research log

I have progressed beyond Week 2 of the Genealogy Do-Over. Well, actually I haven’t progressed much beyond Week 2. I seem to be working on parts of Weeks 3-5 all at once. I got stalled on the Research Log (said in that whiney, dramatic way a child would) which is kinda crucial to moving on. I haven’t posted about what I did for the Week 2 Topics so this is a recap of what I have accomplished for the Genealogy Do-Over Weeks 2 through 5.

Topics for Week Two were:

  • Setting Research Goals – DONE
  • Conducting Self Interview – DONE
  • Conducting Family Interviews – not doing right now

One of my research goals has been to start a new proofed tree with proper source citations starting with my paternal line. I am going back through the direct line and will come down the line chasing after the collateral lines. As I do this, I want to organize everything in OneNote, citing sources, using a Research Log with a To-Do List. Establish some good genealogy habits.

I don’t plan to conduct any family interviews as (sadly) there isn’t anyone left to interview. I may try to contact my first cousins or their families from my uncle’s line at some point in the future. My uncle told me at one time that one of his grandchildren was interested in family history.

update1

For self interview I did a MS Word timeline. (I deleted the year of the events so I can still lie about my age.) My timeline gave me a to-do list of things to prove which had me hunting down documents to scan for future use in the Do-Over process.

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Week 3 Topics

Week 4 Topics

Week 5 Topics

  • Tracking Research
  • Conducting Research
  • Managing Projects and Tasks – DONE
  • Tracking Searches
  • Building a Research Toolbox – DONE
  • Citing Sources

The task management system came together better than I thought. Posting about that next. (Don’t you hate those teasers?) Really, though, I wrote that post before this one and it’s scheduled to post tomorrow.

Building a research toolbox / toolkit is something I had already been doing in OneNote. I took the time to rearrange the sections in my main Genealogy Notebook to organize it a bit more and added some of the resources that have been mentioned through the Genealogy Do-Over.

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These are the things I am still working on:

update2

 

The three things that have me stalled are interrelated. I am trying to round up and coral my thoughts and ideas on how best to accomplish keeping a research log with recorded searches and something that will make source citation easier all rolled into one. I have gotten better in the last year in keeping track of information for source citation, but tracking research and searches I have not been doing. I need to.

Thomas MacEntee has generously shared his Excel Research Log with Do-Over participants and there have been others who have uploaded their modified versions on the Facebook group. I’m not afraid of tables nor using Excel, but none of them were really clicking for me. No thoughts of “Oh, I could do this to modify it for my use”. Not even a glimmer of a thought. Which kinda meant I had to invent my own forms. And I really want to keep it all in OneNote. So I have been pondering. And pondering. And then avoiding. I finally decided I needed to get this done—this week—if I want to move on with the Do-Over.

Funny how when you DECIDE something should be DONE, inspiration will strike. I like deadlines because inspiration usually strikes right before I have to get something done. (It has to, because I have usually procrastinated right up until the deadline. LOL) But self-imposed tasks−like those in the Do-Over where no one is going to care if I do them−they can languish until I DECIDE they should be done or abandon them completely.

Two nights ago inspiration finally struck! The problem with those other research logs was that they didn’t leave the trail of breadcrumbs I want someone else to easily see and follow. There was nothing wrong with them, it was just me and my process that didn’t fit their mold. So then it was time to turn it around. How would a research log work in my process to leave a trail of easy-to-see-and-follow breadcrumbs? And that’s where I am at. Working on that form.

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Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “Genealogy Do-Over update.” My Family History Files, 23 February 2015 (http://myfamilyhistoryfiles.com/organization/genealogy-do-over-update/ : [access date]).

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


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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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