Tutorial - Case Study - Hendrik Coenen

In this case study I'd like to show you just how Centurial supports your family research.

My research starts with this image of a gravestone of two of my ancestors, Hendrik Coenen and Anna Coenen-Meulenberg. I switch back to Centurial and I start by creating a new research project. Let's call it My Family. As you can see, it's completely empty. There are no sources and no persons.

To add the image of the gravestone as my first source, I select 'Add a source' from the sources menu. The first purpose of the dialog that pops up is to describe exactly what source I am using. In this case, I visited the cemetery personally to take this picture, so my source is the cemetery itself. I then fill out all the details about this cemetery. As you can see, while I was entering all details about this source, a nicely formatted source reference is being generated in the bottom left corner. This source reference is in accordance with the beautiful Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

When I press 'OK', a new source is added to the research project. I can close it, and then reopen it from the Source List.

The next step is to add the image file to the project. I could open the file, I could drag&drop it, but in this case I'll copy it into the project. As you can see, the file shows up inside Centurial. I can view the file in detail by double-clicking it, and I can go back by pressing this close button.

Next I start extracting the information that is available in this source. It is very important that I only enter claims that are explicitely stated, and that I try not to make any assumptions. I add a first person, and I enter Coenen as the family name, and then Hendrik as the nickname. The birth date is the 11th of june 1884, and he died on the 30th of september of 1962. Then I add a partner, for Meulenberg, Anna, born the first of january 1889, and she died on the second of june 1974.

When all information is extracted, we arrive at the step that makes Centurial unique: we correlate the information in this source with all the other available information in the research project. Since this is the first source, no other information is available. But let's go ahead anyway. As you can see, we now have two persons in the network diagram, and they are also showing up in the person list. We have entered our first source.

At FamilySearch.org, I find the birth register of the town of Voerendaal, and on page 30 I find the entry for the birth of Hendrik Coenen. I open the source dialog to add a new source. In this case, I am looking at a digital image of a vital record. So I first select the 'Digital Image' source type, and then for the second layer, I select 'Vital Record'. I then fill out as much of the fields as possible. I switch back to the digital image. I copy all the information on FamilySearch.org to the 'Credit Line' field. The purpose of the 'Repository' field is to make sure other researchers can relocate this source. In the repository browser, I add the FamilySearch.org website. As part of the website, I add the online collection. And I complete the fields for the digital image.

Again, I add the online image to the project. And I extract the available information. This time, when I correlate the information of this new source to the other information in the research project, Centurial combines the information about Hendrik Coenen from the two sources. As you can see, this results in one, larger family tree.

For each person, I can now view the available evidence by selecting the 'View Evidence' command from the context menu. In this view, I can inspect all evidence about Hendrik Coeken, and for each fact I can trace back where the information came from. I can navigate back to the source of this information. Or I can see how the information in this source was correlated.

When I go back to the evidence for Hendrik Coenen once more, I notice that there is conflicting evidence for his birth date. By pressing the 'Analyze' button for the birth date, I can analyze this further. The analysis dialog that pops up shows me the exact research question, and a list of all available evidence. After analyzing this evidence, I come to the conclusion that the 11th of july is the most plausible birth date, since the entries in the birth register are chronologically ordered. I update the fields to reflect this proof argument. As you can see, the new conclusion is now shown in the evidence view and in the network diagram. Later, when new evidence on the birth date of Hendrik Coenen is found, the analysis is automatically marked for review, so I can analyze this new information, and perhaps re-evaluate my conclusion.

Thank you for watching this case study. Hopefully it allowed you to gather an understanding of the way Centurial supports your genealogical research.