Fill out as much of your research log as you can while you are preparing to do you research. Doing this will help you to prepare and a partially completed research log (with titles, etc. already filled in) will increase the chance you work on your log as you research.
As a special to the readers of Genealogy Tip of the Day (website and newsletter), I am offering a special discount on my May 2010 research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The trip runs 27 May-3 June 2010. We spend one week at the Family History Library, with morning presentations by me, research assistance in the library (both consultations and “drop by” help), and help with pre-trip planning via a password-protected website. For more information on the trip, visit http://www.rootdig.com/slctrip.htmlFor a limited time (until Sunday 1 November at 10:00 p.m. central), you can register for a total of $150 (this is a $50 discount from the regular price). You must use one of these links below in order to get the discount page (Paypal processes the credit card payments, but a Paypal account is NOT necessary):
- $50 deposit–with balance due by 15 December–refundable if your plans change.
- $150 complete total balance–refundable up to 1 March 2010 if your plans change.
Registrants are responsible for travel to Salt Lake and accomodations while in Salt Lake. We have a discounted rate with the Salt Lake Plaza hotel–RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the Family History Libary. Very convenient for when you’ve forgotten something or you need a little rest.
One question: Is all your data backed up?
or “Have you backed up all your data?” for those of you who don’t like to end things with a preposition.
Either way, make sure you “git ‘er done,” if you haven’t.
Is your ancestor listed in a record with his (or her) middle name listed as his last name?
In an upcoming column for Casefile Clues, one of the key methods to locating certain people was to trace the stepchildren of their father. Finding them lead me to information on the people for whom I was actually looking.
Is there anyway that information you are trying to analyze can be put into chart format? Think about how you could make headings and what items you should extract from each record or source to create a table.
Sometimes just organizing things in a different way makes things stand out that you didn’t notice before.
I may be a little bit too picky, but when reviewing a GEDCOM file if I see names of places spelled incorrectly (especially names of counties in the United States when the database is compiled by an American researcher), I get a little skeptical of the rest of the file.
Of course, the occasional typo is one thing (which can easily be avoided in most programs by the way), but if the database I find has some of these spellings:
- Hartford County, Maryland
- Amhurst County, Virginia
- Schuler County, Illinois
then I am a little worried about the rest of the data. Call me persnickity, but genealogy is about details. If place names that are established and standard (as these are) are not spelled correctly, how certain can I be that names, dates, and relationships are entered in the way they should be?
I’m not talking about someone trying to read the name of a German town on a nearly illegible death certificate–that’s something different altogether.
Occasionally when I search on Google for an ancestor’s name one of my hits is the search results page for that name on www.familysearch.org, the website of the LDS Family History Library. Very interesting.
Normally an ancestor has to be dead to have an estate settlement, has to be born to have a birth certificate, etc.
Think about what really HAS to be when you research your ancestor. He didn’t have to get married to reproduce. He didn’t have to name his oldest son after his father. He didn’t have to get married near where his first child was born. He didn’t have to have a relative witness every document wrote. There are few “have tos” in genealogy. Make certain you aren’t using “have tos” to make brick walls for yourself.
If the name as written on a document sounds like the name you are looking for, consider it the same name.
Your real work is to make certain you have the same person. That’s the problem.