Let’s Practice Our Narrative Lineage’s! Motivation Monday

I’m currently working on being a Certified Genealogist (CG).  There are 7 parts, and the one I’m currently working on is the KDP or Kinship Determination Project.  I can’t publish my work as I go along, but I thought if I did a parallel project and published the process it might help me figure out issues with the one I will turn in.

A KDP can be a narrative lineage (the simplest one!) that traces three generations and has at least two proof statements of parentage as well as a narration of the couple’s lives.

I’m going to being with my great grandmother, Laura Cecile Donald Gillespie.

Granny Laura and her Dog, about 1950.  Granny was 73 years old.  This looks like it was taken at 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia.
Granny Laura and her Dog, about 1950. Granny was 73 years old. This looks like it was taken at 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia.

Laura was the youngest living child of James and Elizabeth (Wallace) Donald.  She was born in 1877 and lived 87 years.

I’m going to use the format that Connie Leizen, CGSM  did in her paper:  The Maternal Line of Elizabeth (Niesz) TitusYou can find other samples of BCG’s page Sample Work Product

For certification, you need to trace three couples, and you need to include at least:

  1. Intro
  2. General Vital Summary
  3. Proof/Discussion of Parentage
  4. Children
  5. Narrative of Life

Today, let’s look at the General Vital Summary.  (There has to be a better name than this, I’m sure.)

1.Laura Cecile Donald was born on 13 February 1877 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and died 23 August 1864 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.1 On 24 January, 1894 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, Laura married Wyatt Paul Gillespie.2 He was born 15 July 1865 in Amherst County, Virginia, the son of Jeremiah and Mary (Gillespie) Gillespie,3 and died on 19 February 1941 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.4   Laura and Wyatt are buried in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. 5

So for any person you describe you need to know AND document:

  1. Name (full name)
  2. Birth date and place
  3. Death date and place (burial place if you have it)
  4. Marriage place, date and spouse’s name.
  5. Spouse’s birth date, parents and death date.

Now I know I have better documentation on some of these facts.  I have to go find it.  Oh yes, we are digging back into them early genealogy days of bad organization and documentation.

Now these posts are not meant to be definitive answers on what the pieces of a narrative lineage is, but instead and opportunity to allow me to work through the pieces.  If you have thoughts, comments or questions, I’d be glad to hear them.


[1] Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery (Rockbridge County, Virginia), Wyatt Paul and Laura Donald Gillespie Tombstone; photographed by Anne Gillespie Mitchell, 1 August 2010.
[2] Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, Certification of Vital Records, Marriage Certificate, Wyatt Paul Gillespie, Laura Cecil Donald, 24 Jan 1894, Rockbridge, Virginia; Department of Health – Division of Vital Records, Richmond, Virginia. (Is this citation right?)
[3] Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, Certification of Vital Records, Marriage Certificate, Wyatt Paul Gillespie, Laura Cecil Donald, 24 Jan 1894, Rockbridge, Virginia; Department of Health – Division of Vital Records, Richmond, Virginia. (What is the short version of this?)
[4] Stonewall Jackson Cemetery (Rockbridge Co., Virginia), Wyatt Paul tombstone.
[5] Stonewall Jackson Cemetery (Rockbridge Co., Virginia), Wyatt Paul tombstone.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Practice Our Narrative Lineage’s! Motivation Monday”

  1. I don’t have a CG, or anything like that, but I can share with you what kind of proof the DAR likes. Those certifications of Vital Records are gold to the DAR. Tombstones they take as corroborating evidence, but better proof to them are Wills, Family Bibles, newspaper obituaries, and official church records. And Oh, I really sympathize about the early days of bad organization and documentation. My 3 x g grandmother is in the Family Bible as a single initial. Go figure.

    I really admire your starting down this educational path. I hope it is a lot of fun!

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