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14 July 2010

Wednesday Report: 2010 Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

Jeffrey Vaillant continues his series from the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR).


The morning began with an excellent presentation by Christine Rose on Correlation and Analysis of Evidence. She began the talk with a discussion of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). She literally wrote the book on this subject. Rose spoke about the three classes of evidence which are (1) primary and secondary information, (2) direct and indirect evidence and (3) original and derivative sources.  Then she spoke to the importance of evaluating the three classes of evidence. If one becomes stuck, she suggested the following:
  • List all the documents located
  • Examine for any local, county, state and/or federal items not examined.
  • Abstract each document into a Word document, then use the FIND function to review names and locations
  • Watch for clues on religion
  • Watch for clues on inherited property

As an aside, Christine Rose will be presenting a one day seminar for the Sonoma County Genealogical Society in Santa Rosa on April 16, 2011. This may have been the best lecture of the week.

Onomatology was the title of Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck’s talk. That is a big title devoted to talking about names and everything and anything that can happen with the surname we are all researching.  And since word usage is big with Lloyd, on Monday I suggested “semi-posthumous child” for definition.  If I understood Lloyd and wrote it down correctly, that term is used to define a child who is left material goods by a grandfather when the father is dead!

Lloyd distributed an extensive bibliography (five pages single spaced) that included general works, forenames and diminutives, name changes (by state) and language dictionaries.  Another term to drop at the next genealogical society meeting is uxornecronyms—the name of the dead wife given to the child.

The afternoon was well spent with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. who first spoke about Passenger Arrival Records from Colonial Times to Mid-twentieth Century. That is a lot of material which he supported with eight pages of outline and bibliography. I took away from this lecture his ideas on where to look if an ancestor arrives before 1820 – colonial period land patents and land grants, pre-federal naturalization, oaths of allegiance, lists of emigrants leaving, list of immigrants arriving, church records and complied histories.

Next the subject of Naturalization Records from Colonial Time to Early Twentieth Century was presented and supported by six pages of outline and bibliography.  My take away was the reminder that naturalization records are kept by the regional NARA depositories not in Washington, DC and to check with a state’s archives. The other piece of information I took was the specific legislation that allowed foreign born to gain citizenship from fighting in the Civil War.  That citation is to Chapter XXV, Thirty Seventh Congress, Session II, Chapter 75, 1862 which one can find by looking up the congressional records.  This sent me to the Library right after class to do so!  If you are not interested, skip this next section.

Act of July 17, 1862:  Honorably Discharged Soldiers (Re: Naturalization):
“Section 2166:  Any alien, of the age of twenty-one years and upward, who has enlisted, or may enlist, in the armies of the United States, either the regular or the volunteer forces, and has been , or may be hereafter, honorably discharged, shall be admitted to become a citizen of the United States, upon his petition, without any previous declaration of his intention to become such; and he shall not be required to prove more that on year’s residence within the United States previous to his application to become such citizen; and the court admitting such alien shall, in additions to proof of residence and good character, as now provided by law, be satisfied by competent proof of such person’s having been honorably discharged from the service of the United States.”

On Tuesday the question was: What President lost his citizenship and did not regain it?  The answer is: John Tyler – who was a strong states rights person and who lived in Virginia at the time of secession.  As a person living in Virginia he lost his citizenship AND he died before the end of the Civil War.

Wednesday evening Patricia Walls Stamm presented The Timeline: Linking Historical Events to Our Family History. She urged the use of a person’s life events with readily available timelines. Some genealogy software has this capacity. I know I have found timelines to be a big help in identifying where to look for more information about an ancestor.
– Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Part 1 — Getting to IGHR: A Tale of Two Days
Part 2 — Monday Report
Part 3 — Tuesday Report
Part 4 — Wednesday Report
Part 5 — Thursday Report
Part 6 — Friday Report


 Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

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