This Case Study accompanies a Board for Certification presentation as part of the 2022 Joy Reisinger Memorial Lecture Series hosted by Legacy Family Tree Webinars.
1) Webinar here
2) Handout (see download section below)
3) Worksheet (see download section below)
Brief Background for George Joyce
• Estimated birth ~1767 perhaps in Northern Ireland
• 1789 – taxed in PA
• No known siblings
• Married twice
• 9 children
• Not Quaker / Friend, perhaps Presbyterian
• Died in 1807 in Menallen Township, Adams County, PA
• Connected by Y DNA to Joyces in NC and VA
Sampling of Records for George Joyce
* Pennsylvania Tax Records
* US Censuses and Pennsylvania Septennial Census
* Guardianship for his children
* Multiple deeds & a Mortgage
* Quarter Session Docket
* Quaker Meeting Notes
Check out the five steps below that mirror the description in the NGS Magazine article. These steps are:
#1 - Identify the Research Question
#2 - Define the Topic
#3 - Create Keywords
#4 - Identify Resources and Scan the Titles and Abstracts
#5 - Consult. Explore. Discover!
Define the Lit Review Topic
There are many potential Literature Review topics for the George Joyce Case Study. And that is a good thing because then there is a lot to explore. Just a few of the potential Lit Review topics for George Joyce may include:
1) There appeared to be no other people with the Joyce surname in the Menallen Township general area where George lived. Therefore it seems as if he was there alone. "Lone" ancestors is a theme often confronted by genealogists, and therefore could be a topic others have written about, or presented on. So this Lit Review topic will be "Lone Ancestors."
2) George Joyce was probably not born and raised in the Menallen Township area. One of his children indicated that George was born in Ireland. Y DNA points to Northern Ireland though, of course, that could be many generations back. There are Joyce men in North Carolina and Virginia in the earlier part of the century with Y DNA connections to George. George may have been born in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Northern Ireland, or some other place. Thus, his origins are unidentified. So, this Lit Review topic will be that of "Unknown Origins."
3) George seemed to hold no official role in his community. He was not a Justice of the Peace and didn't seem to act politically. However, it does seem that he served perhaps as an elder or friend to many despite his young age. He served as the administrator to multiple estates. He was a witness on many deeds and wills. He even served as a power of attorney. All for different people. George seemed very connected and thus has a large FAN club. Thus, this Lit Review topic will focus on how "FAN Clubs" have solved relationship questions.
For the sake of this case study example, we will focus on the FAN Club Lit Review topic.
What other Lit Review topics can you think of for George Joyce?
Identify the topic as a brick wall
Identifying keywords is a critical part to making a Lit Review successful. In some cases, those keywords will be easy to select and not in others. Often, the keywords will be a part of the Lit Review topic you identified in Step #2.
Once you have a few keywords, expand on them by thinking of synonyms to them. For the George Joyce case the Lit Review topic is the FAN club. Therefore our keywords will certainly include FAN, Friend, Associate, and Neighbor. Now, what synonyms are there for those words? For the acronym FAN, we could also consider cluster and network.
Our initial set of keywords for George Joyce and the FAN club Lit Review topic will be:
* FAN, Friend Associate, Neighbor
* Cluster, Network, Indirect (for any indirect evidence cases that may help)
* Probate, witness, administrator (because George appears in a role for others in these events and roles)
Ideas for keywords continue as you research though. So, don't stop here. As you work through Step #4, additional keywords will become evident when you read article titles, abstracts, and introductions. So, keep adding to your list and iterating the steps.
Resources should be targeted based on the Lit Review topic and the keywords identified. The resources may change with each Lit Review conducted. For George Joyce, case studies are the most likely to help us. Those are usually found in genealogical journals and webinars.
We will focus on two of those immediately, and then broaden it as needed.
1) The National Genealogical Society Quarterly
2) Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Both of these resources offer a plethora of material and there is a good chance that there will be case studies that include our keywords. The handout (see below for a download) provides instruction for how to access many of the better known genealogical resources.
National Genealogical Society Quarterly has many articles with case studies on the FAN club. Using an index created for personal use that not only includes the author and title, but also the transcribed abstract and introduction, over a dozen articles qualify to be scanned with FAN club material.
Legacy Family Tree Webinars offers great categories and subcategories for its webinars. The category of use for us in the George Joyce Case is titled Methodology and it even has a subcategory titled FAN club. That subcategory has twelve webinars all of which may help the George Joyce case.
All of these NGSQ articles and LFTW webinars will be scanned and determined to include or exclude them for the next step.
Identify potential resources
Consult. Explore. Discover!
This is the best part where you are consulting a resource, exploring it, and then discovering how to take the specific information from those, to convert to general knowledge and apply to your brick wall or contextual research.
In the case of George Joyce, one of the articles consulted was by Warren Bittner:
F. Warren Bittner, CG, “Pity the Poor Pfuhl: The Bavarian Origin of Lorenz Full of Lake County, Indiana,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, March 2018, Volume 106, 19-34.
This article has at least nine specific techniques that Bittner used which can be generalized and potentially used to help solve the George Joyce case. These are:
•Collecting names of all FAN club members
•Reverse FAN Club
•FAN club from current or previous locale
•FAN Club of children
•Geographic proximity (early)
•Similarly aged people
•Length of association
Good luck and have fun conducting a Literature Review that works best for you in your research situation.
If you are interested in learning more about utilizing Literature Reviews, these resources may be of interest to you:
“Ch. 3-Standards for Researching.” Genealogy Standards. Nashville, TN: Ancestry.com, 2019. Specifically, see standards 9, 12, 13, 14, and 17.
Henderson, Harold, CG. “Research Procedures.” In Elizabeth Shown Mills, ed. Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practices, and Standards. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Col, 2018: 324-325.
Joyce, Jan, DBA, CG®, CGL(SM), AG®, “Literatures Reviews are not just for Academicians! Advance Your Genealogy Research,” Crossroads Magazine, V 16, no 1 (Winter 2021): 28-32. (Subscription required: https://ugagenealogy.org/fileDownload.php?cid=12&sid=2 : accessed 16 March 2022.) Login to view or click here.
Liu, Jessica. “How to Write a Literature Review: 3 Minute Step-by-Step Guide,” YouTube Channel for Scribbr, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIYC6zG265E : 03 April 2020).
“Literature Reviews.” John C. Fant Memorial Library; Mississippi University for Women LibGuides: (https://libguides.muw.edu/litreviews : posted 19 November 2020).
Mills, Elizabeth Shown, CG, CGL. “Context: A Powerful Tool for Problem Solving, (a 2021 Reisinger Lecture).” Legacy Family Tree Webinars. (https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar/context-a-powerful-tool-for-problem-solving/ : 08 October 2021).
________. “QuickLesson 8: What Constitutes Proof?” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage. (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-8-what-constitutes-proof : accessed 08 October 2021).