Day three of Thomas W. Jones’ Advanced Genealogical Methods course: 

Today we spent time mastering how to transcribe, abstract, extract, quote, and document sources. 

We also studied how law may be used in complex genealogical problems, and the differences between Canon and Church law,  Civil law, Common Law, and Statute law!  (I remember now why I didn’t want to be an attorney!)

Jones taught us census and name list strategies.  He counseled that when we are searching censuses, the result message “Not found” RARELY means “not there.”  More people are enumerated twice than those who are left out of the census.  Good researchers track a person from birth to death.

Last, he discussed probate strategies, analysis, interpretation, and correlation.  Probate records are the MOST genealogical useful records, whether a person died with a will or without.  Jones counseled us that our research is not complete until we have examined the probate file.  We need to assume that no matter how poor a person, they may appear in a probate record, if only as a creditor owed money from someone else.  If a case file is not indexed, it is usually arranged by the date the case is closed.    He also cautioned that heirs are often not indexed.

To put the icing on the cake, he gave us a homework assignment to identify the father of a certain man who was married in 1800. 

I’ve been working on it this evening.  It’s already 11:00 PM and I’m not done.  Ykes!  I think I’ve cracked it, but now I need to write it up in a proof summary to make sure I can prove it.

That’s it for Wednesday’s wonders.