Inferential Genealogy Study Group – Meeting 1


SnymarMenzyl sitting at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit


Tonight I attended my first of five sessions of the Inferential Genealogy Process study group in Second Life.  This is a study group in the virtual word of Second Life that is following the free online course by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS that is available free at FamilySearch  I posted more about the structure of this group here.
My avatar in Second Life is SnymarMenzyl (a compilation of family surnames).  Pictured here is Snymar sitting at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit in Second Life where the study group took place. I attended a Meet and Greet last night at the Fire Pit hosted by Genie Weezles (Tami Glatz).  She was a gracious host and was able to get all of us newbies walking, talking, and sitting in our new world.
Clarise Beaumont (DearMYRTLE) was the leader of the study group tonight.  She did a terrific job leading the discussion of our homework which was to watch the Introduction to the course and review the handout of the 5 steps of Inferential Genealogy.  Genie Weezles was on hand to help all of the new people.  In all, I believe there were 35 attendees tonight.
This was much like watching a webinar, but it felt more personal with the avatars.  I actually felt as though I was sitting at that fire pit and Clarise was talking to us.  Clarise used voice that we were able to hear with our headsets.  You can also communicate via a text chat, which most of the participants used.
I am really going to enjoy this course.  FamilySearch has done an outstanding job putting these courses together and with knowledgeable speakers.  The addition of a study group will certainly enhance my learning.  Often times I will watch course, but not put enough effort into really grasping everything in it.  The study group provides some accountability and we all learn from what others share with us.
Tonight we reviewed the difference of kinship acceptance vs. kinship determination.  Kinship acceptance was now much of my early genealogy work evolved.  Either I would read a reference in a book, journal, or online, and pretty much accept it.  Of course, we need to go further than that and that is what I want to do with my research.  Kinship determination is the process of figuring out that parent, child, or spouse relationship.  Inferential Genealogy is one method for that determination that is a process to put the many pieces of the puzzle together.
Much of my own research is unorganized as I have been hunting and gathering documents, but skimping on the analysis. I need some focus and direction.  The five steps of Inferential Genealogy should help give me that focus.  They are:
  1. Start with a Focused Goal
  2. Search Broadly
  3. Understand the Records
  4. Correlate the Evidence
  5. Write Down the Results

I think my biggest issues so far with my research efforts are numbers 1 and 5.  I am not focused in what I want to prove, and I don’t write down the results and how I got there. There will be 3 case studies we work through in the course.  Our first case study is our homework for this week and we will meet to discuss it in Second Life on Sunday.  I can’t wait!

3 thoughts on “Inferential Genealogy Study Group – Meeting 1

  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill 😉
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family sagas
    and "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

  2. Tom Jones is The Expert on inferential genealogy. His talks are the best and well worth every minute.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  3. Dr. Bill – Thanks for the welcome!

    Theresa – I couldn't agree more and the addition of a study group is priceless

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