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Use Forms to Organize Your Data

Posted on Mar 31, 2012

There are a number of forms that genealogists use to help in organizing and capturing genealogy information.  The following are list of the some of the more useful forms I have used.


Cemetery log. A great worksheet to take with you when researching cemetery records, or visiting a cemetery in person. Cemetery logs can also show families, collateral lines, and friends since many people were buried in clusters.


Research logs. The research log, also called a calendar, is a running list of sources checked; annotations can indicate whether a particular source revealed anything. The log shows all sources checked and acts as a table of contents to the research notes.


Correspondence log. The correspondence log lists all the letters/emails you send and receive.  It includes the to/from, topic and next steps. 

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Organize Your Data

Posted on Mar 30, 2012

Start out organized. Starting out organized is easier than getting organized. You will have more time to do research and spend less time looking for information you have misplaced. You will also save time by not duplicating research you have already done.


When you are organized you 

  • Know exactly what information you have for each ancestor.
  • Have a complete list of information you are missing for each ancestor.
  • Know exactly what resources you've checked, and what results you found.
  • Know every book you've ever searched.
  • Remember whom you've contacted and what response you received.
  • Can put your hands on any piece of information in your files in 10 seconds or less.


Choose an organization system that genealogists use. There are several popular genealogy organization systems.  Research

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Share Your Time, Research, and Interest with Others

Posted on Mar 29, 2012

Share and Beware - Sharing Genealogy in the Information Age.  On one hand, genealogists simply must share. Not only is it in our nature, but it is necessary for successful research. On the other hand, sharing – both privately and publicly – may cause our hard earned research to end up in places we do not intend or we do not approve.


Share your time with others.  Remember those who reached out to help you when you first started in genealogy?  I remember when I started doing genealogy; I visited a family history center in Everett, Washington.  I didn’t have a clue where to start, just an interest.  One of the volunteers spend an hour and helped me understand the steps in starting my family tree.  Over the next six months she helped in mentoring my development and passion for genealogy/family history. She taug

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Share Your Genealogy Research

Posted on Mar 28, 2012

Share your genealogy research.  Recently a fellow genealogist told of a story where she had been seeking to work with a family member in sharing information from “one-of-kind” entries from a great grandfather’s journal that the family member had in her possession.  She had inherited the journal from her mother.  The journal contained information that would help tell part of the family history. The family member’s response was, “You can get the information the same way I did.”   The family member died several years later.  When the genealogist asked the family about the journal, no one knew where it was. 


Another genealogist tells a story of a friend who had spent 30 years researching their family tree.  After the friend’s death, the children picked through the belongings and threw 80% away. Unfortuna

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150-plus Questions to Ask your Family

Posted on Mar 23, 2012

150-plus Questions to Ask your Family

The following are an outline of questions you may want to consider when interviewing family.  By asking the right, open-ended questions, you're sure to obtain extensive family information.  Take time to personalize the questions to the person you interviewing.


When you are ready to conduct an interview, have the questions in front of you to make sure you are getting the information you desire. Conversations about family can go many directions.   When possible record the interview on tape or video.


1. What is your full name and why were you named that? (Maiden name for females)

2. Were you named after someone else?

3. Did you have a nickname as you were growing up?

4. If you did, what was it and why did they call you that?

5. Have you had any other nicknames as

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