Monday, January 5, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over... Week 1: Doing It Again- The Right Way

This week’s topics on the Do-Over are:

  1. Set Previous Research Aside.
  2. Prepare to Research.
  3. Establish Base Practices and Guidelines.
I’ve explained a bit that I’m not going to actually set my research aside.  Actually, almost the opposite; I’m going to REALLY look hard at my research and document it.  Preparing to research for me means that I have to find a beginning and make a map of now versus done (with this project).  Since I have the skeleton (Dukes of Mixager), I have the map.  Done for this project will have a fully sourced book.  Base practices and guidelines are covered below.

Here is an example of how I want to tackle my Do-over.  Here is a paragraph from my family book:

William Connor was born in 1820 in Londonderry County, Ireland.  He married Jane Humes (or maybe her name was Simpson- records show both names*) on August 12, 1838.  Jane was the daughter of farmer, John Humes, and she died on June 9, 1879 in Carluke, Lanarkshire, Scotland.  Soon after, William came to the United States, and he died in 1885 in What Cheer, Iowa.

See what I mean?  No footnotes.  No sources.  No information about where I got the information and how I know what I know.  Here is how I want to tackle my Do-Over.

1. Make notes throughout the text showing what I want to write footnotes and source properly.  Example:
William Connor was born in 1820[FOOTNOTE] in Londonderry County, Ireland[FOOTNOTE].  He married Jane Humes[FOOTNOTE] (or maybe her name was Simpson- records show both names[FOOTNOTE]*) on August 12, 1838[FOOTNOTE].  Jane was the daughter of farmer[FOOTNOTE], John Humes[FOOTNOTE], and she died on June 9, 1879[FOOTNOTE] in Carluke, Lanarkshire, Scotland[FOOTNOTE].  Soon after[FOOTNOTE], William came to the United States[FOOTNOTE], and he died in 1885[FOOTNOTE] in What Cheer, Iowa[FOOTNOTE]. 

2. Make a list of what items are needed to support the text.  Example:
·         William Connor birth date
·         William Connor birth place
·         William Connor wife name
·         William Connor marriage date
·         Jane Connor father occupation
·         Jane Connor father
·         Jane Connor date of death
·         Jane Connor place of death
·         William Connor immigration
·         William Connor date of death
·         William Connor place of death

3.      Make a list of what items additionally are needed. Example:
·         Jane Connor birth date
·         Jane Connor birth place
·         William Connor parents
·         Jane Connor parents

4.      Locate items I already have that are needed to support text. 

5.      File these items digitally in the proper folder and link to these in Family Tree Maker.  Format: 
·         c:/My Documents/Genealogy/Surname/Surname_Given Name_Year_Type of Record*

*BC= Birth Certificate, DC=Death Certificate, Census=Census Record (show image where possible), ML=Marriage License, PHOTO_Description=Photo of person with a description of what’s happening in the photo.  NOTE: Keep running list of each type and abbreviations.  For those where there are multiple people in the photo, I will have to have it saved in multiple locations.  This concerns me.  I may need to think about creating shortcuts…

6.      Footnote my document appropriately using Evidence Explained.  I did this for my Mariani book and it was a wonderful exercise.  I will continue and then have this book sourced as well.

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