Lets Get Organized!: A Practical Guide For All Aspects of Family History Research

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 252 pages
Author: P. Christensen
Year: 2005
ISBN: 1894018818
Other: 3rd ed., sketches, charts, index
Publisher: Heritage Productions

There are two phrases which crop up regularly amongst family historians, from beginners through to the very experienced. Phrase 1. 'I wish I'd asked Grandma (or whomever) before she died'. For this we can only mourn a lost opportunity. On the positive side however, we can resolve to communicate with any other living relatives, friends, neighbours, that we still have with us, and also encourage younger folk to start their genealogy soon while their living resources are still around.

Phrase 2. 'I wish I was more organized'! Many people get started and then as the information starts pouring in and their lack of proper planning becomes evident, they feel overwhelmed and there is a tendency to give up. Family history is such a worthwhile project, and you can stay sane whilst managing large amount of data. Anyone can learn to be organized, even if your think you're the world's worst candidate.

This book has been divided into six progressive steps, which the author terms as 'The Six Steps to Success'. She starts with goal setting and then looks as the different kinds of genealogical evidence. Then it is on to discuss how to store and file these items in a manner that they can be retrieved (what good is a filing system if you can't find anything in it!) Then she goes on to discuss how to organize supplies, reference material and even idea, and how to efficiently contribute to and make use of Family History Societies and retrieve information from their journals.

- Genealogy and Family History
- Abbreviations
The Six Steps to Success
Step 1. Defining Your Goals
- The Goals
- The Specific Objectives
- The End Product
- Points to Ponder
Step 2. Learning the Basics
- Types of Evidence ... and Tips on Gathering It
- Storage of Archival Materials
- Organizing Your Information
- Organizing Your Home Base
- Organizing the Research Process
Step 3. Deciding on Strategies for Research
- Planning Your Project
- Sources and Information
Step 4. Effective Searching and Recording
- Locating Research Already Done or in Progress
- Notebooks
- Consistency in Format and Use of Abbreviations
- Recording
- Recording Family Sources
- Recording Civil Registration (Vital Statistics)
- Recording Census
- Recording Parish Registers and Other Religious Registers
- Recording Probate
- Recording Land Records
Step 5. Documentation
- Description of Sources
- Recording and Photocopying the Relevant Items
Step 6. Presenting and Preserving Your Research
- Accuracy and Ethical Considerations in Publishing Data
- Synthesis of Research Results
- Standard Methods of Synthesis of Research Results
- Preserving Your Research
Reference Materials and Further Reading
Appendix: Handy Forms
- Ancestorgraph
- Ancestral Places
- Anncestral Surnames
- Biography Synopsis
- Correspondence Log
- Family Group Record
- Family History Questionnaire
- Genealogical Data
- Genealogical Data on Spouses
- Home Survey
- Institutional Survey
- International Genealogical Index (IGI) Transcription
- Interview Sheet
- Life History Questionnaire Sheets
- Microform Order Log (for FHC)
- Numbers 1-100
- Online Search Form
- Pedigree Chart
- Probate Abstract
- Questionnaire Sheet for Deceased Relative
- Research Ideas Log
- Research Log
- Surname Descent


1 Review
  • Ideas for New and Experienced family Historians

    Posted by Ross Hansen on 19th Sep 2021

    This is the third book by this author that I have purchased. She presents her material in a thoroughly useful but light-hearted manner. It was written when lots of genealogical records were becoming online so she sometimes refers to brick and mortar sources for material that is now available online. This does not detract form the value of the many ideas she presents for organising and recording our research findings. She provides lots of proformae to help. Whether you are already quite experienced or quite new to your research, this book certainly helps to get organised.

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Lets Get Organized!: A Practical Guide For All Aspects of Family History Research


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