Friday, June 3, 2011

Inferential Genealogy Study Group in Second Life

I'm participating in the Inferential Genealogy study group in Second Life. It's based on the course Inferential Genealogy by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS which is available on Family Search. We had our first meeting Tuesday night and discussed the handout. It seems I am in the process of using Inferential Genealogy to determine my ggg-grandfather. I have partially completed several of the steps.

1) Start with a focused goal.

My goal is to discover my ggg-grandfather, the father of William F. Kennedy.

2) Search broadly

I'm not done searching, but I have made some progress.

Search in time, locations, and associates:

I started my search with my great-grandfather, Hugh Kennedy. His marriage license, in Armstrong County in 1887 lists William F. and Ellen Kennedy as his parents. I also knew from family artifacts and knowledge that he was orphaned young and had a brother named Charles. Family artifacts indicated Hugh came from Winfield in Butler County and had a 'cousin' Mame.

Hugh, age 4, is found in several census records, including the 1870 Butler County census with Wm., age 35, Charles, age 3, and head of household James Kennedy, age 78. Is this the right family?

A small entry in a Sept. 1865 Butler County newspaper, the Union Herald, indicates Wm. F. Kennedy married Ellen Gregg of Freeport, Armstrong County.

Charles, age 12 is found in the 1880 Butler County Census in the household of Peter Kennedy. Charles is listed as a nephew.

Hugh, age 12 is found in the 1880 Butler County Census in the household of Alex Douthett. He is listed as a nephew.

James B. Kennedy has a will which names his children, Wm. Kennedy among them. This doesn't mean it is 'my' William F. Kennedy. But the other children listed include a Sara Douthett and Peter Kennedy. And Alex Douthett is named as one of the executors.

There is a guardianship for William and Charles naming Wm. F. Kennedy as the father and John Kennedy has the Guardian. John is also mentioned in James B. Kennedy's will.

I need to look a bit more into land records, as well as any other court records.

3) Understand the records

I have a way to go on this one. I need to learn more about probate, guardianship and court records in Butler County.

4) Correlate the evidence

I have a lot of this correlated in my head, but I need to get it on paper. I'm hoping after I see how Dr. Jones does this, I'll be better able to organize and correlate my own evidence. (A timeline/spreadsheet comes to mind.)

5) Write down the results

This is still down the line for me. Although I do have all the information I will need to properly cite my sources.