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14 January 2011

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy: Jeff's Report #6

This is Jeff's last report from SLIG. Thanks, Jeff, for another great series!

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Salt Lake City, Utah
Friday, 14 Jan 2011

The last morning opened again with homework debriefing. The problem was to solve the father’s name of a workbook exercise that we had been looking at off-and-on all week. There were several suggestions. Dr. Jones offered a little hint and a big hint via email for those interested. The little hint did not help me. What helped me, I would say, is a better understanding of analysis.

Today we packed in six lectures starting with Special Problems III: Identifying Landless, Enslaved, Peasant and Other Impoverished Ancestors; Resolving Conflicting Evidence; Correlating Sources, Information and Evidence to Solve Genealogical Problems; Federal Land Records: Analysis, Interpretation and Correlation by Clair Bettag; Writing Genealogy and Continued Advancement.

In Thursday’s report I said I would provide some problem solving examples from the course work. Dr. Jones gave permission to do so; however, in reviewing the examples they would be out of context. Instead, given the internet email discussions about starting a GenWrite class like the GenPro class, here are a few points from the lecture on Genealogy Writing.

Dr. Jones spoke about his own experience. He had written articles in his professional field of special education for journals that were published. He submitted his first genealogy article to the NGS Quarterly when Elizabeth Shown Mills was the editor. As Dr. Jones told the story, he got his work back and looked at the first page, the second page, the third page and then on the fourth page finally found something he had written! He relates this story in great humor to fully illustrate that genealogical writing is a field unto itself.

His definitions of genealogical writing are “essays that describe a genealogical problem, discuss the evidence pertaining to the problem; and—if applicable—present and explain a solution to the problem.” There are a variety of products of writing from articles to books and the use of writing can be to illustrate to oneself what further research needs to be done.

The characteristics of writing are that it is readable, fully sourced, well grounded and structured, honest, precise, logical and comprehensive.

It was one of many great presentations.

I am going to conclude with the points made in Continued Advancement. This was my third SLIG course along with the IGHR in Birmingham along with the FGS and NGS conferences and one day workshops that constitute my continuing education. Dr. Jones’ list is similar – formal courses of study, major conferences, genealogical study groups, participating in support groups and seeking a credential. He went on to encourage reading journals, doing personal research, seeking expert vetting and regularly and routinely writing research with a view to publish.

BOTTOM LINE: The five days were fantastic and intense. The bibliography with each presentation was enormous allowing for further study. I encourage each person reading this to pursue their own professional advancement.

Next I am off to Charleston, South Carolina for the NGS Family History Conference, May 11-14, 2011. Will I see you there?

Jeffrey Vaillant
14 Jan 2011 

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2011 SLIG
Report #2: 2011 SLIG
Report #3: 2011 SLIG
Report #4: 2011 SLIG
Report #5: 2011 SLIG
Report #6: 2011 SLIG

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library