Tag Archives: The Scientific Method

Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 8)

When does the use of The Scientific Method to conduct genealogical research fail to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard? Continue reading

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Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 7)

As I have shown in the previous six installments of this series, The Scientific Method can be used to help answer genealogical questions. The Scientific Method provides a logical framework to answer questions that can be addressed with a testable hypothesis. Although the steps or stages of the scientific method, a summary of the steps that works well when attempting to answer a genealogical question includes the following steps: Continue reading

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Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 6)

My cousin and I used The Scientific Method to answer our initial question: Where is Bertha Danko buried? Our first hypothesis was that Bertha Danko is buried in an unmarked grave in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts. Our second hypothesis was that Bertha’s death record includes her place of burial. Our third hypothesis was that the location of Bertha’s grave is mentioned in the records of her undertaker, Lucian Karolkiewicz. Our fourth hypothesis was that Bronislawa was buried at Notre Dame Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts. We could not find evidence to support any of these hypotheses, although we could disprove only the second hypotheses. One or more of the other three hypotheses could still be correct. Continue reading

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Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 5)

While using The Scientific Method to answer the question of where Bertha Danko is buried, my cousin and I tested our first hypothesis that Bertha Danko is buried in an unmarked grave in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts. We then tested a second hypothesis that Bertha’s death record includes her place of burial. We proceeded to develop and test a third hypothesis that the location of Bertha’s grave is mentioned in the records of her undertaker, Lucian Karolkiewicz. Continue reading

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Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 4)

My cousin and I attempted to use The Scientific Method to answer the question of where Bertha Danko is buried. In the first iteration of The Scientific Method, we tested the hypothesis that Bertha Danko is buried in an unmarked grave in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts. We were not able to prove the first hypothesis, and so we conducted a second iteration where we tested the hypothesis that Bertha’s death record includes her place of burial. We were not able to prove the second hypothesis, but we learned that Bertha Danko’s name was actually Bronislawa Danko, and that Bronislawa was buried by the undertaker Lucian Karolkiewicz. Continue reading

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Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 3)

My cousin and I attempted to use The Scientific Method to answer the question of where Bertha Danko is buried. At the end of the first iteration of The Scientific Method where we tested the hypothesis that Bertha Danko is buried in an unmarked grave in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts, we concluded that either Bertha Danko is not buried in Hope Cemetery, there is an error or omission in the cemetery records, or the clerk at the cemetery did not conduct an accurate and thorough search. Continue reading

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Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 2)

I started off this series with a description of The Scientific Method and posed two questions. When should a genealogist apply The Scientific Method to a genealogical research problem? How does one go about doing so? What follows is a description of how my cousin and I used the scientific method to answer a question about our own family: Where is our Aunt Bertha Danko buried? Continue reading

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Applying The Scientific Method to Genealogical Research (Part 1)

Kimberly Powell described genealogy as “North America’s Fastest Growing Hobby.” While that is probably true, I personally consider genealogy to be more than just a hobby. When considered as an academic discipline, genealogy is generally classified with the humanities (studies of the human condition). Academic studies in the humanities often rely on observation, analysis, and speculation to achieve their goals and, indeed, genealogy appears to fall into that category. Continue reading

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