NC SAR Genealogist and Halifax Resolves Chapter President David B. Gammon spoke to the Halifax Genealogical Society during their September meeting. His presentation was entitled “Testing Genealogy Theories”. To begin his presentation, Gammon gave all the participants a copy of a typical 19th century will of an older lady who left property to both children and grandchildren. Based on the will, he asked them to come up with series of theories about relationships within the family. From there he produced further records, including marriage records, additional wills, death certificates, and guardian records for the same family. By comparing the original will to the subsequent records, he asked the participants to test their theories to see if they held up, discarding the original theories or adjusting them. He concluded by reminding the audience that when we approach a primary source document, we should always posit theories about family relationships, but we should continue to test these theories by further research to see if they hold to be true.
Halifax Genealogical Society President Ray Sasser and NC SAR Genealogist David B. Gammon.