Genealogy Studies Program

The Use of Patterns to Draw Conclusive Evidence

With a wealth of data at our fingertips, it is often easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information and lose sight of what may be right in front of us.

In a recent study, an international team of researchers crunched three major databases, gathering the birth and death places of notable artists, politicians, and scientists to see if they could map cultural evolution in North America. This map shows the birth places of those people in blue, and their death places in red.

The thought process behind this method was that “Death is certainly not random, in the sense that people tend to die where they migrate to perform their art,” said Albert-László Barabási (Boston Globe).

So how is this applicable to us? It is a reminder that throughout our genealogical research, a small detail can show a large trend. By thinking outside the box, we will allow ourselves to gain vast insight and knowledge from something that may have been previously overlooked.

To see the full article and findings from the Boston Globe, click here.