Kinsearching February 5, 2012




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Since 2012 is the 200th anniversary of the start of America’s “Second War of Independence,” the theme of the Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS) spring conference will be the War of 1812. Scheduled for 20-21 April 2012, the conference will take place at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia. Featured speakers will be Stuart L. Butler, Frances S. Pollard, and Michael L. Strauss. Topics will concern resources and treasures of the Virginia Historical Society, how to use federal court records from bankruptcy to equity, the War of 1812 in Virginia, and how to research your 1812 veteran. An opportunity to conduct research in and take guided tours of the Library of Virginia will also be available.

     The fee for registration before 6 April will be $40 for VGS members and $50 for non-members; the registration fee after 6 April will be $50 for members and $60 for non-members. Checks or credit card information may be mailed to Virginia Genealogical Society Spring Conference, 1900 Byrd Avenue, Suite 104, Richmond, VA 23230-3033.

     Several years ago, prominent genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills published the first reference works in her QuickSheet series. Because of their popularity, she has recently completed several more useful aids. One of the latest is The Historical Biographer’s Guide to the Research Process.

     Building on a lifetime of experience, Mills divides her material into six parts, two small and four large. In the section concerning basic principles, she argues that successful research can be achieved by following four specific models. She also defines three ways that will not lead to reliable research. Under “Your Research Report,” Mills provides facts about the four essential areas necessary for filing a formal report to document your work at the end of each segment of research.

     Then she goes into detail about the four models she believes will lead to dependable research. The first, the Research Process Model, shows how to analyze the problem, place it in social and legal context, identify related and associated individuals, recognize relevant resources and the pros and cons in their utilization, and develop a research plan. The second, the Research Analysis Model, pertains to the principle that sources provide data from which we select evidence for analysis; a sound conclusion may then be treated as proof unless new information emerges to contradict it. The Identity Triangulation Model, the third example, emphasizes that identity is more than just a name and is determined by three things: persona, relationships to other people, and origin. Finally, the Reliability Model, explains that proof is a body of evidence accumulated during the research process and thoroughly analyzed. Genealogists who follow Mills’s recommendations will be able to reach their goal of tracing and documenting trustworthy pedigrees.

     Since the material is in the form of a four-page laminated folder, the template can be stood up or lain down for immediate and convenient reference. Due to its lamination, the aid will not easily tear and remains clean and readable after constant use. Needless to say, QuickSheet: The Historical Biographer’s Guide to the Research Process is a handy tool that will take up little room by your computer and can be easily transported to any research site.

     To the guide's price of $8.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.50 for one item and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional item. The guide (item order 3867) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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