Thursday, February 21, 2013

Research Aids, Presented and Shared

Research aids, were presented at the Lemon Grove Library last night.  Aids that will help to make your research run smoother and your brick walls more minimal.  Yes, it helps us to not have holes in our research, by helping us keep better track of what we have done, where we have been and where we
need to go.

When one does research, do you keep a log of what was a good response and what was not?
If you find one line of a family in a book, they marry another line, are you ready when that name is found to go back to the book to see if they are also referenced there?  This is especially helpful when the families are living in the same area and are near each.

You do realize that a negative answer is also a positive answer?  Looking for Madison and finding none, means that you do not need to look there again. One less hurdle to cross, or can be crossed off as you dig your way through the records you want to search.

Do you keep a log of the records you want to search, should search and have searched?  We are  creatures of habit and we will pick up the same book, forgetting we have already scanned it rather thoroughly. Exception is when it is a book that has many family names in it that have not been researched yet, then each name needs marked off as found.

Having devised a research log of my own over the years then having met Randy Seaver, we compared notes and he made a better research log.

Liking my Timelines to run sideways verses downward for basics is a difference. Putting the Timeline into motion then requires a downward list to expand all for all items.  When presenting a Timeline it helps to have it sideways, at least how my brain reacts to it.

Having a Family Group Sheet in the beginning will show parents, maybe grandparents and the children.

Next should come your Basic Research Log or as Randy calls it a Basic Research Summary.
It should list every thing you already have and know about the individuals on the Family Group Sheet.
If they are original documents then you should state where they came from. So anyone else doing research will know where to locate them if possible.

This is your working Master List,  mine is set so, if I have the document it, it is noted, if needed it is noted, when found it is finally cleared from work.  That is like getting a Gold Star and accomplishment has been made. Some times we need that to keep us going when the digging gets tough.

Vital Records such as: Birth, Death, Marriage, of both spouses and then of the children.
Census Records found and the ones needed, marked so you remember the needs.
Land Records, Tax Records, ( there are many types of Tax Records), Church Records, Cemetery Records, Court Records, Guardianships, Probates, Wills, Military, Immigration, Naturalization, Newspaper, City Directories, History Book of area, Surname Book for the area and Bibles if found or have.

This Basic Research Log if kept properly and kept current can save you hours of wasted time and energy.

You then may want an Internet Research List,  and a Repository List for where you want to research or know that they hold data you need to seek. These lists grow and change over time but are vital because as creatures of habit we generally miss the clue we need if we do not follow the lists.

Then comes your Time Line for Research.  Plot it out and as it grows you will find more places to dig and discover clues.

Lastly is the most important one besides the beginning Basic Research Log, This log works hand in hand with the Basic Research Log.  It is called the Research To Do List.  This is the one you up date, and change and add to as  you complete your data on the Basic Research Log.  Next post will show the working of the two together.

You can color code it, date it, make it to fit what makes you comfortable but use it to save lots of time and energy.

For a copy of Randy Seaver's Documents I suggest you contact him.  Our society has used them for quite some time and find them highly affective.

 As said I modified a couple to fit my thinking better but use forms of some type please and keep a record of what you are doing, have done and need to do.

Susi Pentico, Educational Chairperson, Chula Vista Genealogical Society. SusiCP@cox.net

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