Do your notes look like this? Scribbles on what looks to be an index card? Little things written down while you are madly clicking away on one genealogy website after another?

While it is great to make discoveries, try and include enough information so you know where you found the information and what your thought process was. The notes in the illustration are a little unclear and where the information was obtained isn’t indicated either. It’s fun to be “hot on the trail” of a connection, but include enough detail so that you can go back and locate the information again. In the illustration it would have been helpful to know where Ida was located in the 1940 and 1920 census even if a complete citation couldn’t be created at the time. The location of where the apparent marriage information to Smith and Anders would have been helpful as well.

Even a cursory citation will make it easier to determine if your three in the morning research was done correctly and nothing was overlooked. Tracking some of your thought process will also allow you to know if the caffeine that induced your research frenzy was a brand worth purchasing again or not.



One response

  1. I just found one of those scraps of paper recently. I can’t find the information again even though I’ve spent considerable time looking for it. I almost think it might have been an ancestry “document” since I can’t find it again anywhere. I wish they’d stop using family trees and miscellaneous stuff to make up “indexes”.

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