Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Feel free to ask questions or post comments here about the Basic  Level Courses you are taking.

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I just started my first analysis and mentoring course and I have to admit I am nervous every time I press the submit button when completing an assignment.  My question is:  Is there truly only one correct way to approach a search of sources in a case study?  I am working through assignment 1 and I reasoned out my procedure carefully but in these step by step case studies my process is not always precisely that of the instructor.  Does this mean a poor grade or do instructors give leeway if the student's reasoning seems valid?

I am currently working on Q. 1-4 and looking for the next relevant record now that I have approx. ages for the family members from the census records.  Throughout the process I have been trying to focus on the goal which was to find Samuel's maternal grandparents.  I know that the two key documents would be Mary Jane Brown's (Samuel's mother's) birth record and her marriage record.  Now that I have an approx. year of birth for Mary Jane I could just search directly for her birth record but my instinct is that her name is too common, even with a year and place of birth.  My idea would be to search for the marriage record first for her and Ephraim because the parental information I find on it would aid in finding the correct birth record.  Finding the proper marriage certificate given the information I have would be more likely (I have the children's births to estimate marriage year; I have two names in combination, Ephraim being more unique than Mary Jane; and I have a place). 

Am I off base?  Should I just go directly to the birth search?  I just want to know that my reasoning is sound.

Never mind.  I took the chance and just posted my answer and my reasoning paid off.  I often question my judgement too emphatically I guess ;-)


I was going to say that your reasoning is good. We also tried to provide enough information in the assignments to help you out.

Remember that when you have your student consult we can go over the questions and talk about how you came up with your answer. I have had times where a student's answer was different but their evaluation was good and so the grade reflected that.

Feel free to message me here and I'd be happy to answer any questions.

Gena Philibert-Ortega

Director, Genealogy Services

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

Thank you so much Gena!!  I appreciate it!


No problem. I'm here if you have questions.


Hello, I'm just posting here to say "Karen was here" and that I've started the Wills and Estates 1 course this month. I think I had a question earlier...maybe I'll come back and post it later!



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