Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I’m finally ready to make an effort with my genealogy research. I think for a while there I was just all over the place and that kind of overwhelmed me. So now, I’m making a plan!
The first thing I did was read through Thomas MacEntee’s “The Genealogy Do-Over Workbook.” He gives a lot of great suggestions about just letting go of previous research and starting over with best practices. While I’m not going to completely abandon the work I’ve already done, I am setting it aside for now and starting with clear research goals and procedures in mind.
I’ve also been looking at Mark Tucker’s Genealogy Research Process to firm up how exactly I want to organize the process of research.
Current Research Binder
Here’s what I’ve come up with for keeping track of my current research…basically its just a binder with a bit of organization. I’ve made a binder for my mother’s side of the tree and my father’s side of the tree. This is my mother’s side binder:
The first page is a pedigree chart where I’ve added numbers for each family group. As you can see, I don’t have a lot of information for this side of the family as research in Brazil is difficult! Each number (1-16) has it’s own divider where I’ll place all the notes associated with the research for that family group. I also have a spiral notebook for random notes as I do the research.
Here’s what is behind tab #4 – The Joaquim Pedro DA SILVA family. The family group sheet comes first and I printed it out with all the information I have in my RootsMagic database. I’m sure that not all of this is correct, thus the reset. The plan is to go through and verify or reject all the “facts” and add as much information to each family group before moving backward in time.
Each family group “starts” at the date of marriage for the parents, so in this case 15 Sep 1948 OR 8 Jun 1932 (looks like I’ll need to do some research here!). So any birth information or other “facts” for the parents from prior to their marriage would go into the tab for their parents’ family. All the kids information would remain here until they are married – then they’d get their own tab.
This binder is just for the direct line research. So for example, I am descended through their eldest daughter Lindalva, who along with her husband are tab #2. I haven’t quite decided how I’ll handle information organization for the other siblings post marriage (maybe another binder?).
Even More Data
The next item in each family tab is the research log. This will list all of the research I’ve done, date, location, and result. Hopefully this will help me keep track of everything and not redo unnecessary work or waste time figuring out what to do next. Right now I have a general log for the whole family but I may divide this up by “fact.”
Finally, I’ll include any notes at the end. Here’s a table listing all the possible birth dates/locations for my Grandmother, the records where I may find the entries and the results of my search.
Eventually, I hope that all of this information will be synthesized and added to my database. The idea is that these are the rough drafts and when I’ve “verified” a “fact” it can be added to the database. I’d also like to include all “negative” facts that I’ve disproved and research notes so I’ll have to look into that and make some plans.
Thoughts or suggestions on streamlining the process? I’m going to try it for a while and see how it goes.