Document Analysis, Brick Walls, Cluster Research, and Family History Narratives – March 30 eConference


Pima County Genealogy Society’s first ever eConference is coming up in two days, on Saturday March 30! There’s still time to register. The subject of the conference is Research Strategies and Historical Writing. Gayle Johnson, PCGS Publicity Committee Member, has interviewed each of the presenters about their topics and background.

Register by tomorrow, 3/29. The cost is just $24.99. If you can’t watch the conference live, it will be recorded and you can watch the replay until April 30th, 2019.

Document Analysis

leslie carney

Leslie Carney will be presenting a program titled “What Does the Document Tell Us:  Document Analysis”.  Leslie became interested in genealogy because her mother and grandmother always told her stories about her family.  This piqued her curiosity about where her family came from and their struggles in coming to America.  Having lived behind a Family History Library, she was able to conduct research quite often.  After Leslie attended her first FGS and NGS conferences, she wanted to hold herself to a higher research standard and started coursework to become a professional genealogist while still working full time.

In her personal research, Leslie is currently working on her dad’s line in London England.  Her tip for genealogists of any level would be to use the “Evidence Analysis Process Map” which allows researchers to process the source and information easily and accurately in an objective way.

Brick Walls

Devon Lee

Devon Noel Lee’s program will be “Synthesizing Seven reSources to Bust Brick Walls”.  Devon tells us that she loves genealogy because it helps her feel like she connects and belongs to something greater than herself.  She has a video explaining her “why” at  In her program for our conference, she will examine an easy to follow mystery to illustrate how to piece together clues and then apply the skills to your own challenging research questions.  Devon says that family mysteries and brick walls are often solvable when we synergize or coordinate research.

In an ongoing project for her personal research, Devon is currently transforming the first drafts of 120 ancestors into final books.  She hopes to finish self-publishing the third book this year in addition to a second memoir.

Cluster Research

emily garber 2

We will have a program from Emily Garber called “When it Takes a Village:  Applying Cluster Research Techniques”.  The program leans heavily on research Emily undertook to learn about a potential family member who was unknown to her.  With so much unknown, she had to squeeze everything she could out of one record.  She found the best way forward was through associates of the subject.  Her tip is to research every name one finds in a record.  Those people often lead to additional information about the original subject.

Emily has an archaeology background and sees parallels in research methodology between archeology and genealogy.  In both fields, the records cannot tell the full story by themselves.  Context is extremely important, and also in both fields, Emily says one cannot understand the context of records and the information in them unless one takes an interdisciplinary approach.

In her own research, Emily has been overwhelmed by DNA matches coming in at breakneck speeds from all sides of her family.  Her goal is to slow down the research process, use a disciplined approach, focus on one family, find the links between these genetic genealogy matches, and grow her family tree.

Family History Narratives

laura hedgecock

The final presentation in our conference will come from Laura Hedgcock on “Better Writing  Through Research:  Enhancing Family History Narratives With Historical Context”.  Laura wants to help us find a way to tell compelling stories with details that increase the emotional connection to the ancestors you write about.  A lot of times it happens organically as you ferret out your ancestors’ vulnerabilities and limitations.  The writer is not simply regurgitating facts, but painting a picture against an accurate portrayal of the world as the ancestor saw it.

Laura started in genealogy and writing as the beneficiary of a collection of memoirs and family stories passed down by her maternal grandmother.  Though her grandmother didn’t want her personal writing shared, Laura could share her ability to connect to future generations through narratives.  This led to her book, Memories of Me:  A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life.

In her current family research, Laura has been working through brick walls on her father’s side as well as a DAR application on her mother’s side.  She also leads the organization GeneaBloggers as their president.  GeneaBloggers is made up of content providers providing support and expertise for each other.  Since family history isn’t covered well in the mainstream press, these bloggers, vloggers and podcasters are important and respected sources of information.  They cover all sorts of topics and are located in 18 countries.  More info is available on the website

Register for the eConference here.

1 Comment

  1. Sherri Hessick | |

    I’m excited to watch this eConference. I expect to come away with lots of tips to further my research. And there are 14 pages of handouts!

Comments are closed.