Evidence Analysis Issues

Assessing evidence quality for a local repository (i.e. collection)

Dear Editor;

As noted in another of my posts, I have inherited a substantial number of documents. Many of these contain "wet" signatures (i.e. original signatures), others are photostat copies of originals, and still others are notarized copies. If I now maintain them in my own files as a collection, they will not necessarily have a known "source-of-the-source". How does this affect the assessment of their "quality".

Scoping the Problem Statement in a Research Report

Dear Editor;

My question relates to your article, "QuickLesson 20: Research Reports for Research Success".

Correctly scoping the initial problem statement in a research report is, in my mind, absolutely crucial. If it is too specific, little is gained and likely much is missed. If it is too vague, it becomes a daunting task with less hope of reaching a clear and useful conclusion.

Unsupported conclusions for B/M/D?


I've been using the Barbour Collection to find B/M/D records from Connecticut.

I've just come to the realization that I've been drawing conclusions from it that it doesn't actually support.

For example, Dan Hill is listed in the Wallingford records as being born 14 January 1734 but is also listed in the Goshen records.

From other records I can show that it's probable that the Wallingford records are the original birth record, so I concluded that Wallingford was the birth location.  I now think that conclusion was wrong.

DNA information as direct or indirect evidence

I am trying to determine if a recently discovered YDNA match would be considered direct or indirect evidence.  I have read the QuickLesson 24 re DNA.  However, the four examples do not seem to address my situation which is as follows.

My question would be (generically) Is individual A of hometown USA a grandson of individual B of Faraway, USA?

The tester's (my sibling) YDNA information is a match to an individual who is a great great grandson to individual B, through a known son of individual B. 

DNA and Negative Evidence

In today's blog post at http://www.legalgenealogist.com/2016/12/21/the-dog-that-did-bark/, Judy Russell corrected her response to a question posed at the end of her BCG webinar on negative evidence last night. As she writes, "The question was whether DNA results could be negative evidence, and, in my answer, the example I used of a case that could be negative evidence… isn’t," and she goes on to explain why.

Reliability of Vital Records That Aren't Quite Right...

Okay, here's a nice "nuance-y" question.  

It is generally accepted that a birth certificate contains primary information given by the parents at the time of the birth, and a marriage certificate contains primary information given by the bride and groom, so both documents are considered reliable.

But what if the information on the documents is actually a little fuzzier than that?  

Example (and let's assume for simplicity that both of these documents definitely refer to the correct people):

Advice needed for referencing clusters

I'm looking for any advice on referencing clusters (or groups) of people when assembling units of evidence into a write-up. I need a convenient and meaningful reference system because of the large number of group references in this case.

I'm working on a huge problem to prove the identity of a single lady, but it has required me to use a cluster approach to piece together different families, and their generational relationships, from the groups described by the different sources.