* Pinball Genealogy - My Ancestry.com Hints Practices
* Pinball Genealogy - Enriching My Genealogy Database
DearMYRTLE wrote Principles of "The Pinball Approach to Genealogical Research" today and further defined her description of the principles in eight elements - please see her post for them.
My opinion is that these principles describe one version of "Pinball Genealogy" - the one where undocumented information is used without consulting other online or repository resources. I admit that I've done this over the years - as have most
Frankly, the elements Myrt describes in her post apply to more than just online searching in family trees or indexes. There's no difference between entering names, dates, places and relationships into a genealogy program out of a surname book, locality book or periodical, and doing the same from an online family tree or website. Most researchers start out this way. I have, and continue to do it with what I consider authoritative resources, depending on my judgment and experience.
As Myrt points out, doing a "Reasonably Exhaustive Search" and applying the "Genealogical Proof Standard" using FAN Club principles (Family, Associates, Neighbors) to determine kinship of a person to a parent, or a spouse, needs to consider more resources than the quick online grab of an index entry, a mention in a county history book, or just using census records. The "more resources" that should be used in a RES/GPS/FAN project include, but are not limited to, historical record types such as probate, land, tax, town, church, vital, court, military, passenger lists, naturalization papers, etc. I try to do that for my ancestral families, but I don't usually do it with the collateral lines.
Just as a pinball wizard learns how to work the machine in the arcade to his benefit (using the flippers, a jolt here, a nudge there, avoid tilt!), searchers like me have learned how to mine online databases, how to utilize record provider features like Ancestry Hints, and how to find additional resources to add to the document record for a person.
I really think that what I described in my posts is "Pinball Genealogy," since I am not doing a RES/GPS/FAN project for most of the persons in my database. I don't have the time or interest to do that. However, my practices do include making a conscious evaluation of the limited information obtained and, if used, sourcing the information in my database.
What do my readers think? How far should I go to try to prove the relationships of my collateral lines? Should I ignore the blank fields in my database and just concentrate on my ancestral families?
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/01/principles-of-pinball-approach-to.html
Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver