Saturday, January 10, 2015

Putting My Research "house" In Order: Genealogy Do-Over

genealogy do-over

Photo by Thomas McEntee

When Thomas MacEntee posted that he was creating a Genealogy Do-Over group on Facebook,  I jumped at the challenge.   In putting together my family tree, I have been more of a collector of names, places, and dates which has resulted in very little organization in my paper and digital files. So this is my plan from Week 1 of the Genealogy Do-Over.

1.  Setting Previous Research Aside

Setting aside my previous research is the easiest part of the Week 1 challenge.  My research is so helter-skelter; I've gone from one software program to another hoping to make sense of it all.  I also have family trees on and Family Search.  Unfortunately, I have varying numbers of people on each of my three trees and many with no documentation.

2.  Preparing to Research

I will learn how to better use Legacy 8, my current software program.  I will also learn how to use Evernote (that I downloaded over a year ago).  Most importantly, I will use them to benefit my research.

3.  Establishing Base Practices and Guideline

This aspect hit me the hardest because I find that I often "discover" information that I already have, so from this point on I will ONLY work with a research log.  I will:
  • establish a research plan 
  • document EVERYTHING, especially sources and including dead ends
  • take my time and be thorough
  • stick with my research plan and not be sidetracked
  • establish a filing system
Although I have hard copies of various paper research logs, I have not used them.  I "googled" for research logs and the one below seems like it will keep me on track.    Thank you Calvin Knight!

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