Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Questions About Lodgers, Britney and Circumstantial Evidence

Question from Dave:
"Is there any difference between a boarder, a roomer or a lodger on a census record?"

As far as I am concerned, no. However, I think it would be interesting to look at a single district that was enumerated by a single enumerator and see if he/she used more than one term. You could then make the argument that these terms meant something different to that particular enumerator but I have always used these terms interchangeably.

Question from Lynda:
"In your example using Britney Spears, you said you shared 6th great-grandparents but you also said you would have to do 9 generations of research. Why the different number?"

Britney - 1
Her parents - 2
Her grandparents - 3
Her great-grandparents - 4
Her 2nd great-grandparents - 5
Her 3rd great-grandparents - 6
Her 4th great-grandparents - 7
Her 5th great-grandparents - 8
Her 6th great-grandparents - 9

Question from Bennie:
"What if you know you know who someone's parents were but you just can't prove it. I am going round and round with this. I want to say that these are the right parents but I don't want to put false information out there either."

There must be reasons WHY you think you have the right parents so what you do is you write it up as a case study to present your circumstantial evidence. Take a look at the top journals and you will see circumstantial cases all the time. Many times you will not have direct evidence to prove your case, especially the farther back in time you get. You build your case by doing an exhaustive search of all available records and you expand your search to the collateral family members. I really enjoy putting circumstantial cases together. The last one I did was 12 pages long and that isn't even a long one. I highly recommend that you become a member of a couple of genealogical societies that publish scholarly journals.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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