Genealogy Research at a glance–How my work benefits you:

Research Projects Completed (waiting to be copied and shipped):

  1. Day-McKinzey, KY and VA
  2. Duncan-McClain, Southwest PA
  3. Preston-Litton, Western MD
  4. Fink-Stillwell-Goshorn, central PA, NJ
  5. Bray-McKinzie, VA
  6. Shadouin (Chadouin)-Winters-Purvis, Southern KY
  7. Sigler-Martin, Western MD
  8. Stephenson-Bates, Southern KY, East TN
  9. Mallett-Lawson, Southwest VA

Watch this space. Each week I will post the research projects where the current research is finished and the report ready to be copied and shipped. This will save me a lot of time–time I can spend doing the research. When you pay my fees, you get my skills and knowledge–not a trainee, nor an inexperienced researcher.

Why Research Reports Take Time:

Research in a hurry invites error. You supply family known information along with your speculations and the benefit of your research. I review what you supply. Then I make a series of preliminary searches–to determine if there is evidence enough to warrant thorough study of a county or a state or a specific category of records–like military sources.

Research, review of what was found, and matching the new data to family known information. The cycle is repeated: Research, review of what was found, and matching the new data to known information. When you evaluate as you go–carefully reviewing what was found and matching it to what you already know–there is less chance an error will mess up your lineage.

Field research for a group of clients gathers information not easily available at the Family History Library. Or not included in their vast collections at all. I try not to search in the field what is readily available at the FHL–where photocopies are less expensive and travel costs are more reasonable. If I have to order a microfilm from the vault, it takes less time. So before I go, I review what is available here.

When I get home, I do the follow-up searches at the FHL for those items not searched in the field. Then I study the data collected on your ancestry. I evaluate the evidence. Mark the pages so you can spot the significant material easily. Compile acid-free family groups and pedigree chart showing how the evidence fits together. Where questions exist, I flag these with post-it notes for extra study.

And I supply you with a full copy of all the raw data collected, along with maps and illustrations that support your project. These are for your own family archives. The full set enables you to retrace my research steps–so you can challenge my work if an error occurs. And you can see the evidence upon which I base my conclusions.

For complicated research projects, I often supply an audio tape describing what the evidence is and how I interpret it. My historical background gives you what the historical records expect you to know–like age to be a witness, and why this detail is important. You can also request an audio tape, and I will prepare one for you.

I also keep a copy of everything. That way, if something is lost, there is another copy available for you or for interested family members. When I have to ship stuff home to comply with airline regulations, I ship my clothes and books acquired. I carry the research, gathered at dear cost, with me.

Once I have made research conclusions on your lineage, I like a little time for these to germinate. Then I review them again. If there is an error in how I have fit the people together, this is where I can spot the problem. Whenever you review cold research, you can see what fits and what doesn’t–it is like proof-reading a typed manuscript.

It is harder to see your own errors, than to recognize those made by someone else. The breather between drafting a pedigree and reviewing what you drafted, is one of the reasons I maintain a 96% success rate. The space allows recognition of errors, while they can be corrected. Before they are launched on the internet or before the pages go to press.

And it is at this stage, research still to be done can be outlined. If you finish your analysis and everything appears to fit, with no questions raised and no sources waiting to be searched–your lineage has usually been fit together incorrectly. There is always a father to be found. Or a maiden name to be searched. Or an origin to be checked. Or an unexplained gap in the births of the children. Always. Your favorite genealogy of choice, Arlene Eakle

PS WATCH the Research Projects List at the end of future Genealogy News Sheets. If you are not a research client, you just might have a surname in common with someone who is. And if you have any objection to having your surnames made public, let me know quickly.

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