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Negative Space: How Genealogy Gaps Can Help Your Tree Flourish


Did you know that if your ancestor died aged 60, they were alive for nearly 22,000 days? If you’re lucky, you probably know what they were doing and where they were on perhaps 10 – 20 of those. So why aren’t we spending more time thinking about what the gaps in our family history research are telling us? Those gaps – known as NEGATIVE SPACE – matter, because they can completely change our impression of what our ancestors’ stories actually are.

So let us introduce you to Dr. Sophie Kay's technique called the Negative Space Approach. She is going to throw our research gaps into the spotlight and use them as clues to transform brick walls into assets that can direct and shape our onward research. We’ll harness the power of negative space to sharpen our searches, reduce bias & boost our critical thinking…and open our eyes to the real stories of those that came before us.

Whatever your level of experience, wherever you’re from, we hope this session will transform the way you look at your family history research.

This talk will be recorded and available to watch for 2 weeks if you book in advance.

About the speaker: Dr. Sophie Kay is a professional genealogist, geneticist and AGRA Associate at Khronicle®. You may know her from her family history blog, The Parchment Rustler or from avid discussions during Twitter’s Ancestry Hour, where she is part of the behind-the-scenes team. She is also a tutor for Pharos Tutors, where she teaches historical mapping techniques.  

Sophie’s previous life as a research scientist means she is as happy chatting about genetics as she is delving into historical records. Her specialisms include maps, genetics/DNA, historical occupations & research methodology. 

She is the creator of the Outlier Method and Concentric Survey techniques for historical mapping; the Negative Space method for gap analysis in family history research; and the #OccupationOfTheDay hashtag on Twitter, which aims to get researchers talking about the jobs and working lives that appear in their family tree. 

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