homework Thoughts and My GPS Bad!

This post is part of DearMyrtle's Hangout on Air series, MGP2 Study Group 2, studying Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones.[1] I am one of the 'hangers' for MPG2 (with the exception of March 2), my first experience participating live in a Google Hangout. Hangouts are every Sunday morning at 10:00 AM Eastern US time. Join us to learn more about the discipline of genealogical work and how adhering to its standards will improve your family history results. Your family will thank you. 

As a hanger for Study Group 2, one of my responsibilities is to post my completed homework for each chapter. Because the answers are found at the end of your book, I will not post them (which would also violate copyright), but will post my thoughts about each question. If you have not already done so, I highly recommend you purchase and use this text. I am not being compensated for my endorsement, although I am enjoying the benefit of the author's wisdom. Three times previously I have been lucky to learn with Dr. Jones in person, once during the Boston University genealogical certificate class in 2009, once at the Salt Lake Institute in 2013 and once during a New England Association of Professional Genealogists program. Mastering Genealogical Proof brings Dr. Jones' expertise to you at home.

My Chapter 1 Homework Thoughts and My GPS Bad!

Genealogy as a research field necessarily relies on multiple disciplines. In order to accurately reconnect lost or forgotten individuals and relationships of all types, places and time periods, we might need expertise in understanding records from the fields of genetics, linguistics, cartography, history, sociology in addition to a myriad of other areas. In one lifetime, we cannot achieve expertise in all of the many fields necessary. When we don't possess the skills necessary to complete a piece of our genealogical research, call on an expert in that area. 

Correctly adhering to the five parts of the Genealogical Proof Standard will help us to determine if the information we have pulled out of a source is correct or incorrect and if it helps to answer our research question. Because information reported or recorded in sources can be wrong, we must search for every possible source in every possible locality that might contain information to help us to answer our question. We must correctly record enough information about all of the sources we search so that we can create citations allowing any who review our work to also review the sources we used. This includes sources that do not contain information pertinent to or answering our question. We need to know where we have already looked so that we don't repeat our work. This leads me to...

My GPS bad! or Don't omit the sources! 

One recent blogging activity I have undertaken is posting each week about one of my ancestors. The question I have been pondering is whether or not or how I should be forming these posts. What I have done to date is indicate the placement of my source citations, but I have not included the actual sources. Yes, I know, big bad genealogy faux pas! My faulty thinking was that anyone who would like more information (hopefully possibly cousins) would contact me and create a new connection. Here is a thought for all of us to ponder. What happens if we aren't here to answer our blog's email questions. Posting or writing our research conclusions without including accurate and complete citations quite clearly does not meet the demands of the Genealogical Proof Standard. If it doesn't meet the GPS, it loses both its credibility and its usefulness. 

There are 5 parts, not 2, not 3...5! In order for a research question to meet the proof standard, it has to meet all five parts. If we write a beautiful argument about why our John Smith is THE John Smith, but we haven't looked at all of the possible records, it isn't a proof. If we have done ten years of back breaking research, but we haven't written even a statement demonstrating our conclusions, it isn't a proof. If we have meticulously recorded the citations for all of the sources we have gathered, but we haven't analyzed it for accuracy or extracted and compared all of the information against that previously found, it isn't a proof. 

What Happens if We Find Conflicting Information? It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. We will find conflicting evidence and it is up to us to analyze the source in which we found it. We need to ask questions about why the source was created, who created it, who gave the information it contains and possible explanations for inaccurate information. We also need to consider the possibility that the source is reliable, that the reporter was reliable and compare the information contained against our other evidence. Remember too, we cannot all be experts in every field. If we are unfamiliar with the source type or field from which the source originates, ask for assitance in determining its reliability and understanding its information. 

All genealogical research starts with a question about an individual's life and/or one of his or her relationships. Every time I research a new question, I open a new document and type the question in a big, bold font at the top of the page. It helps to keep me focused on the task. This document becomes invaluable when completing the fifth element of the GPS, a written explanation supporting your conclusions

Chapter 1[2] was an informative introduction to Mastering Genealogical Proof. My homework response is my interpretation of what it contained. Please, order your own copy and start learning along with us. Let me know if you do. 

[1] Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013).
[2] Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof, 1-6.

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

[Book available from the publisher, http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof in both print and Kindle versions.]

Fishing Friday #52Ancestors August Ginter

August Ginter was my mother's mother's father, my great grandfather. He was born 1 February 1891[1] to August Ginter and Marianne (Bigalke)[2] in the area of modern day Włocławek, Poland.[3]  He died 21 September 1977 in Bristol, Connecticut in his adopted country, the United States.[4] At the time of his death, he was living with his daughter, Ruth, and her husband. My parents, sister and I had also been living with my grandparents for several months until August of 1977 when we moved to Providence, Rhode Island. I have always believed it was a gift that we were given this time with him before his death.[5]

August married Emilia Kiesel on 6 May 1914 in the Evangelical Lutheran Immanuels Kirche [church] in Bristol.[6] Together they had six children; Edmund born 1916,[7] Ruth [my grandmother] born 1917,[8] Helen born 1917,[9] Lydia born 1923,[10] Ernest born 1929[11] and Dorothy born 1938. All lived to adulthood, married and had children except for Dorothy, who passed away in 1939 at five months old.[12]

[Information about sources 1-12 available upon request.]

Scrappy Gen
Let’s Remember!

This challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is provided by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small  (Don't you just love that title?). I am jumping in on week three, which will be my week one, but I am omitting the number count in my title so as not to confuse anyone...or me. Thank you, Amy, for this challenge. Weekly recaps by Amy can be read here

As a bonus, because I am the Scrappy Genealogist, each of my posts will include a heritage page featuring my ancestor. Hope you enjoy them! Wondering about the 
Fishing Friday title? That's fishing for family Friday.

14 February 2014

Fishing Friday #52Ancestors Clarence Norton Brainard

What I learned from Clarence or how I am going to do these #52Ancestors posts. 

I cannot write a biography for a different ancestor every week. There are too many steps I feel I need to do to in order to prepare to write a biography and yes, I get bogged down in the details. Particularly in the case of Clarence. He had a lot going on in his life and I want to be sure I treat him correctly.

The good news is that I am getting reorganized and I have renewed my commitment to printing everything out for genealogy coffee table books (ala DearMyrtle). I love me my coffee table books! More on that next week! 

This week I have completed a nice scrapbook page for my ancestor Clarence Norton Brainard. It was what I felt able to do for him for now. You will find it at the end of this post. I am so happy that I have already made four new pages for my ancestry scrapbook this year. It's a good feeling knowing that I have created something that others will enjoy!

Before I show you my new scrapbook page, I would like to share my process for getting ready to either write a short ancestor biography or create even a scrapbook page in their memory. 

Getting My Stuff Together

1. Review computer folder.
  • Label all documents in the following format: Year-Month-Date Last Name First Name Item (i.e. 1883-08-12BrainardClarenceBirthRegp1)
  • Attach source citation to all documents
2. Review online tree.
  • Download/label documents not showing in computer folder. Attach citations.
  • Do another quick search and look for any obvious holes in ancestor's timeline.
  • Print ancestor timeline page.
3. Update ancestor binder.
  • Print all documents in folder along with citation forms.
  • File pages by date in ancestor's binder.
4. Review documentation.
  • Check citations. Redo if necessary.
  • Review timeline and look for any holes in research. Are there new sources or newly discovered sources to check? 
5. Write biography.
  • Review each source in date order.
  • From each source document, write the facts (just the facts for this purpose) together with a link to the citation (end notes for this). 
  • Review, review, review. 
6. Scrapbook my ancestor.
  • Print a photo of my ancestor.
  • Combine photo with heritage papers and embellishments. 
  • Add full name and pertinent facts; birth, death, marriages, children.
  • Photograph page, edit in Lightroom and upload. 
7. Upload and publish.
  • Still struggling with best way to get from my computer program to Blogger and keep my formatting. For now I am copying and pasting. 
  • Publish!
This is a lengthy process! Even if I could devote 100% of my time and energy to writing these posts, I would still struggle to create a new biography every week. How do you do it? 

Here is Clarence!

Happy Fishing Friday!
Scrappy Gen
Let’s Remember!

This challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is provided by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small  (Don't you just love that title?). I am jumping in on week three, which will be my week one, but I am omitting the number count in my title so as not to confuse anyone...or me. Thank you, Amy, for this challenge. Weekly recaps by Amy can be read here

As a bonus, because I am the Scrappy Genealogist, each of my posts will include a heritage page featuring my ancestor. Hope you enjoy them! Wondering about the 
Fishing Friday title? That's fishing for family Friday.

07 February 2014

Fishing Friday #52Ancestors Irene Bertha Hammond

Birth 1883 in Stonington, Connecticut
Irene Bertha Hammond was born 10 April 18831 in Stonington, Connecticut almost exactly a year after the 26 April 1882 marriage of her parents, Joseph Henry Hammond and Annie Fowler (Griswold).2  She had two brothers; John Sherman born in 18873 and Walter Edward born in 1888.4

Early Life - 1900
Sometime between 1884 and 1887, Irene attended a Hammond family gathering. She was photographed with her father and mother and extended family members.5 In August1898 Irene visited relatives in nearby Mystic, Connecticut.6 On 6 June 1900 Irene was 17 years old and living in Stonington in a home owned by her father, who was a plumber. She had attended school for nine months in the previous year. Also living in the home were her parents, her brothers and her Uncle Frank G. Griswold, her mother’s brother. Irene’s paternal grandparents, John and Caroline E (Palmer) Hammond, appear on the same page of the census, suggesting a nearby residence. They are living with Joseph’s sister Caroline, her husband Carl Kelb and their children Helen and Ralph.7

First Marriage in 1904
In September 1903, Irene visited Stonington, this time to see friends.8 January 1904 found Irene again visiting friends in Stonington.9 Was she visiting a man named Clarence Norton Brainard? She married him a month later at the First Baptist Church of Stonington on the 9th of February.10  As a married woman during October of that same year she visited her parents at their North Main Street home in Stonington and then returned to her home in Mystic.11

Irene and Clarence produced their first child Norton Hammond 20 July 1905.12 Their second Norma Elizabeth arrived 6 August 1907 and died a year and a half later on 6 February 1908.13 During 1907 Clarence was frequently reported to be out with friends hunting and socializing.14 The only news I have found to date about Irene during this same period reports that she was confined to her home with an illness in October 1907.15 The couple produced one more child, my grandfather, Stanley Lamb, 13 June 1909.16

A Troubled Marriage
On 18 April 1910 Irene and her sons are living with Irene’s parents on North Water Street in Stonington. Her status is reported as married,17 but her husband Clarence has a postal address in Mystic.18 Oral family history tells that Clarence, an alcoholic, deserted Irene and absconded to Canada. The truth is more complicated and will be treated in greater detail in Clarence’s sketch.

During 1912 both Clarence and Irene’s father Joseph are listed as residing at 1 North Main Street, Stonington.19 This suggests that she was also living there. Irene performed in a play, Farm Folks, in April 1912.20 During 1914 both Clarence and Irene are listed separately as residing at North Main Street as is Irene’s father Joseph.21 Wives are not listed at all in this directory, so it does suggest an unusual situation. In February 1915, she was running a milliner’s shop.22 In September 1916 as a member of the order committee for the Mystic Lodge Daughters of Rebekah, Irene helped to create the sixty-fifth anniversary celebration.23 Irene’s 1916 and 1918 residences are reported as North Main Street. Clarence is absent from both.24 During October 1917, Irene hosted the Acroama club at her home.25

Divorce and Second Marriage
In February of 1921 Irene finally brings a suit of divorce against Clarence on the grounds of desertion.26  One month later on 8 March, Irene and her sons were admitted to the Stonington Second Congregational Church.27 In 1923 she is living in her parents new home at 201 Main Street, Stonington.28 At the end of the 1920s Irene remarried to Stephen Jerome Hoxie. In 1927, Irene is listed in Stonington by her first married name, Brainard.29 In 1929, she is listed in Mystic by her married name, Hoxie.30 They are living together with Irene’s son Stanley at 29 Gravel Street in Mystic on 5 April 1930.31

Eventually Irene and Jerome moved back into 201 Main Street. They are living there in 1942 at the time of Jerome’s WWII draft card32 and in 1953,33 shortly before Irene’s death 20 October 1954.34

1-34 Sources available upon request.

Scrappy Gen
Let’s Remember!

This challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is provided by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small  (Don't you just love that title?). I am jumping in on week three, which will be my week one, but I am ommitting the number count in my title so as not to confuse anyone...or me. Thank you, Amy, for this challenge. Weekly recaps by Amy can be read here

As a bonus, because I am the Scrappy Genealogist, each of my posts will include a heritage page featuring my ancestor. Hope you enjoy them! Wondering about the 
Fishing Friday title? That's fishing for family Friday.
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