I attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) 2018. One of the sessions was taught by Diana Elder, AG and she used an example with a case study of Mary Ann French. The surname French is very familiar to me, as the French family are my ancestors! It turns out Mary Ann French is my 6th great aunt on my father’s side. She is the daughter of James French. Diana Elder’s husband is descended from Mary Ann French, and I am descended from Mary Ann’s brother, Thomas French. This makes James French, father of both Mary Ann and Thomas, my 6th great grandfather.
French leads down to Mary Ellen French, who married John David Ray; these are the parents of Sarah Catherine Ray, who is the mother of Virginia Vessels. The French family is one of many of the Catholic clans who moved from Maryland to Kentucky in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
Diana Elder, AG is an Accredited Genealogist. She did a full research report to prove the father of Mary Ann French. Her research report was the example in her class session of how to write a research report, which I attended at SLIG 2018.
A research report is something a professional genealogist will write up for their client. In Diana’s case, it was a report she wrote for her husband’s ancestors, and if I remember correctly she used it as part of her Accreditation to become an Accredited Genealogist. Many also recommend writing a research report for many research questions that come up in one’s own family tree. In other words, to prove my logic and reasoning on why I say this person is the child of that person, a research report is recommended, so that future generations do not repeat my research, and also have access to the sources I cite in my family tree and in my research reports.
I got permission from Diana Elder to provide a link to her website, so that you can also view her professional Research Report.
Her home page on her website is at family locket. Her services as a Professional Genealogist are at the link here. And if you scroll on down, you will see a link to the Mary Ann French Bryan Atwood research report as a PDF file.
If you are curious about what a research report looks like, read this PDF report. She provides sources that back up her research. Of course, she’s already done some excellent research, and I can use those same sources for my own research, which proves some facts I did not already have. I am grateful for Diana Elder’s research, and with her permission I provide a link to her research report in this post.
I have not yet really written a full research report for any of my ancestors. I will most definitely do so in the future. When I work through the ProGen online study group, mentioned earlier in this blog, I will do at least one research report. Also, should I choose to become a Certified Genealogist in the future, I will need to write more than one research report to achieve that accreditation.
If anyone is confused by some of the alphabet soup, let me clarify that an AG is an Accredited Genealogist, and a CG is a Certified Genealogist, two of the common ways to become “licensed” as it were to be a Professional in the field of Genealogy.
Read Diana’s report, and enjoy! I endeavor to write some reports myself in the future.