Research Plan

research-workflow-apr2015If you would like to view in PDF, it’s here

Following up on my post for Cycle 2 Week 1, here is my new workflow chart. Or should it be work flowchart? (Whatever.) It is a simplified version of the chart I originally posted here during the first cycle of the Genealogy Do-Over. This one uses the names of the pages in OneNote that I enter data into. It has all the elements that I am trying to capture in OneNote listed on it:

  1. A Research Plan with Research Log
  2. Source Description Page that is where I describe the source, cite it, paste a JPG of source, link to the source on my hard drive and transcribe it.
  3. Source Log (A listing of all the sources I have for an individual or family group to help with writing proof statements if I need to examine other sources and as a resource to see what other sources I might need.)
  4. Family Group Records
  5. Timelines
  6. Proof Statements

This is mostly for my own reference as it relates to the final version of my Chronological Surname Notebook that I am using to document my family history. I am putting everything in OneNote as a way to leave something behind that others can build on and to be able to easily share it with others in PDF or printed form.

Cycle 2 Week 2 Topics:

  1. Setting Research Goals
  2. Conducting Self Interview
  3. Conducting Family Interviews

Because this is my second time through the 13 weeks, I didn’t have much to do for Week 2. Last time through, I had decided I wouldn’t be able to conduct many family interviews for the current line I am working on as there wasn’t anyone left in the previous generations and opted not to do them. Same thing for this cycle. I did my self-interview in the form of a Timeline created in MSWord. I use Timelines to list life events in chronological order for my ancestors. A Timeline helps to show where there are gaps and conflicting information and where sources are needed. Those items can be used to set research goals and/or make a research plan. (I’ll post an Ancestry video by Anne Mitchell at the end of the post that was helpful to me in learning to create timelines if you are interested.)

update1

My research goals for the first cycle through the Genealogy Do-Over were to prove my birth, marriage, divorce and birth of my 4 children; my parents’ birth and marriage; father’s death and siblings’ births and deaths. There were a few documents in my files and my mom’s files that were missing so I added obtaining them to my To-Do List in OneNote. My research goals this time through the Genealogy Do-Over are to concentrate on my father’s parents.

Research Goals Cycle 2 Week 2:

  1. Prove birth date and parents’ names for Raymond Curtis Williamson
  2. Prove birth date and parents’ names for Grace Rose Buisch
  3. Prove marriage date of Ray and Grace
  4. Prove death date for Raymond Williamson
  5. Prove death date for Grace Williamson

This is the first page of my grandfather’s timeline embedded into a page in OneNote.

quirks3-5

As you can see, there is a discrepancy in the records I have for the year of his birth.  I have written for a copy of his birth certificate and I have a theory about why his birth year is one year later on his draft registration that I will include in my Proof Statement. For my grandmother, birth records were not being kept for that time period in Batavia, New York. I will contemplate some ideas for a work-around in my Research Plan.

I’m not going to get ahead of myself here though, because tracking and conducting research are next week’s topics!

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Creating Timelines: A 15 minute tutorial by Anne Mitchell (AKA: Ancestry Anne)

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Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “Gen Do-Over: Cycle 2 Week 2.” My Family History Files, 14 April 2015 (http://myfamilyhistoryfiles.com/research-plan/gen-do-over-cycle-2-week-2/ : [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.


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I have been busy behind the scenes working on updating my old OneNote posts, putting together some new posts and working through the Genealogy Do-Over Topics. The Research Log dilemma has me in a holding pattern where I am currently stuck in the topics for Weeks 3-5. Anne Faulkner’s (Ancestor Archaeology) Do-Over recap post had me laughing and nodding my head in complete agreement.

When my mind gets muddled overthinking things pondering life’s tough questions how I want my family history research to come together, I tend to avoid the problem give my mind a rest by pursuing some time-wasting endeavor on the computer. Just to clear my head, you know? (If you read between the lines, you might come to the conclusion that I am a procrastinator…) In my research-log-decision-making-avoidance mode, I started a new quilt design for a quilt that has a pedigree chart on it with an appliqued tree and leaves. Copying and pasting all those leaves onto my quilt design and then coloring each one with a different green fabric? Complete time-waster…

predigree-quilt (I know it doesn’t look like much here, but I haven’t finished the whole tree applique. Just imagine your ancestors names in the beige rectangles and photos in the beige diamonds and something like this starting at the bottom left and going out and up around the chart with leaves. Lots of leaves. But not so much detail on the trunk…)

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I thought perhaps I should do something more productive today. Move a few things off my Task Manager To Do’s. (Like get that research log decision made and just jump into working with whatever I come up with!! Use it now, tweak it later?)

There have been a couple of questions about organizing Section tabs and Pages for each person so I thought I should address how that has evolved as I have been working in my Williamson Surname Notebook. Basically, I have changed the Section Group setup by adding a third group.

Originally I had only two Section Groups created to hold Sections for individuals in my family tree. One for the direct surname line and another for non-direct names organized alphabetically. As I started adding more and more Sections to my notebook for each person, it became apparent that this setup wasn’t going to work for me in the long-term so I reorganized the groups. For now I have three Section Groups. Section Groups alphabetize themselves and I wanted my Section Groups in a certain order so I added numbers to their names.

surname1

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One important thing to note and something I have to keep reminding myself is I want my OneNote Notebook to be a digital duplicate of how I had my physical binders set up. My original binders were set up in family groups with their records grouped together behind a printed family group record. Once a person got married or remarried, a new family group record was created and the related family documents grouped behind it. (By the way, if you are using OneNote to share your research or to create a digital backup up of the physical notebooks you already have, for convenience and ease of setup, create and layout your OneNote Notebooks just as you did your physical notebooks!)

So rather than think that each Section tab was for an individual person, it should be that they are for a family group. (Banging my head against the desk and saying, “Duh.”) I haven’t yet decided if I am going to keep the naming convention I originally set up [male name only] or rename the Sections to include the wife/mother’s name. If I switch to adding the wife/mother’s name to the Section tab name, I was thinking I would have to add a new Section for subsequent marriages. That hasn’t been an issue for my direct-line ancestors; but as I get more into the collateral lines, I will have to give this a hard think.

This is the Direct Line Section Group for my Williamson Surname Notebook. In each Section are Pages for people in the family group.

surname2

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I am working on getting things in order on my direct line to start, however, I have some records for my collateral Williamson lines. As I was adding them to the original Non-Direct A-Z Section Group, it was getting a bit overcrowded in the W-X Section. I decided they all needed their own Section Group. This newly created second Section Group is for your collateral lines of the same surname. By the way, the Sub-Section Group ‘Who Married Whom’ is for a research rabbit hole. Two Williamson men married two Williamson women in a double wedding ceremony. The marriage index doesn’t list parents’ names for any of the four. I was trying to figure out which ones I was related to (all four names match people in my tree) and the resulting avalanche of records I gathered needed its own Section Group. (I’ll tell you about the rabbit hole another day…)

surname3

 

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The last Section Group is for lines that have ‘married into’ my surname. Obviously that includes some new direct line surnames as well as husbands to Williamson females. For the surname for my great grandmother, great-great grandmother and on, I have created separate Sections in the front of the A-Z tabs for them. Instead of a separate Section, each family group gets a Page with Sub-Pages. If the Section gets too cumbersome to navigate (too many pages of family groups), they can be moved into their own Section Group or even their own Notebook if needed. Right now, that isn’t been a problem and I’ll think on it when I have to.

surname4
I hope that helps you understand a little bit better how I have been organizing my family groups in my Surname Notebook.

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Part 1 – Quirks of My Notebooks – The Main Sections

Part 3 – Quirks Continued – Pages for Family Groups

 

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View on OneDrive

Surname Notebook – Sources sorted by Record Type

View on OneDrive

Surname Notebook – Sources sorted in Chronological Oder

View on OneDrive

Notebook Sections for Task Management

Downloadable Version for OneNote 2013 Downloadable Version for OneNote 2013 Downloadable Version for OneNote 2013
Surname Notebook by Record Type PDF Surname Notebook in Chronological Order PDF Task Management Sections PDF

 

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Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “Part 2 – More Quirks – Section Groups & Sections.” My Family History Files, 20 February 2015 (http://myfamilyhistoryfiles.com/research-plan/surname-section-groups-and-sections/ : [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.

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And a do-over.

Genealogy Do-Over Week 1 — 2-8 January 2015

Topic 1: Setting Previous Research Aside

After a 10 year break in research, I was forced into a do-over of sorts when I had to reenter all my previous research into updated software. I am not completely done with that as I am ignoring my mother’s line for the time being. I have taken up more research since I restarted but when I come across something like this: Fanny Lulu: Back from the dead (someone’s incorrect research that I grafted into my tree), I have to stop and think: If I am not going to do this slowly, methodically, and correctly, what’s the point of doing it at all?

What follows is the draft of a post I wrote in July 2014 but never posted to my blog. I wrote this after I decided to start with a brand-new, properly-sourced tree in Roots Magic.

I’ve been a little quiet on my blog lately. I have been mulling some things over. I had to take a step back and really think about what I was doing with my old and new family history research.

First and foremost, I wanted to apply the Genealogical Proof Standard [GPS] to the work I had already done and continue that practice with the new work I am doing. Secondly, I want to have most of my family research documents stored digitally. I have my old research that I need to input into my updated genealogy software. I want to take the documents and photos from my old research and put them on my computer and store copies in the cloud. And I want to add the digital files to OneNote to help me analyze what has been done and what still needs to be done.

I mentioned before that I used to have all my documents in sheet protectors in notebooks. It was simple to retrieve the documents and review them when I had a research dilemma. Putting the digital documents into OneNote notebooks in some semblance of order would take the place of papers and photos filed into physical notebooks. I should point out the documents were originally in notebooks before I thought it would be the epitome of organization to have them all residing in file folders in drawers of a filing cabinet. For my personal research purposes, I just don’t like my documents in folders in a filing cabinet. (Just one of the quirks to my being a very visual person, I guess.) I should also point out that I need there to be some structure in place when adding the digital files to OneNote otherwise it seems to me to be the digital equivalent to the pile of papers on a desk—something you have to search through. I would like to be able to go right to the document without having to run a search for it. The structure of my OneNote Notebooks was something I was in the process of putting together at the beginning of 2014.

Finally, in order to continue to apply the GPS to new research, I wanted to have a system in place where any new research conducted would follow a work flow that automatically adhered to the Genealogical Proof Standard. [We want to apply the GPS in our family history research to establish that a series of events involves the same person and to establish family relationships.] The Genealogical Proof Standard is five steps that should be followed during our research. In brief, they are:

1. Conduct a reasonably exhaustive search

2. Cite your sources (You knew that was going to be here somewhere, didn’t you?)

3. Analyze your findings

4. Resolve conflicting evidence

5. Write your conclusions (It doesn’t have to be a definitive work. Just a paragraph or even a list will do.)

My main problem is that, even though I told myself “no new research”, new documents are coming in faster than I am scrutinizing my old research against the GPS and that systematic work flow I had envisioned isn’t in place yet. So I have been sitting here in a Zen-like state contemplating just how to make this new work flow happen. (Hahaha. No, my contemplation is really not very Zen-like.)

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A bit about me


Erin Williamson Klein
New York > Nevada
Started my research in 1993

Aside from my own family history research, I also have 2 Surname Studies: Williamson in Monroe County New York & Colebach / Colepaugh--a worldwide study & A One-Place Study of Nye County Nevada Boomtowns

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Following the GPS!

Sourced Database Statistics:
230 people in Williamson branch
15 direct ancestors
72 families total
[number] people properly sourced
[number] remaining to be sourced
[percent] completed

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Genealogy Do-Over

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