I like John P Colletta. He teaches with humor, and thats a good thing. At the National Genealogical Society Society Conference in Sacramento in 2004 he gave a lecture called “Resolving Research Dilemmas, Case Studies in Logical Analysis and Successful Methodology”. I wish I had been there. But I have a copy of the syllabus for that conference which I reviewed carefully as part of my own self-directed learning. Its an easy one-page outline, with a powerful message for self directed study. In the outline he provides an interesting study outline. John suggests:
- Analysis. We need to look at our own genealogy problem carefully. Write down precisely what we want to know. Then review the evidence and write down what you know for certain.
- Methodology. John talked about the importance of exploring the ancestors siblings, relatives, neighbors, and associates lives for clues. He also stressed the need for exhaustive searches of all sources whether they yield supportive or contradictory evidence.
- Look at case studies such as we find in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly to find similar type of problems and study how the writer tackled the problems.With a model at hand, and a systematic collection of data, we can learn by doing. Of course we can put it all together in a lecture called “How John P. Colletta and I solved the problem of…” and wow the audience.
What do you think?