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Module 1’s group activity was to outline our research plan that we would then get feedback on and hopefully develop into assignment 4. We had to address the questions of: 1. What are your research questions? (What is it you are trying to find out?) 2. What do you already know? 3. What are some of the records you might use for your research? and 4. Where will you find these records?

My first research plan was in regards to my 2x great grandfather Walter Henry Leiper, and who his father might have been. Answering number 1 was easy.
1. What are your research questions? (What is it you are trying to find out?)
Could Walter Henry Leiper’s father be Andrew Leiper/Eliper as his birth certificate named him to be, especially given the circumstances surrounding the family in the previous 10 years?
Where was Andrew Leiper between his first child’s birth in 1856 and evidence of him not being with his wife in 1859?
Where was Andrew Leiper in 1861 if he was not with his wife and child, causing the child to be placed in a children’s asylum?
If Andrew Leiper has not been with his wife in 1856 and 1861, what evidence is there that he returned to his wife in March of 1864 to enable him to be the father of Walter?
If Andrew Leiper can not be the father of Walter Leiper due to geographical location or death, what can be determined about Walter’s father through DNA testing.
Answering question 2 (What do you already know?) was easy enough as well, but I won’t go into that again here as I’ve already touched on him in this blog.
Answering questions 3 and 4 however were next to impossible for me given how much research I’ve done into Walter and his named father over the years.

So, I decided to switch to someone else.

My second research plan looks at my great grand aunt, who I affectionately call Mystery Linda, and have talked about before on this blog.
1. What are your research questions? (What is it you are trying to find out?)
Determine the circumstances leading up to 20 January 1908 regarding the child Linda and her “new” parents, George MacDONALD & Helen MARSHALL
What need did George & Helen have to take on a child aged almost 9 at a time when their own children were all aged over 16?

What need did Linda have to be placed with a family, and to remain with them long enough to take on their surname and to think of George & Helen as her parents for later lifetime events?
Answering question 2 (What do you already know?) again was easy, and again I won’t go into that again here.

Answering question 3 & 4 this time were easier however.
3. What are some of the records you might use for your research?
Admission Registers for Schools – however given that Linda was enrolled into the first class in 1908, searching for school admission records prior to 1908 will likely prove fruitless. Also, what surname would she have been known with?
Admission Register for Orphanages – what surname to look for? what dates to search for admission?
Index of Births Deaths & Marriages Queensland and New South Wales – although birth place is given as Brisbane, this may not be accurate. Identify any female born around the right time and track their vital events to rule them out as being potential candidates
Newspapers – search for adverts regarding a need to place older children in service, search for adverts requesting a child suitable for home service help

4. Where will you find these records?
Queensland State Archives
Find and Connect
State Library of Queensland
Online Indexes of Births Deaths and Marriages for Queensland and  New South Wales
Trove Newspapers

I have some digging to do among Queensland State Archives and need to talk with Find and Connect within the week, and depending on the outcome of those, I may have to find yet another person to focus on for my research plan. I’m actually tempted to pick someone I’ve already decently researched and know the answers for and basically reverse engineer the research plan for one of their situations. but that would be sneaky and not very honest with myself and so I won’t be doing it. I do at least have 2 more people that I can easily think of that have questions unanswered to choose from.

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