Friday, September 17, 2010

Follow Friday: Two posts that will change the way you think about your research

There were two blog posts that particularly struck a cord with me this week. I believe these two articles can make you re-think the way you approach your genealogical research.

"Learning from genealogical failure" by Michael Hait

This discusses a reasonably exhaustive genealogical search and evaluating conflicting evidence.  Michael provides a very useful example to clarify his discussion showing how the birth of an ancestor was actually in one state when all the other evidence pointed to another.  He then moves on to the topic of the importance of recording negative searches.  This article will give you new ideas and encourage you to continue working on your difficult searches.

"Ellis Island Oral Histories- How I learned Something New!" by Heather Rojo

This post also explores the depth one should research without explicitly talking about reasonably exhaustive research.  Heather talks about how she thought that the Ellis Island Oral History database had nothing to offer her because she didn't find anything directly related to her ancestors.  Then a blog post from another writer got her thinking differently.  By changing her approach she found a wealth of information about her ancestors that she never knew before.

These two articles will change the way you approach your research and may help you work through some challenging obstacles just by asking you to think differently.


  1. Marian, thanks so much for mentioning my post and I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it. I really owe all my thanks to Leah Allen for helping me to see the benefit of looking at the other immigrant's stories. Isn't it fun how much we learn from reading each other's blog posts?

  2. Heather - your post proves just how much we can learn from each other.

  3. Marian, I was lucky enough to hear Michael speak at a Family Research Conference recently.

    Thanks for posting both of these links, so much useful information.