I haven’t written anything in a while. I think I got distracted by other things going in the world, in my world, and plans for what I’d like to see happen. One of those plans for the year is that I want to begin the certification program with the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). It seems like a pretty intensive year of research and writing, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how I would go about it.
My understanding is that all the work submitted for the certification program must be original, unpublished, unreviewed writing. The two big papers that I’m mainly thinking about are a case study involving conflicting, indirect or negative evidence, and a kinship-determination project. Without going into too many details, here is what I’m thinking.
I have a few situations in my family history where indirect and/or negative evidence is my only real evidence. This is particularly true with my 3rd-great grandmother, Mary Compton. I still have found no direct evidence of her existence before she married. Another is a case I’m working on with my Weigel 3rd-great grandparents, trying to find a direct link to their parents. But the one that seems to present the most fodder for a good research paper is the case of my great-grandfather, Josef Silber. His naturalization papers contain so much conflicting information that it would probably satisfy this requirement! Which is why I want to take it on. A good, thoroughly-researched write-up of why the conflicts exist and the truth behind them is definitely required.
The kinship-determination is a three-generation narrative of a family, documenting and proving relationships. At the moment, I’m considering the Weigel family mentioned above, starting with my great-great grandfather, Jacob Lewis Weigel, and moving back through his parents (mentioned above) to his grandparents. I have already found records for them in Germany, and feel confident about those connections. Now it will be about making sure the research and proof is solid.
I’m not totally committed on the subject of my kinship-determination, though. There is some work to be done on my father’s side in regards to documentation. His family comes from long lines of Mormon pioneers, and they all have some sort of history already published somewhere. Most appear to rely on first-hand accounts from the pioneers from the mid-19th century. But in my own research of some of these families, I’ve had a hard time finding documentation to support those accounts. I’m considering one of those families as well–starting with the first-hand information and adding documentation as proof of the story.
So this is what I’ve been thinking about rather than keeping up on this blog. There has been so much that I have wanted to write about, but I also don’t want to jeopardize the unpublished/uncritiqued requirement. I’m not sure how the blogging will go through this process. This may become more of an experiential blog for a while rather than a place for me to publish my research findings. More theory, experiences and ideas than information.
Now that I think about it, that could be a very good thing. It’s not all about my research after all. It’s about exploring how and why I research, which I suppose can only lead to better research and understanding. And motivation…for myself and hopefully others.