I am currently in the middle of Week 2 of the Genealogy Do-Over by Thomas MacEntee.

This weeks goals are tracking and conducting research.

Tracking Research:

I had been reading about this subject for several weeks before starting Genealogy Do-Over. I knew I was in need of starting to learn how to create a research plan and track my research. I had been in the process of developing a research plan, research log and correspondence log for myself using Evernote for some time. After looking at several samples, I settled on one I think fits what I want. I have a place to state my objective, how I came up with the current hypothesis, and then a place to list links and resources of how I will go about to research my objective. I intend to fill out one of these before starting a new name, or trying to solve a particular question before I start to conduct ANY research.

Once I begin researching, I will then enter all the information into my research log. The same goes for my correspondence log if I am writing to courthouses, churches, libraries, etc.

Conducting Research:

I had a few research goals I established last week. This week, armed with my new templates, I decided to focus on my grandfather, since I basically had the most for him already. Creating the research plan took me a few nights. I went through Ancestry and FamilySearch to see if there were any online collections that I could search that might confirm or give additional information on my grandfather. I also looked at for any other online collections that I could search. I didn’t just start randomly copying and pasting links. I looked at each one to make sure that dates and locations made sense with my objective. That is what took me the longest time

After I was satisfied that I had enough to start searching, I started. First entered in previous documents that I had held into my correspondence log. I had actually had the dates I sent away for the vital record documents that I held, so that’s what I entered into the log. Then, I checked off the box in my research plan, and added a note link from the correspondence log into my research plan. The research I did online, I entered into my research log, which again had a note link to my research plan. I also transcribed information from any document straight into the person notes field in my new, “Re-planted” tree in Family Tree Maker.

Here is the link to my research plan. I’ll see how this works as I continue with new research goals. I’m concerned Evernote’s limit with table rows may be a problem with a challenging problem down the road. But, for now, this is what I’m going with.

Genealogy Do-Over – Week 2

I am currently in the middle of Week 2 of the Genealogy Do-Over by Thomas MacEntee.

Just a quick update from last week. For Week 1, we were asked to come up with some base practices. This inspired me to learn more about the Genealogy Proof Standard and citing our sources. I ended up doing some online reading, and listening to YouTube videos on these topics as well. This led me to add and re-write to my base practices as well as purchase two books on the subject to learn more in depth about these topics. The first was Genealogy Standards: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, by Board for Certification of Genealogists, and Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Both of these books came highly recommended by several people. I am excited to start applying this new found knowledge of these practices to my own research.

Here is what I accomplished for week 2:

1. Self-Interview

I wrote a short biography on myself from birth to present day. I filled it with important dates, such as my birth, years of graduations and my marriage date. I listed key people in my life such as my parents, grandparents, godmother/aunt, uncles, siblings, spouse and my child and step-children. I listed places like my birthplace, where I grew up, school locations and places that I had lived.

I also started my brand new family tree database in my Family Tree Maker for Mac software, and filled in the names and places that I had mentioned in my interview. I filled in dates if I remembered them and crafted a source for my self-interview, based on what I had learned in Evidence Explained.

2. Conducted Family Interviews

I made a list of some people I could interview: my mom, my dad’s sister, my dad’s cousin, and my mom’s sister. I prepared a list of questions for each one of them, and either called or emailed them. I was surprised by the amount of additional information that I received from them. One aunt sent me the copies of my grandparents’ copy of their marriage certificate. Another aunt sent me a copy of my grandmother’s baptism certificate. I have been busy entering in the information from these interviews into FTM, and cited each of these facts with a citation crafted for each interview. I also created citations from the few certificates that I had of my own (my birth certificate, my marriage) and of the ones that I had received from my aunts.

3. Setting Research Goals

Armed with some names, dates and places from my interviews, I am ready to establish some research goals:

• Prove the birth dates of my parents.

• Prove the relationships between my parents and my grandparents

• Prove the birth dates of my grandparents

• Prove the relationships of my grandparents and great grandparents (if I was provided the names in the interviews)

That is actually, a fairly lengthy list. One that should take me lots of time, if I am to go about doing things more thoroughly. I am looking forward to next week, when we will concentrate on tracking and conducting research.