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What's in a Name? Trouble! - Digital Download

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For years Ron Arons researched the life of his great-grandfather, who served time in Sing Sing Prison and who committed other crimes. Through the years, Ron came across records for other people with the same first and last names, born in the same timeframe, who lived in the same places as his relative, and who, by some stroke of luck, also found trouble, either in business or with women. With such an uncommon name as Isaac Spier, this is rather remarkable. In this talk you will see how the Genealogical Proof Standard was used to merge and separate many identities to determine exactly how many distinct individuals these documents represented. (The answer is truly remarkable!) You will also learn about names, name changes, and the reasons behind those changes. You will also learn about mind maps, a powerful technology and methodology for clearer thinking, data logging, and, most importantly, efficient and extraordinary data correlation. Specifically, many examples of mind maps created with FreeMind will be presented. This entertaining excursion into the world of trouble makers offers methodologies for truly advanced research for very challenging problems.

This class was presented to a live webinar (online seminar) audience on August 5, 2015. 1 hour 44 minutes, plus 1 page of handouts.

Viewers' comments:
  • Always interesting, always informative, always fun. Thank you for your dedication.
  • Amazingly thorough research and brilliant analysis. A little intimidating :) But made mind mapping more understandable, so maybe I will try it !
  • An excellent presentation about a very complex challange. But a lot of information for an hour presentation. Nevertheless a concept to start exploring for myself. Good job Ron!
  • And MORE new knowledge! Love these webinars!
  • ANOTHER great Webinar and after party. Legacy is the best. Thanks!!!
  • Complex puzzle - excellent case for learning!
  • Enjoyed After Webinar Party! Worth the wait!
  • Excellent presentation about using Mind Mapping for Genealogy with solid examples of application! I am definitely going to utilize this approach to problem solving. Also, Geoff's After Webinar Party was awesome as usual! I always learn so much. :)
  • Excellent presentation - a real detective story
  • Excellent presentation by Ron encourages all of us to use the other GPS for genealogy.
  • Excellent! I love talks that are so specific with details about HOW the research was done. Like Karen Clifford's recent one. Thanks for having such great speakers!
  • Excellent! What a great example of why you can't jump to conclusions when you see a familiar name. I wish everyone who adds information to their family tree, based on online information, would watch this presentation. I also love the after-webinar Legacy party. So helpful. Thanks a bunch.
  • Excellent. Just joined Legacy Facebook User's Group and will buy Ron's book about prisoner records. Thanks a lot.
  • Fascinating case study and very thorough.
  • Fascinating story on detailed research -- good tips about using FreeMind. I've used spreadsheets in the way he does -- only wish I had more time to pursue this passion.
  • Fascinating, exciting, so much information. I especially liked how he did not just talk about what he learned but he showed us the actual examples. Very enjoyable and fun.
  • Great demonstrationof diligent methodology and tenaciousness. Years of research distilled into an hour!!
  • Great one... Now maybe I can "find" my James Williams that disappeared after divorcing or maybe there was no divorce.
  • Great presentation on how to distinguish between several people with the same name.
  • Great presentation! I shall definitely investigate the use of Mind Maps for my brickwall of 15 years!
  • Great Webinar! I've used Ron's "Wanted" book for tracking down my "Black Sheep." I taught reading and used mind mapping with my students. I need to try it.
  • I always learn something new. Loved the Mind Maps that Ron displayed. As a visual person, I'll definitely have to try it. Thank you so much for making this webinar free.
  • I am very impressed with all the work that Ron did to try to sort out the various names and the people with all those names. I also like the mind mapping for certain questions where there is a lot of different and or conflicting information. I can see how it would help to make connections clear and to rule out where things just aren't possible such as two events at the same time in different places, etc. that wouldn't be so easy to pick up in a straight text or spreadsheet format.
  • I feel he did an excellent job of presenting the many layers of what he was trying to pass on. It caught and held my attention right from the start. First time I have learned about mind-mapping which I definitely want to learn more about. I see many possible applications in my life.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed his explanation of his research and how he worked through it. It was great with the items in documents highlighted in red.
  • I truly enjoy these sorts of case studies. I learn best that way.
  • It was very interesting - I am definitely going to explore using Mind Maps for everything, not just genealogy.
  • Justifies being a skeptic and looking deeper. Gained a new approach in doing so.
  • Loved the tenacity and the ideas so we can do the same thing with our "black sheep"!
  • Mind Mapping was new to me and sounds very useful. Very good presentration.
  • Never heard Mr. Arons before and I loved it! After-Party was fun and informative as well. Thanks Legacy!
  • One of the best ones I've heard. Lots of good ideas for resources .
  • One of the best. I was amazed at his tenacity and focus in pursuing his ancestor.
  • Ron Arons was awesome! The after party was the best! Thanks!
  • Ron is a marvellous presenter - humorous, detailed, organized, and a great example of what research truly is!! Learned a lot from this webinar, yet again!! Have made lists of what to check, what to do, and a "buy" list as well!!
  • There may be light at the end of the tunnel.
  • This was fascinating and informative. It was great to see how Ron worked through the challenges his ancestor left him, and gave me new tools for my genealogical tool belt. Thank you!
  • This was one of the best webinars I have attended. It goes to show that if you make a subject fun, it has more impact! While I was familiar with mind mapping, not in the genealogical context and am keen to explore. Thanks os much Ron for having such an interesting ancestor!
  • This was one of the best, I plan to try mind mapping to try to get me beyond several brick walls.
  • Very interesting presentation! Love the after webinar parties, they help me so much! Thank you, Ron and Geoff
  • Very interesting. I have several spellings of the surname within the same immediate family. I want to try the Mind charting idea too. I see this can be very complicated to research. I am a beginner. Really enjoyed this webinar.
  • Very interesting. Persistence pays. It also shows that the "obvious" isn't always the case.
  • Very useful information and crisp. concise presentation style - excellent.
  • Wow-really impressed with research. I'm very visual also-will try maping out ancestor with lots of conflicting information.
About the author:
For years Ron Arons has given presentations on genealogy across the country. In 2005, Ron won a NY State Archives grant for his historical criminal research. In 2008, Ron published The Jews of Sing Sing, about Jewish criminals who served time at the famous prison in New York. That same year, Ron appeared on the PBS TV special The Jewish Americans and talked about famous Jewish criminals of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In 2010, Ron published WANTED! U.S. Criminal Records, a reference book listing repositories across the country that maintain historical criminal records. These books and a line of 'Black Sheep of the Family' products are available on his website, Ron studied at Princeton and the University of Chicago.

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