Monday, August 10, 2009

Methodology Monday with Nancy (Donnally) Bane

On her web site, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack posts some past articles, including an interesting and easy-to-follow account of her research into a mentally ill woman in the 1880 census: "Mania -- and Nancy Bane: Identifying the Family of Nancy (Donnally) Bane, Inmate at the Central Ohio Lunatic Asylum and the Athens Insane Asylum," The American Genealogist 79 (Jan.-April 2004):121-34.

There's no particularly intricate logic or much indirect evidence here, just persistent and knowledgeable digging, and careful elimination of near-matches. It's a good research model and a good read (be prepared to learn a few unpalatable things about late-19th-century "treatments" for mental illness), and a reminder that TAG, one of the top-notch magazines in the field, is open to more than just articles about the English origins of New England colonists!

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