This website uses the classic proof-structure metaphor.  In the proof-structure metaphor, the website is organized into a multilayered structure based on three layers 1) the statement of a theory and its proof, 2) explanations, discussions, and synthesis of facts to explain the proof or consolidate the facts, and  3) facts which are relied on in the proof. Since this website makes statements then proves them, the proof-structure metaphor is perfect for its organizing metaphor.

This website has an expanded 5-layered structure based on the three basic layers of the proof-structure metaphor (see figure below).  Notice that two layers at the top are classified as “Theory” layers and the next two layers down are classified as synthesis layers. 

Methodology I/2

Search this site powered by FreeFind

Here is how these five layers are implemented in this elusive ancestor website to prove our theory that John J. Poill was John H. Pyle (refer to the figure above):

Overview (theory layer): 

I have written an overview of the life of John J. Poill and why I believe that he is John H. Pyle.  This overview presents an integrated explanation of my theory making frequent hyperlink references to the web pages on the lower layers.  This page also is the home page of the website.

Theories (theory layer): 

The theories layer consists of web pages which present the transitions (the chain of how John H. Pyle, son of Mary Ann Westbrook and Nicholas Pyle and living in Alabama, became John J. Poill living and working in Lane Co, OR).  I have subdivided my overall theory into a series of separate transitions in which each part contributes to the whole but is individually presented and proven (see a description of this process).  The various web pages of the theories layer make frequent references via hyperlinks to the other layers to backup the points.

Consolidations  (synthesis layer): 

This website has several web pages which consolidate and simplify the information of the primary documents and people on the lower layers to make them easier to understand.  These web pages do not contain controversial information and are based directly on the facts and/or people of the lower layers.  They are simply shortcuts so the viewer can be freed from the time-consuming process of synthesizing  the facts and/or people.

People  (synthesis layer): 

The People layer consists of web pages of the historical people involved in the case of John J. Poill.  I have identified the people which have proven to be the primary figures in his life and have included narratives of their lives as well as indexes to their subsets of the primary documents on the bottom layer. 

Documents Layer (bottom layer): 

The documents layer consists of web pages containing scanned images of primary documents or exact transcriptions of documents or document snippets.  In an elusive ancestor website, total and complete documentation is required so that anybody viewing the website can be assured of its integrity – that nothing has been left out and that viewers could analyze and make conclusions on the evidence on their own as independent genealogists.



Proof - Structure Metaphor


John J. Poill
Elusive Ancestor Website

Proof - Structure Metaphor



©Thornton Gale 2007