Research Plan

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 Order

View on OneDrive

Research Quandaries Notebook

Link to “By Record Type” Surname Notebook Link to “Chronological Sources” Surname Notebook Link to Research Quandaries Notebook
Surname Notebook by Record Type PDF Surname Notebook in Chronological Order PDF

 

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This post was updated 10 April 2020 with new links to the notebooks on OneDrive.


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.


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.)

Amy Johnson Crow of NoStoryTooSmall has issued a challenge to family history bloggers to post about an ancestor a week during 2014. I read about the challenge on the Ancestry blog and thought I would participate.

52ancestors

The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.

The whole idea appeals to me for several reasons. First there is the motivation to stay on top of my blog and post consistently. [I’m hopeful!] I also think that focusing specifically on an ancestor a week will give me direction in cleaning up my files and reorganizing them — one of my goals for 2014. Finally, while much has been researched and written about my mother’s side of the family, on my father’s side of the family there is next to nothing. Well, that’s probably not quite true… it’s just that in comparison, it seems like very little.

My mother’s paternal ancestors were famous shipbuilders from Scotland who settled in Quebec, Canada. There is a point on a bay with a lighthouse named after them, their original settlement still stands, there are histories, stories, songs, photos and even paintings supposedly done by a princess about members of this family. On my mother’s maternal line, there are cousins that are family historians who are the keepers of the stories and the photos.

[I was hoping to find my box of photos today that are in storage to add in some pictures of my brothers and me with our Canadian cousins but I cannot find the box. I will update this when I come across it.]

In the summer before I turned fourteen, my family took a vacation to visit my mother’s parents in Canada. Family crawled out the woodwork up there. There was a grandmother AND a grandfather, aunts and uncles and cousins galore! Back home in New York, there was my grandmother, my aunt [my father’s mother and his sister] and her husband — that was all. There were no other aunts and uncles, no great aunts and uncles and definitely no cousins. I wanted to know why. What happened to everyone? And wanting to know is what started my obsession with genealogy.

In stepping up to the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, I hope to add a little life to the people I’ve found in my father’s lines. I might even share a little about my mother’s ancestors as well.

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A bit about me


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

Following the GPS!

Sourced Database Statistics:

2 of 2 people identified in 1st generation
3 of 4 people identified in 2nd generation
6 of 8 people identified in 3rd generation
12 of 16 people identified in 4th generation
20 of 32 people identified in 5th generation
18 of 64 people identified in 6th generation

# people properly sourced
# remaining to be sourced
% completed

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