2009/2010 I became a fan of the Case file Clues written monthly by Michael John Neill. Casefiles is a subscription to receive email with attached stories. Monthly I print the story. These can be retrieved and read anywhere. Waiting at a doctor's office, or attending a soccer game, I read the stories, pen in hand.
The cases cited by MJN are cleverly constructed to teach conclusive research and sound reasoning. A year of reading his work, I hoped to meeting this man. I was not aware he is so popular. This gentleman has become
a Genealogical Star.
On Friday afternoon MJN was scheduled to speak in a huge tent (the Pavilion) the largest venue available at the SCGS Jamboree convention and it was standing room only!! His subject was
Re stacking the Blocks, Organizing Your Information. Reminding me of forensic research, MJN explained that he will organize his research chronologically, in family groupings, by locations and all acquaintances of the individual. By acquaintances he meant Witnesses of land deeds, witnesses of marriages, etc. MJN identified the evidence as secondary and/or hearsay such as family published books and census.
Very methodical, MJN will state the problem, devise a plan, carry out the plan and then review his work.
In an effort to assure the handouts were current, literature was passed out at the session. Somehow I missed the hand-outs, The presentation was that well populated.
My next opportunity to see MJN was 8:30 Saturday morning. (yawn). My roommate was starving Saturday morning and MJN was lecturing on migration from NJ to Ohio, not my path, so I skipped the class. I did not worry because I knew MJN was giving another class that I was even more anxious to attend.
Pig Blood in the Snow.
Imagine my surprise as I walked from Lisa Louise Cooke's live podcast to MJN's class and was refused entrance. A staff member was holding a sign, CLASS FULL and it was 5 minutes before the class start time. So I walked over to the BLOGGER's Lounge and relaxed. Later I was able to catch MJN in the breezeway between building and spend a few minutes to say hello. He truly took his popularity in stride.
Besides MJN's (I call him friend so I take the liberty to type in MJN) Casefiles he also hosts an annual group research trip to FHL in SLC.
I enjoy his case files. Reading these cases hones in my deductive reasoning and reminds me to always trust the genealogical tools and basic skills.
Well off to have more genealogical fun.......Ruth