ProGen Study Group #7

Tuesday, 3 Feb 2009 | by Mark Tucker

Oh how the months go by.  Back in October 2008, we completed ProGen Study group assignment #7 and I am just getting around to blogging about it.

The original plan was to cover Chapters 14 and 15 of ProGen, but that proved to be too big of an assignment, so we tackled only one chapter.

You can find this in Professional Genealogy in:

  • Chapter 14 - Problem Analysis and Research Plans by Helen F. M. Leary, CG, CGL, FASG

The chapter discusses two different types of analysis: preliminary and detailed.

Preliminary Analysis

The purpose of the preliminary analysis phase is to determine if the professional researcher should accept an assignment or not.  During this phase we should:

  1. See if the work requested matches our business plan
  2. Determine if the project fits in with our time and fee schedules
  3. Consider the consequences of accepting or declining the project and what additional details might be needed to make a final decision

Detailed Analysis

Once the project is accepted and before any research begins,  we need to analyze the available information and create a research plan.  This is the purpose of the detailed analysis phase.

During this phase it is helpful to make a series of lists including 1) Questions to ask the client, 2) Things to Find Out and 3) Records to check.  Time is spent identifing the principal person that is the subject of the project and as much information about that person as possible including:

  • Alternative name spellings
  • Known birth, marriage, and death facts
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Places of residence
  • Major life event for project

The chapter also briefly discusses mathematical analysis, time-line analysis, psychological analysis, and client-skill analysis.  In addition it mentions different types of “studies”: handwriting, land-records, and whole-family (or neighborhood).

Research Plans

The last part of the chapter discusses the development of a research plan.

I found this chapter very helpful especially as a prepared for a presentation in November 2008 that included a case study of my great-grandfather, Worth Tucker.

The assignment was to pick a research problem, do a preliminary analysis and develop a research plan.

My completed homework assignment can be found here (Word document, 100 KB).

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