# Crit­i­cal think­ing in ge­nealog­i­cal re­search

Serve Daily - - MERIT ACADEMY - By Ginny Ack­er­son

Theuse of crit­i­cal think­ing and anal­y­sis when do­ing fam­ily his­tory is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary. Not us­ing these skills may re­sult in an in­ac­cu­rate fam­ily tree.

Peo­ple who have crit­i­cal think­ing and anal­y­sis skills use logic, math­e­mat­ics, cor­re­la­tion of records and de­duc­tion as well as ask the right ques­tions re­gard­ing the source ma­te­ri­als to en­sure the ac­cu­racy of their re­search.

Us­ing logic, you can as­sume that par­ents are older than their chil­dren; bar­ring mul­ti­ple births, chil­dren are not born less than nine months apart; women lose their abil­ity to have ba­bies be­tween ages 45 and 55; and be­fore mod­ern trans­porta­tion, the same per­son could be in places hun­dreds or with a com­mon name. Find­ing birth, mar­riage or death records and not­ing the ad­dresses of the events and then cor­re­lat­ing these records with other records such as cen­suses and city di­rec­to­ries can help com­plete your fam­ily pic­ture when no sin­gle record is able to prove a re­la­tion­ship.

Ask­ing the right ques­tions helps to of miles apart at the same time. clar­ify the di­rec­tion you should take your

Math­e­mat­ics come into play when you re­search. Are the par­ents the cor­rect age do the math rel­a­tive to ages; birth, mar­riage to have this child? Are they too old? Too and death dates; and the ori­gin of young? Are they liv­ing in the ex­pected sources. How re­li­able is the in­for­ma­tion area or in a place the fam­ily has no ties? about peo­ple who lived in the 1700s that Do ad­di­tional records con­firm known is recorded in a bi­ble that was printed in facts? the 1920s? Is it pos­si­ble for a child to be De­duc­tion is tak­ing facts and, us­ing born to a mother who is 3 years old? the pre­vi­ous skills, com­ing to an ac­cu­rate

Cor­re­lat­ing records can go a long way con­clu­sion. A child who is born when a to prov­ing lines, es­pe­cially in a big city mother is 5 or 65 is prob­a­bly not the child of that mother. The John Smith who lives for years at the same ad­dress as your Mary Smith is prob­a­bly re­lated some­how. Know­ing the com­mon nick­names used in records will con­firm that the Ike and Martha you found are prob­a­bly the same peo­ple as the Isaac and Patsy found in other records.

Crit­i­cal think­ing in search­ing for and ac­quir­ing records re­lat­ing to your fam­ily will prove re­la­tion­ships and ex­pand di­rect lines when just one record won’t do the trick.