Selection of the Familial line for the KDP

bode Fam3I have struggled with the selection of the familial line for the Kinship Determination Project (KDP) for my certification portfolio.  Only recently I have come to a final conclusion and I thought I would share my thought process.

Step 1: selected my proof topic

I do not have a lot of complicated proofs; most lend themselves to proof summaries.  I do not have ancestors that were in this country before 1850 (the “tick mark censuses) and the village of origin was pretty clearly stated by all immigrants during their lifetime and it was corroborated by direct evidence in the original parish records.  Few (almost none) screwed up their birth dates or divorced and changed their names etc.  I have a few “problems” that fall outside that norm so I selected one of just the few.  It is in my Swedish side of the family.  This eliminated this line for consideration in other items for the portfolio due to the requirement that there be familial no overlap.

Step 2: selected the KDP lineage

This was more difficult.  I had many choices but none seemed to be a story I wanted to tell.  I listened to Judy Russell’s BCG presentation on KDPs (not yet online) and was inspired to look for the story.  Then serendipity stepped in.  While flying back from a business trip, I read the assigned article for the NGSQ study group for October.  I finished that article  and idly went on to read the next.  About half way through that article I realized that the organization of article was similar to one I could use for my KDP.  The organization was so clear and carefully laid out, I got very excited.  It followed an immigrant to the United States with two additional generations. Since my family entered the US starting in the mid-1800s, any three generation study almost had to include an immigrant.

I pulled out my computer (not easy with the leg room you have on an airplane these days) and wrote out the outline in generic form.  Then, using the generic outline, I outlined each familial line that I could use for the KDP.  I laid out four options; two were quickly deleted from consideration. Two remained. I developed each a little more and decided on my mother’s paternal line from the immigrant forward.  That lineage seemed to layout easier and better than the others. It was also one I could get excited about writing.  I had already decided to do a descending genealogical summary because the layout of the summary seems easier for me to understand.  I get lost with the ascending type.

Step 3: select the document for transcription

Now you can select the document for transcription.  I had tried to select this first and had a couple of documents transcribed.  I just combed through my exhibits and picked one where I had not used that family line for other work.  That was the one I used.

Step 4: start identifying gaps

The three generation KDP was going to involve a grand-uncle who I had done some work on but not enough.  He is rather famous and so I started looking for his papers which I found in Special Collections all over the Midwest.  Fun!  I now feel I have a good plan with few gaps.  The Case Study (proof argument) is also missing some information which I hope to gather at SLC when I go in January.

So that’s what I did.  Your path will differ because your parameters are different.  Nevertheless, a plan going forward is a great relief. I also would love to get started writing but a few other things are intervening.  I can tell I need to prioritize my portfolio which I am not doing a very good job at…..yet.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting:  The month I publish the SGS Bulletin is always one with few postings.  I just cannot get that much done and still get paid in my day job!  The Bulletin is now to the mailing service and I am very proud of it–we themed it on the Ethnic Communities of the Northwest.  Five writers wrote on Native Americans, African Americans, Nordic, Japanese and Chinese.  Starting on 8 November, I am speaking 3x at the Washington Family History Fair 2014, SGS (the 9th), the University of Washington Retirees Association (the 10th) and to the Stillaquamish Genealogical Society (the 11th).  Whew!– I am totally psyched!  This will be so much fun. (all that speaking in high school speech contests is paying off!)  I checked out a book called Sustainable Genealogy: Solving your Family Myths and Legends by Hite.  I will be writing a book review on it for this blog so stay tuned. (one of my presentations this coming weekend is on “Solving Family Myths Using the Principles of Logic.”  Thanks to Jean Wilcox Hibben CG for her wise counsel on that one.

I am also starting to book lectures for next winter and spring.  If anyone wants to talk to me about lecturing, let me know…..I would be excited about talking to your group!


6 comments on “Selection of the Familial line for the KDP

  1. jennylanctot says:


    I’m so excited reading about your journey to certification! I’m also curious to know which NGSQ article it was that led to your epiphany. I am trying to get mentally prepared for a KDP (though it’s still a while into the future), and I would love to get a head start gathering ideas now.


    • Jill Morelli says:

      The article from NGSQ which so inspired me was:

      Karen Mauer Green, CG, “Illegitimacy, Desertion, and Divorce: Using Indirect Evidence to Find Nicholas Mauer of Dromersheim, National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 99 (June 2011): 97-114.

      I have no illegitimacy, desertion or divorce in the three generations I selected 🙂 —nor is it a proof argument that I am writing. In spite of the content disconnect, I found that this particular article formed a nice framework for the narrative at the beginning of my KDP which I was having trouble writing. I also often start writing in the middle of any article I am working on and I didn’t even “a middle to start at”.

      The basic outline of this article was:
      1. Opening paragraphs (a good guide for these paragraphs is Warren Bittner’s Jamb-inc. session on Proof Arguments from the 2012 NGS Conference)
      2. Basic family story
      3. Country of origin
      4. Village of origin
      5. Mauer the immigrant (the “push”)
      6. Mouer in Evansville, US
      7. Life after Divorce (not applicable to me)
      8. Choosing Minnesota (the “pull”)
      9. Conclusion

      It just seemed to work for me.

      I probably read this article 2 previous times but inspiration comes when you are ready for it. This time I was ready.

      Have a great day and thanks for reading my blog.


  2. scrappygen says:

    Jill, I have been enjoying your posts. Thank you for sharing your journey and being an inspiration for those of us who haven’t started that clock. Jennifer

  3. Mary Swenson says:

    You are a rock star, imho!

  4. annette572 says:

    Jill, thanks for this post. It’s helped me clarify my thinking about the process of selection for each element of the portfolio. The way you’ve laid it out makes very good sense.


    • Jill Morelli says:

      Thanks, Annette. I suspect everyone goes about the selection process differently. I envy those who know on Day One what each segment is. I thought I did and I changed my mind on the transcription twice and the KDP 3 times! Only the proof has stayed the same.

      Have a good day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s