Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Doodle a Day Keeps the Brick Walls Away

During childhood, doodling was one of those activities that kept my mind involved.  It is defined as an aimless scribble, design, or sketch.  I prefer the design or sketch definition, but to be honest it was probably the aimless scribble most of the time.  As things would have it, the concept of a "kinesthetic" learner  gave me an understanding of this process. [ Gr. kinesis = motion ]  Genealogy has given me the chance to apply these skills to tree climbing.  The following "sketches" show how one doodle can be used again, and again. (Only three of them are shown here.)

Sketch 1:

Well, it is actually a map sketched using tracing paper.  It outline the major water routes flowing into the Ohio River.  My JONES family came to Kentucky from Virginia, and my HENDERSON family came from North Carolina.

Sketch 2:

This takes sketch 1 and adds a little color to the picture. [Always liked to color!]  Additional information was placed in order to give my mind a visual picture of the geographic orientation.  The "New River" seemed to connect those from VA and NC.

Sketch 3:

A little more color, and a few mountain ranges doodled into the picture.  Physical barriers in place not letting those get to the families' land yet to come.  How did they do it?  A wonder indeed...brick walls...well, a doodle a day will help keep those brick walls away.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lumpers and Splitters

Decision making is a process.  It involves taking information, processing it in the recesses of the mind, and producing a course of action.  Having been involved in the "higher educational system" for some 27 years [taught at three Universities], it would seem that there are roughly two methods involved.  There are the "lumpers" and the "splitters".

The "lumpers" were the folks that needed more information.  Give me more facts, more details, more information, etc.,....,etc., I can make the best decision.

The "splitters" were the folks who said, don't confuse me more information.  I need to split away any useless information to get down to the bare facts.  All this excess is just making things worse.

For the genealogist, it takes both!  At times during ones tree climbing, it is necessary to collect as much information, dates, facts, get a clearer picture.  At other times, it is necessary to split away all the excess information and ask what is necessary to help make this decision.  For example, the following table shows my "lumping" process.  It says, give me all the individuals named "JONES" during the early period of Virginia settlement.
This "lumped" all those with the JONES surname between 1609 and 1666.

Then it was necessary to "split" out those who had the name "John Jones".  This would give me a list of those who shared this name.  I could then evaluate the relationship of these individuals to my own family. [This work as been stored in my research notebooks #206 for lumping, and #207 for splitting.]

Lumping and splitting,  processes for decision making they are.