How Do I Keep Track of My Genealogy Research Notes?

Organize Genealogy - How to keep track of notes in online trees

Skilled genealogists know that protecting analysis organized results in extra discoveries shortly. We have to develop and enhance our analysis note-taking abilities on our journey to change into higher household historians.

What are Family tree Notes?

The fundamental steps of the family tree analysis course of contain:

  • Creating a High quality Analysis Query
  • Reviewing Earlier Analysis
  • Creating a Analysis Plan
  • Trying to find Proof to Reply the Query
  • Evaluating and Analyzing the Proof
  • Writing Conclusions
  • Updating Household Timber

As we’re working by means of the method, have you ever ever questioned the place note-taking occurs?

I hope so!

Observe-taking occurs at any stage of the analysis course of. I discover myself making notes as I am creating my query, reviewing analysis, creating a plan, and each time I consider a historic doc or {photograph}.

In brief, a family tree analysis observe is any thought, query, or doable conclusion we’ve as we climb our household tree.

Your notes may additionally embrace:

  • What you seemed for – together with particular search phrases and collections
  • What you discovered – the solutions to your questions (together with transcriptions)
  • What you didn’t discover – yep. Now we have to file that we searched in a group and did not discover something.
  • Any issues encountered whereas researching – incomplete file collections, broken information, privateness restrictions, and so on.

Understanding that we have to monitor our notes could occur at any stage of the analysis course of, the place ought to we maintain monitor of our notes?

Preserve It Easy Researcher

In my thirty years of family tree analysis, I’ve examined the organizational methods and methodologies put forth by many books, lectures, weblog posts in our beloved pastime.

Combine within the a number of cross-countries strikes that I’ve muddled by means of, hoping my analysis would stay organized in the course of the course of.

Finally, I arrived at a conclusion that has been round since Kelly Johnson, lead engineer on the Lockheed Skunk Works, coined the phrase Preserve It Easy Silly within the Sixties. If you have not heard of this design precept earlier than, see if you happen to agree with the speculation.

“Most programs work greatest if they’re kept simple moderately than made sophisticated; subsequently, simplicity ought to be a key aim in design, and pointless complexity ought to be prevented.”

How does this translate into family tree analysis?

Fairly merely – maintain your family tree analysis notes the place you actively analysis.

Within the chart beneath, I share the place you possibly can handle your notes based mostly on the way you handle your family tree analysis.

I differentiate between paper researcher and report researcher in that the primary makes use of varieties to handle notes. In distinction, the latter makes use of a analysis plan and will ultimately write a analysis report back to summarize accomplished initiatives.

Use Family tree Varieties to Handle Notes

The Household Tree Journal provides many free printable varieties to your use. Two that I discover useful for managing notes for paper-based researcher seem beneath:

File the primary behind your loved ones group sheets (charts that primarily handle a pair and their kids).

File the second type with every file you handle to maintain monitor of these ideas and questions with out writing on the unique doc or photocopies.

To see an indication of including notes to family tree software program and on-line bushes, watch this video.

Video: How to Keep Track of your Research notes

Add Notes to Your Analysis Plans

When you use a digital analysis plan to trace your undertaking’s development, make the most of one or all the following note-taking methods. Within the video above, I demonstrated the place the next methods seem.

  • Insert Feedback: Most writing software program and packages help you insert feedback to the aspect of your precise doc.
  • Insert Footnotes: Whereas many individuals use footnotes to trace their supply citations, you can additionally use footnotes to insert your ideas, questions, and extra commentary concerning the documentation.
  • Spotlight Textual content: Coloration-code your textual content may help you visually differentiate between completely different notes. Listed here are 4 that I usually use whereas I am writing a analysis tough draft.
    • Use RED for one thing problematic.
    • Use GREEN for theories.
    • Use YELLOW for inquiries to resolve.
    • Use BLUE for transcriptions.

The way to Add Notes to Family tree Software program

Many packages like RootsMagic, Legacy and Household Tree Maker have a number of choices so as to add notes of their packages. Use the next each time doable.

  • Notes of an Particular person – Make the most of this part for particulars concerning the individual total. Issues like eye coloration, hair coloration, birthmarks, tattoos, bodily disabilities, persona, and so forth.
  • Notes for Particular Occasions – These fields are good for transcribing paperwork related to an occasion (i.e., land information for purchase and promote transactions). Additionally, add commentary and evaluation based mostly on every bit of proof as nicely.
  • Supply-Particular Notes – You probably have the choice so as to add commentary on particular sources, think about using these fields.
  • To-Do Record Notes – Whether or not it is a analysis log or a To-Do listing, you possibly can maintain monitor of your notes within the course of utilizing these options.

In case your program would not provide event-specific notes, you possibly can add such notes within the particular person observe discipline. Manage them in chronological order.

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The way to Add Analysis Notes to On-line Timber

On-line bushes could provide quite a lot of places to maintain notes. Make the most of the assistance facilities for every platform to seek out the newest how-to articles for inserting notes. Beneath, you will discover a number of places the place you possibly can insert your notes.

  • Ancestry
    • You may discover the power to trace Notes from the Private Profiles.
    • Add transient clarification in reality fields.
    • You may add notes to your DNA match listing
  • FamilySearch
    • Use the Collaborate Tab so as to add a Observe about an Ancestor
    • Use the Life Sketch Area on the Particulars Tab to create a quick biography (or bulleted listing) about a person
    • DO NOT use Purpose Assertion Bins as your notes. These might be overwritten, though you possibly can view them within the changelog.
  • WikiTree
    • Use the Biography Part of a Individual Profile and insert a heading that claims “NOTES.”
  • MyHeritage
    • Use the “All Details” Part on the Individual Profiles. You may see the option to click “Add a Note, which was designed for note-taking functions in thoughts.

Whichever note-taking technique you utilize, keep in mind to maintain it easy. Discover I did not suggest utilizing Evernote, Google Preserve, Trello, One Observe, and the like. The reason being most of us do not DO our family tree in these places. As such, these apps would fall underneath the warning to Preserve It Easy Researcher.

Preserve your analysis movement streamlined and easy. Please do not add any additional steps hoping that they’ll enhance your abilities. Normally, it will not.

Preserve your notes the place you manage your precise analysis, and so they’ll be ready for you everytime you want them.

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