Are You Leveling Up Your Genealogy Research?

Do you follow Dutch Genealogy blogger Yvette Hoitink, CG? If you don’t, you should as many of her tips apply to non-Dutch genealogy research.

I’ve been intrigued by many of her posts, one of which is her determination to prove by modern standards her descent from Eleanor of Aquitaine (who happens to be one of my ancestors, too.)

The other is the subject of today’s post – “leveling up” our genealogy research, as Yvette describes it.

The process is simple. I think when everyone starts digging into his/her family history, we are excited by the discovery of names because names identify those who came before us.

However, name collecting, as exciting as it is adding to the numbers in our family tree, tells us nothing about what the lives of our ancestors were like.

Yvette’s Level Up challenge adds details to the stories of our ancestors.

Yvette’s Levels

Each level is easily understood, ranging from 0, when even the ancestor’s name is unknown, to Level 4, by which time the ancestor’s name is known, vital statistics have been found, and occupations, residence and family members are identified along with religion, property ownership and military service.

Level 5: Genealogical Proof Standard is asking whether the pieces of documentation of the ancestor’s life meet today’s standards of proof. Are there documents proving each of these facts or is something just family lore?

Level 6: Biography is the last step, whereby the information can be assembled to tell the ancestor’s life story.

For several years, Yvette has been reviewing her own progress in her Level Up challenge, as she works through each member of her family tree, which extends back eleven generations.

As I am working through my own genealogy software clean up project – my major goal for 2023 – it’s not just errors or source citations that catch my attention.

I am also tracking down missing details that are part of the Level Up challenge to expand my knowledge about the lives of each of my ancestors.

I highly recommend that you, too, try the Level Up challenge!

Thank you, Yvette, for sharing an excellent research and documentation process!



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