Advanced Methodology and Analysis

Course Description:

The goal of this course is three-fold: to provide the student with an overview of analytical and organizational techniques to set them on a path towards accomplishing their own personal and professional research goals, to motivate and encourage students to learn more about the records discussed (where they have gaps in that knowledge) so that they are better equipped to understand and interpret the materials they do locate, and most importantly to provide them with exposure to evidence analysis so that they are motivated to continue to develop their skills and abilities after their experience with this course is over.

What students should bring to the course:

Students in this class need to be familiar with the Genealogical Proof Standard, the elements of citation and analysis, elementary and intermediate level genealogical resources, and have either spent at least thirty hours researching in a courthouse or archive or have comparable experience utilizing courthouse records online via sites such as FamilySearch.

Lecture   Unit or Topic

Overview, Documentation, and Evidence Analysis
When Search Strategy is Part of the Evidence
Citizenship and Citizenship Analysis
Female Property Rights and Inheritance
Strategies and Analysis in Local Land Records-Federal States
Strategies and Analysis in Federal Land Records
Strategies and Analysis of Local Land Records-State Land States
Creating Families from pre-1850 Census Enumerations
Analysis of Post-1850 Census Enumerations
Tax Record Analysis
Disdained Sources
Determining Specific Chains of Migration
Strategies and Analysis: Probate Materials
Strategies and Analysis: Military Service Records
Strategies and Analysis: Military Benefit Records
Urban Research Strategies
Rural Research Strategies
Evidentiary Pitfalls and Research Planning

Course Instructor:

Michael John Neill has been actively engaged in genealogical research for over thirty-five years. He has lectured at national and regional conferences and has written numerous how to articles for online and print publications. He currently writes “Genealogy Tip of the Day” and the how-to newsletter Casefile Clues. Michael has led research trips to the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and is on the faculty of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois. He has extensively researched his children’s ancestry in most states east of the Mississippi River and several European countries, including Germany, Sweden, and England. Research interests include Ostfriesen immigrants, the immigrant experience and women’s personal and property rights.

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