Tonight: More Tools for Brick Wall Smashing

Thursday, May 21, 2015
5:45 p.m.
502 West Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton

“Re-Branded Lives: Tracking Name Changes”

Presenter: Kathryn Miller Marshall, Ph.D.

Do you have mystery ancestors whose invisible trail through time has driven you to distraction? Every genealogist eventually runs across a Brick Wall case in which the ancestor seems to have literally disappeared. Research responses include the usual tactics: puzzling over name variants, typos, transcription errors, and mishearing of names by census enumerators.

But what if names have been changed intentionally? Your ancestor may have had one of many reasons for such action. Forbidden romance, adoption, debts, criminal records, avoiding military service, religious persecution, and national quotas have been common motives for selectively filtering or modifying information about oneself over time.

Returning for an encore following her February presentation, Dr. Marshall will show us techniques for tracking intentional name changers in these different scenarios during tonight’s membership meeting. The principles she will describe are important to problem solving about elusive ancestors, resolving contradictory claims about family lines, and recognizing if a same-named individual is part of your family line or actually belongs to another’s ancestry.

Please consider yourself invited to join us for this evening’s presentation, and to invite a friend, as well. Come early to enjoy refreshments and an opportunity to socialize with fellow members before the beginning of our 5:45 p.m. business meeting.

Tonight’s meeting will be the last in our Society’s regular spring line-up. Next month is our annual potluck dinner. The meeting location will be sent to members in the monthly newsletter.

We will resume our evening meetings at the Troke Library after our summer break, with our first fall presentation scheduled for Thursday, September 17.

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Do you have mystery ancestors whose invisible trail through time has driven you to distraction? Every genealogist eventually runs across a Brick Wall case in which the ancestor seems to have literally disappeared. Research responses include the usual tactics: puzzling over name variants, typos, transcription errors, and mis-hearing of names by census enumerators.
But what if names have been changed intentionally? Your ancestor may have had one of many reasons for such action. Forbidden romance, adoption, debts, criminal records, avoiding military service, religious persecution, and national quotas have been common motives for selectively filtering or modifying information about oneself over time.
Returning for an encore following her February presentation, Dr. Marshall will show us techniques for tracking intentional name changers in these different scenarios. The principles she will describe are important to problem solving about elusive ancestors, resolving contradictory claims about family lines, and recognizing if a same-named individual is part of your family line or actually belongs to another’s ancestry.
Tonight’s meeting will be the last in our Society’s Spring line-up. Next month is our annual potluck dinner. The meeting location will be sent to members in the monthly newsletter.
We will resume our evening meetings at the Troke Library after our summer break, with our next presentation scheduled for Thursday, September 17.

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