Developing Conclusions For Your Genealogy Research


In genealogy things have to come to
an end, we have to decide we have to make conclusion about what we have been
researching and today we’re going to show you how to do that. Howdy, I’m Caleb Lee with Family History Fanatics. We’re a channel that wants you to have fun while
you’re doing your family history, so we’re going to talk about making a
conclusion today taking the evidence that you have and then figuring out what
is correct. So let’s start off by reviewing our research question, it
is “Who are the parents of David J Searcy who’s born on the 14th of February 1846
in Lawrenceburg Anderson County Kentucky?”. Here’s the thing we got to be very
specific about what we’re looking for because we could just be looking for any
old pieces of information but no we’re looking for a specific fact which ones
are the parents. So the first thing to do is to correlate and analyze the
information and this means gather it and then sort it into which thing it
supports and then analyze it and see what adds up. One thing to consider is
does this record give first-hand or second-hand information about the question
at hand. Records give a lot of information, for instance, a
census record it’ll give you first-hand information about where they lived and
who was in the house and it will get a second-hand information about
birth years and relationships. In this case we’re looking for what information tells
us about the parentage of David and the second question is how did this record
receive the information? If it was a relative giving this information then
they’re probably more likely to have it correct, as opposed to just a census
record census guy who walks up and asks them. That’s second hand
information, the more humans go through the more likely it is that error will crop
up. A third question to ask is how would this record fit into either possibility?
There is no way that it could exist in a world where Mary and
William are the parents of David then it’s stronger evidence for Marry and
William being David’s parents. However again mistakes happen and so you know it
might end up being that even though it doesn’t fit into the other
theory, that other theory is in fact correct. So here are the records that
give information about the parent the parents of David and I divided them
into categories got two on this side and then three on this side so let’s talk
about those. First off is the Ola Searcy letters, he’s the one to think the
first things I found, well not found but learned were in existence, so these are
secondhand information Ola couldn’t have seen that David was Mary’s son or
which I think is what said. However these are her grandparents so it’s kind
of likely that she would know who her grandparents were it was written in 1953
many years after David’s death and you know many years into Ola’s life so maybe
her memory had faded or become fuzzy. Now the big thing about the Ola Searcy
letters is that it doesn’t actually tell us which couple it was referring to.
It tells us about William, a William, but we have established the information it
gives us a moment that he served in the Civil War it connects to one William but not
the other William which the note was attached to. Now let’s move over to the
death record. So this is death record of David Searcy and it is listed that Mary
and William are David’s parents the informant is Everett Searcy and he also
could not have seen that David was Mary’s son he couldn’t have been present
unless he’s a time traveler. He wouldn’t have known but again these are his
grandparents, so he might know this stuff. It was given at the time of David’s
death which is earlier than the Ola Searcy records if the Ola Searcy records
did say in fact that it was Mary and William then this is stronger
evidence because it’s closer to the time of birth and this is very strong
evidence for Mary being the mother of David and not Sarah because the only way
that would be correct is if Everett made a mistake Possible but this is
strong evidence. Now the gravestone thing, I talked about this in the
previous episode which you can catch by clicking the link up there or looking
down in the description. Basically we found that David’s body was moved from
Cincinnati to Birdie that’s in a different state. And you know
who else was buried in the same cemetery as David? William and Sarah, so it’s an
implied connection it’s not spelled out but oh wait
it is because we have a grand daughter of David saying that his parents were
also buried in the same Cemetery there is no
Mary and William Searcy in that Cemetery it’s just
William and Sarah. So this is a personal account. This is even farther away from
David’s birth so I’m not sure we can trust it but one thing to note here
is this is actually Everett’s daughter so regardless of which theory turns out
out to be correct there is contradiction here. So with the 1880
census now another thing that was here before I started researching, this is
second-hand information, David is listed as William
B’s son but we don’t know who that informant was. Maybe it was a
neighbor, maybe it was William himself, or just somebody who answered the door
first. It could work if Mary was the actual biological mother because then
this would be a case of adoption or just he’s just staying there and it’s
complicated to explain this is our cousin so they just called him the
son or again if the informant didn’t know and just said oh this is a kid
there it must be their son. Now ancestry member trees, this is second hand
information, this is somebody else’s research and I have not looked at and
verified all of their information and it’s possible that all of their
information just came from one person they just copied said oh this must be the
case. So it’s not that strong of evidence but it is just a little bit. And when I
said I have not verified all the trees I haven’t looked in peer-reviewed all of
their research I just kind of took a gander at their their profile for David
and most of them are not sourced. So it’s one of those things where it’s copied or
they have the sources they’re just at their house and on paper and they don’t know
or don’t want to share them online. Another thing to note is that William B
and Sarah are placed in a tree they have other children and their lines continue
and they have parents both Sarah and Mary have parents but William B also has
parents so he’s part of a large tree whereas Mary and William it kind of ends
there. We don’t have any children of them besides maybe David and William we don’t
know if he has parents I mean he does but we don’t know
who his parents are. This isn’t like a thing we’re like he should be with the
group that’s more connected because that way he belongs or something like that
but it’s just these people have more you know we have solid evidence that these are
real. This relationship was the thing whereas William and Mary it’s we
don’t have a marriage record for William and Mary. So here’s our timeline, I have
been talking about like you know distance to the birth so the most recent
thing is the census and then we have the death record and the gravestone,
which as mentioned before both work for different theories, and then we have the
Ola Searcy letters. We don’t really know who the parents that she is referencing
are and then we have petitioners comment which does state fairly you know spelled
out but you know we had to look for it but that’s evidence for William and
Sarah. So ultimately it looks like there’s more evidence for Sarah and
William being the parents and so I assume that they are. Now I’m not I’m not
like entirely certain like I’m not certain enough that I’m going to delete
William and Mary’s relationship because the record that their relationship is
based on is a mistake in this theory. I wouldn’t say I’m confident
enough in this conclusion to say that that’s the case but I’m confident enough
to you know remove David from being connected to Mary and William if new
evidence comes to light of course I will re-evaluate my opinion and my conclusion
but for the time being this is the conclusion that I made. So as with all
conclusions you need to write it out you know tell people why and so here I have
my conclusion written up, this is the this is the thing on Family Search, so
basically I’m saying David has had two sets of parents I reviewed the sources
there’s only one solid connection to Mary whereas there’s two
solid connections to Sarah and so I’m going to assume that there there is
greater evidence for Sarah and William B being the parents so I’m deleting this
relationship between Mary and David. So the question of the day is what is your
genealogy success story what is like the conclusion, the eventual
discovery that you’re most proud of I’d love to know this and I want you to
tell me in the comments below and if you like this video and this series of me
going and trying to research and and looking at all the ways I could try to
find out this information and please consider subscribing we post
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