Sunday, October 12, 2008

Uses for Cluster Genealogy

Cluster genealogy can be used to -.

1. To break through a "brick wall". Using cluster genealogy, additional evidence is sought in data gathered from the records left by persons in the ancestor's cluster. For example, if the question is one of place of birth, researching the origins of the ancestor’s neighbors can be helpful. Unrelated family groups often migrated together or followed earlier migrations of neighbors or family members.

2. To build a genealogical proof. When constructing a genealogical proof, a genealogist must conduct a reasonably exhaustive search for all information that is or may be pertinent to the identity, relationship, event, or situation in question, including a search of records created by persons in the target ancestor's cluster.

3. To develop context for an ancestor's life. The facts of an ancestor's life are often meaningful only in the context of his cluster. For example, the fact that an ancestor was a Catholic is interesting; the fact that the ancestor and his family were the only Catholics in their community is intriguing.

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