YOU are the client

Why not give *ourselves* the BEST of our current thinking by creating professional research reports for our files? This is a continuation of Monday’s after party discussion about Gary Gauthier’s request for info about client report forms. We will dissect several public online genealogy report forms to come up with elements to emulate in our own work.

Here are some of the points we uncovered:

  • Every report had either an official cover, or was produced on letterhead.
  • To organize data into readable formats, the report writers included
    • Transcript or abstract
    • Bulleted lists
    • Tables
    • Timelines
  • To clarify content for the audience, the report writers included
    • Definitions
    • Explanation of prevailing law at the time
    • Historical context

We first reviewed the report of a single record by dissecting “Samuel Witter, 17th U.S. Infantry, War of 1812, Enlistment Record: An Analysis.” Report to Witter Research Group. 15 December 2011. Archived online. Elizabeth Shown Mills. Historic Pathways. (https://www.historicpathways.com :  viewed 20 Mar 2019). It is found at https://www.historicpathways.com/download/SamWittRecAnalysis.pdf

We then reviewed a report that included multiple records from diverse record sets by dissecting “House history of 5726 North East Cleveland Avenue, Portland, Oregon”, report to [client name withheld]. 4 March 2007. Archived online. Connie Miller Lenzen, CG. Board for Certification of Genealogists. (https://bcgcertification.org : viewed 20 Mar 2019.) It is found at https://bcgcertification.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lenzen-House-History2006.pdf

Finally, we looked at a pro bono, yet very professional report by dissecting “Pierre Lapouraille (m. 1819)” report to Brian Lapouraille of Baltimore, MD. 2 Oct 2012. Archived online. Malissa Ruffner, JD, MLS. Board for Certification of Genealogists. (https://bcgcertification.org : viewed 20 Mar 2019.) IT is found at https://bcgcertification.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Ruffner_Report2012.pdf

We also discussed citation footnotes that may include discursive notes, and considered where a discursive note may be integral to a proof argument, it should be moved from the footnote into the body of the report.

The Board for Certification of Genealogists “Genealogical Work Samples” page has sample research reports, case studies, family histories and client agreements. See https://bcgcertification.org/learning/skills/genealogical-work-samples

Historic Pathways “Research Reports” page includes additional types of reports including forensic, genealogical, individual research notes, cumulative research notes and a narrative lineage. See https://www.historicpathways.com/researchreports.html

SELECTED TEXT

19:00:32 From Melissa Barker : Hello Everyone!
19:00:49 From Marceline Beem : Hi everyone
19:01:37 From Yvonne Demoskoff : Hi from BC!
19:01:57 From Sarah Bell : Morning from Australia 🙂
19:01:58 From Gary Gauthier to All panelists : Hello from Calgary.
19:02:05 From Doris Haskell : Hello, everyone, from Rock Springs where the temperature is 42 degrees for the first time this year.
19:02:24 From Betty-Lu Burton : Never thought about treating ourselves like a client
19:02:25 From ERIC COOK to All panelists : Hello from Iowa!
19:02:50 From Cousin Russ : When posting in the “Zoom Webinar Chat” , change the “TO” portion to read “ALL PANELISTS AND ATTENDEES.” By default it reads “all panelists.”

Genealogy Standards 2nd edition
19:02:57 From Cousin Russ : Genealogy Standards now in Kindle format. https://www.amazon.com/Genealogy-Standards-Second-Edition-ebook-dp-B07PSKRDT7/dp/B07PSKRDT7

19:04:28 From Betty-Lu Burton : Would the task include where you want to look for the answer?
19:05:17 From Melissa Barker : Love Timelines!
19:06:46 From Cousin Russ to All panelists : Gary — please mute your audio — thank you
19:09:42 From Cousin Russ : Derived from “Samuel Witter, 17th U.S. Infantry, War of 1812, Enlistment Record: An Analysis.” Report to Witter Research Group. 15 December 2011. Archived online. Elizabeth Shown Mills. Historic Pathways. https://www.historicpathways.com : 20 Mar 2019.https://www.historicpathways.com/download/SamWittRecAnalysis.pdf
19:12:56 From Betty-Lu Burton : So we have already proven the Samuel Witter is the same in all the areas
19:15:57 From Sarah Bell : That ESM is very thorough!
19:21:52 From Sarah Bell : Yep, I think a report like this is only useful in the third category (long proof argument) – most of the time I can write a quick one or two sentence proof statement
19:27:59 From Sarah Bell : Me too
19:29:31 From Deb Andrew : I transcribed a death certificate last night, wasn’t for sure who the undertaker was, and Google undertakers in Reno 1919, and the Funeral Home came up in an ad in a newspaper in Reno for 1919.
19:30:33 From Betty-Lu Burton : That would bring into question is whether the age is based on date of enlistment or discharge or another event
19:31:48 From Sarah Bell : I think giving historical context is important too – you shouldn’t assume that your audience knows the particular conflict in detail
19:34:22 From Sarah Bell : A map or geographic info might enrich this report!
19:35:04 From Sue Taylor : Good point, Sarah. I recently found a Württemberg soldier reported to have died in a Polish hospital in 1809. On the surface there didn’t seem to be a geographical connection but Google found me the likely conflict with a list of “Belligerents” that included Württemberg and Poland on the side of France.
19:39:02 From Mark Barrus : Fascinating research
19:39:56 From Sarah Bell : Is seemingly incompatible a precursor to negative evidence? or the same thing?
19:43:26 From Sarah Bell : Important to record your thought processes – whether through footnotes or another method
19:44:12 From Betty-Lu Burton : I would at least do limited source citation. such as as stated in 1850 census.
19:50:58 From Betty-Lu Burton : Melissa it does not take a few years for my thinking to change. because health issues my mind changes every few weeks now
19:52:55 From Betty-Lu Burton : footnote 12 is more of an analysis
19:53:33 From Sarah Bell : She also references her research notes on the subject
19:53:38 From Sarah Bell : foot 11
19:56:35 From Cousin Russ : Derived from “House history of 5726 North East Cleveland Avenue, Portland, Oregon”, report to [client name withheld]. 4 March 2007. Archived online. Connie Miller Lenzen, CG.Board for Certification of Genealogists. (https://bcgcertification.org : viewed 20 Mar 2019.) https://bcgcertification.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lenzen-House-History2006.pdf
20:06:45 From Deb Andrew : Floods, burned court houses local areas.
20:08:38 From Cousin Russ : Derived from “Pierre Lapouraille (m. 1819)” report to Brian Lapouraille of Baltimore, MD. 2 Oct 2012. Archived online. Malissa Ruffner, JD, MLS. Board for Certification of Genealogists. (https://bcgcertification.org : viewed 20 Mar 2019). https://bcgcertification.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Ruffner_Report2012.pdf
20:13:24 From Sarah Bell : Love that idea
20:21:03 From Deb Andrew : What is the name of the author of Designing Research Methods?
20:22:11 From Sue Taylor : Helen Leary
20:23:07 From Sarah Bell : https://www.worldcat.org/title/north-carolina-research-genealogy-and-local-history/oclc/34803478
20:23:17 From Cousin Russ : Albright, Lee and Helen F. M. Leary, “Designing Research Strategies,” in Helen F. M. Leary, editor, North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996), chap. 2, p. 20. https://www.ncgenealogy.org/product/north-carolina-research-genealogy-local-history-2e/
20:23:29 From Deb Andrew : Thanks.
20:25:04 From Cousin Russ : You may obtain Leary’s book ssed from Abe Books – https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30258852136&cm_ven=sws&cm_cat=sws&cm_pla=sws&cm_ite=30258852136&clickid=01DzVtwvLxyJWVl0EHQlB1XYUklxo2XVzWbMwk0&cm_mmc=aff-_-ir-_-353196-_-77798&ref=imprad353196&afn_sr=impact


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