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  What is a 'Reasonably Exhaustive Search'? - webinar-on-CD

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The first step of the Genealogical Proof Standard is to "complete a reasonably exhaustive search for all relevant records" related to your research objective. This presentation discusses what a "reasonably exhaustive search" constitutes, why this is necessary, and how to conduct a search. A case study explores how failing to identify all relevant records can lead to missing information and forming inaccurate conclusions about your ancestors' lives.

This class was presented to a live webinar (online seminar) audience on September 12, 2012. 1 hour 30 minutes, plus 2 pages of handouts.

Viewers' comments:
  • Absolutely excellent! Straight-forward, easy to follow with an excellent example of a successful case study using the GPS.
  • Enjoyed his case study example. The webinar gave me ideas on how to solve a problem or two I have, which is always good news. Thanks.
  • Excellent ideas to improve my searching for ancestors and how to analyze the information and write conclusions.
  • Excellent speaker & topic! I'm very interested in doing high quality research, so I appreciate presentations about the BCG standards.
  • Eye opener. I thought I was being thorough. Now I know better: I need to take those extra steps. Have been thinking of investing in Michael's book and now am convinced it is an essential.
  • I found this a good confirmation of some practices I've followed more by intuition. But it's also a good cautionary study - no matter how much evidence you've gathered, it could be wrong in some important aspects. Keeping an open but skeptical mind is a useful habit.
  • It was interesting that Michael didn't give up and accept his ancestor was born in Connecticut. I will be doing a more thorough research with regards to my own standard of proof.
  • Michael did a great job with a complex subject. So many people have trouble with understanding a "reasonably exhaustive search." Both the points made before the case study and the case study were extemely on point. And the case study was a great example--so many would take the tombstone and/or the census records as the reliable answer to the question of where was Henry born, and move on. By continuing to search, Michael gained not only the accurate information but also a great first-hand family story.
  • Straight forward information, practical examples to think "out of the box", and some of the very best Illustrations and graphics I've seen for a presentation.  They were simple and uncluttered, yet made their point.
  • What a surprise ending! He was very thorough with his information and he had me going all the way up until the end!
About the author:

Michael Hait, a certified genealogist, has over ten years of research experience on families from Connecticut to South Carolina to Tennessee. He serves as the vice-president of the National Capital Area chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He is the author of The Family History Research Toolkit and Online State Resources for Genealogy. He is also the author and instructor for the "Research: African-American Ancestors" course at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and the coordinator of the resource library for Lowcountry Africana.

Michael is also the author of Online State Resources for Genealogy.
15 minute preview

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