— Norman Moyes


One problem is the failure to have clearly in mind what we are selling. Our clients think we are selling a product (names in the temple, pedigree charts, family group sheets), whereas we might think we are selling services (research services). If you don’t agree that the client thinks he is paying for a product, just watch what happens after he has spent a certain amount of money (sometimes up to $300-$400 — each client differs and can be more or less extended — but only to any ultimate point [which all have] — by the type of report [what is said therein] he receives) with no resulting names, pedigree charts, etc.

Overall Objective — generation of new names

Any reporting should be a report of whether or not this was accomplished and if not why not, and if so, nothing else is necessary. [ All the words and materials would go to demonstrating that the new names were accurate and relevant. ]

1.  A moral responsibility? Any other kind? [ I probably should have said ethical.]
Some tangible record?, and what should be the deciding factors as to the type of tangible record? [Custom, tradition, style, taste, etc.]
What are the pros and cons of each of the following types of tangible records (considered separately as complete reports)?
a.  a current financial statement showing the number of research hours and expenses (and financial balance)
b.marriage entry and individual entry and/or family group and pedigree charts
c.a calendar of searches made accompanied by a copy of all extracts
d.a narrative of searches made and findings therefrom; i.e., “presentation” of the data
e.all of d. plus an interwoven analysis and interpretation of each of the central findings
f.a narrative in which a summary, analysis, and interpretation of central findings is made
2.Record of the tasks performed. Do you mean to imply a record that the tasks were performed or a record of what tasks were performed? [ Like in a “record of people born” we expect to find what/who. ]
3.Specifically what services are being paid for and/or requested? Is the client requesting research services, or is he requesting a product, such as, names in the temple, pedigree charts, family group sheets, or a written narrative? [ Any product should reflect services performed, though not necessarily commensurate. ]
4.Should this education be explicit or implicit, i.e., should there ge included some kind of exposition or delineation of what the genealogist provides, or should this be communicated by implication? [ A short explanation of a boiler-plate variety ought to be enough to the client who has done his homework. ]
5.Implied in this is that a mere report of time and expenses will somehow partially satisfy the client. [ The operative word here is partially. ]
6.This can be accomplished by “spelling out suggestions for further research;” if this isn’t done, what level of competency of the subsequent researcher should you write for? Subsequent steps and procedures might be recognized by an advanced researcher who knows his stuff just by his seeing what has already been done! [ True enough! Mea culpa. ]
7.Are there any other aspects of reporting which should be paid attention to? (I do not mean to imply anything specific. However, I am wary of fixed alternative lists which sometimes close thinking.)
8.By implication or by being explicitly stated? [ Probably depends on the perceived reasoning capacity of the client. ]
9.Definitely a possible problem. How does one avoid this without making everything explicit — especially to a “naive” client!? [ Possibly one might consider using a boiler-plate type introductory paragraph. ]
10.Embarrassment comes when we “know” or “feel” that we have not met “someone’s” standards (those whom we are about or have an invested interest in). A couple of reasons why a researcher might be embarrassed is:
a.  His client has expectations beyond which or of a different nature than he (the researcher) can meet, i.e., unrealistic expectations, and the researcher knows he hasn’t measured up
b.The client’s realistic expectations aren’t met because of incompetency or negligence (a form of incompentency) on the part of the researcher (the researcher generally wouldn’t admit this) and the researcher knows he hasn’t met them.
In either case the researcher would probably feel that the client’s expectations are unrealistic. In any event these two “causes” of researcher embarrassment imply two completely different solutions, or courses of action. What should generally be done by us professionals as a group (to the populace of clients as a whole) and as individual researchers (to our specific clients) to alleviate the condition of unrealistic expectations, of incompetence of ourselves, and/or other researchers (which only feeds and perpetuates unrealistic expectations on the part of clients and potential clients (as the researcher would probably not be educating his client as to what is realistic [since he, the researcher, probably doesn’t know or is very defensive about it], and/or the client would probably not be receiving results with high enough quality on which to base a self-adjustment).
11.Not necessarily so, as per #10. Would you agree to an implication that if the better one is at creative and expository writing the less competent he has to be as a genealogist, and to the corresponding but opposite implication that the more competent a genealogist is the less adequate he has to be as a writer? Can an inverse relationship exist between these two variables in maintaining good client-genealogist relationship? [ As with #10 to a great extent, yes. But this tendency should not be exploited by an ethical researcher. ]
12.Is it possible to “prove” a connection by the “negative” or “inverse method,” i.e., with no explicitly positive and affirming evidence and only by implication, but with no contrary or refuting evidence? In other words, is it possible to proceed by specifically and singly searching for contradictory evidence (of course after exhausting all or most sources for positive evidence)? What hypothesis needed refuting? [ There would not be “proof” in any strong sense. The text talks of a hypothesis being confirmed. This one would be negative and the searches made to attempt a confirmation. If the hypothesis had been stated in negative terms, you would be attempting a refutation, but either would have failed. ]
13.Only to those who “have eyes to see” as per #6
14.I don’t see how you can avoid calling resulting negative evidence to a positive hypothesis or positive evidence to a negative hypothesis negative! [ I admit it is not clear. The idea is that affirmation of a negative hypothesis is a positive result as is also the refutation of a negative hypothesis. This is “positive” only in the sense that it carries the research program forward. ]
15.Some searches might result in a decrease in knowledge, e.g., all evidence accumulated thus far points to a specific conclusion (e.g., John McDonald seems to have emigrated from Springdale, Stirlingshire, Scotland with a Berean colony about 1821, his name is Scottish, he lived in the Berean colony on the frontiers of Illinois, land records show he acquired land during the same time as immigrants in the colony (these state he is of this particular county), etc.; and then through the next specific research step (through “combing” very carefully through a well-written and well-documented history of this colony, wherein is published a list of all those who came from Scotland with the colony), you find that John McDonald was not one of the group that immigrated. (Incidentally, John McDonald died in 1827, leaving a widow and two children ages four and two who all died before 1880.) Now what do you know? This “find” might necessitate a “changing of gears,” “back to the drawing board.” [ Here again, knowledge is increased, though you might state it in negative terms when you try to relate that knowledge directly to the individual under investigation. ]
16.What do you mean? [ How does it relate to principles learned from those endeavors? You point this out in your response to #17. ]
17.Very good question. The strongest “evidence” that we have that a person’s ancestors (as a group) existed is the fact that the person exists and biological “facts” tell us how he came about to be in the body. However, this evidence isn’t strong enough to specifically identify those people as separate, distinct identities, as socio-cultural factors have intervened; e.g., patterns of child rearing: i.e., who raises the child — the mother’s brother, the shaman, the biological parents, etc? from whom does the individual take his last name — the father, the mother, the maternal grandmother? from whence is his birthdate reckoned — from the date of his birth, from the date of his conception, or from som magical, mythical date? what name does he go by — his public name, his family name, his private name? etc. [ The question is what are the essential pieces of evidence. ]