Thursday, August 29, 2013

Research and resources

Heather Rojo's comments about the recently-aired WDYTYA (Cindy Crawford) are interesting. Heather mentioned one person estimating that the show required 1000 hours of research, supposedly by experienced researchers who had access to information beyond the normal person's reach. That's about 1/2 a person-year, by the way, for those who have had any dealings with planning.

In terms of weekends, one would have to spend about 10 years or so (more or less, okay?) to get that amount of work done. I did read of one person devoting his life (and, I'm not talking cousin-in-law, Walter Goodwin Davis, who had an inheritance) to genealogy; he read the principle resources at many places and did transcriptions).

Aside: One has to wonder about those 1000 hours. How they were spent? How many hours were related to following false leads (which, by the way, are useful to the watchful researcher)?

From our view, Dr. Frank's work was priceless. How many hour hours did he spend? Quite a bit, no doubt. As another example, I can point to a D.A.R. genealogist who helps people with their applications (she spent over 100 hours, in one case). Then, William Reitwiesner is a prime example ( of working outside of the limelight for decades. He liked his day job at the Library of Congress since it gave him ample time to do genealogical research.


Shows like WDYTYA are nice in that viewers can think about their remote cousins (or ancestors). Also, it's good to see the experts in operation (in the background, mostly, in the later versions of the show - say, as compared to how it was for Brooke Shields' episode). And, it does get the interests up (modern/western views discount ancestors even though the basis for our biological being is thusly laid - too, ancestors are "closer than our shadow" (attributed to your's truly, unless there was precedence) -- it's a meme thing, folks).


So, it ought to be evident that this type of thing takes work. It's nice when the results of such work is available to the next set of researchers. It is one of our goals to foster research and to provide verified information. Of course, this all presupposes some way of presentation that is accessible. NEHGS has done a good job. As a research member, one has access to many on-line (digitized) resources. Too, one can go to the library and grab books, many times.

And, one has to be thankful for organizations, such as D.A.R. Their verified trees are a great resource for future work, such as matching up trees to find missing siblings, etc. This is not true for, unfortunately (in general, let's say; there are plenty of folks there who have sourced their stuff). Actually, I always filter on rootsweb for hits that have sources just to see how much a solution set is reduced thereby. But, un-sourced can be useful, say, for hints on how to proceed. By the way, I have found to be very useful.

Aside: The tree being used has the living person as root point. Then, the ancestors are leafs. And, this view would have duplicates to account for the fan-in of inter-marriage (cousins marrying). So, hypothesize some leaf (say, one of those in a gateway list that Heather talked about), then one has to show reach-ability in the tree from the root to the leaf. In an ideal world, all of the nodes would be strong. The case is that some nodes may not have solid support, yet they are rationally supported. Case in point? If you have a gap, coming at it from both sides will allow one to see if there is a bridge and what is needed to support the bridge. The error in the book was where a gap was closed by collapsing a generation (or, rather, ignoring the absence of a generation which forced a fit of the ends).


09/04/2013 -- Topic carried over to truth engineering.

08/30/2013 -- With the post, I didn't fully cover the resources topic. But, I'll get back to that. I was browsing a book today that deals with the ancestry of Charles II. He's the hippy king, so to speak. Dr. Lucy Worsley (who has wonderful videos, by the way), says that things were shaken up more in 1660s (Charlie's time) than in 1960s (which might mean a thing or two to the boomer generation). Well, Charlie II's tree was full. However, by the eighth generation there were holes which carried further out. For most people, their chart would have large gaps. If someone knows of a tree that is almost fully filled (to 11 generations, let's say), please let me know.

08/29/2013 -- Having said all that, here is an exemplary site, again.

Modified: 09/04/2013

1 comment:

  1. I thought you might enjoy reading Randy Seaver's blog post about the 1000 hours, if you haven't already done so.