Thursday, May 31, 2012

When branches get tangled

I think one of the biggest challenges in doing genealogy research is keeping things organized.

I started out throwing fact after fact at my tree and things just stuck where ever they landed. That was when I started making mistakes. Branches growing up, branches growing down, branches growing inside out...stuff was everywhere!

I ended up with quite the stack of hand written notes and diagrams. Sometimes there is no substitute for taking a pencil and getting all of the thoughts onto a piece of paper. This is still my go to method when family relationships get confusing.

(that super far removed cousin who married one woman and then as a widower married his first wife's cousin...and they both had the same name? That got messy).

My newest tactic that I started about a month ago is to keep a word processing document open next to the window I am using for research. I make continual notes about everything I update. 

"Added 1860 census to John Smith"

"This census told me about 15 children I didn't realize John Smith had"It doesn't take that much longer to type out these little notes and it saves me valuable time when I need unravel a mystery...and the mistakes...that are bound to happen.It's also interesting to scroll back through and see what direction my research went in. Genealogy is full of tangents for me!

---Today my tree contains 1325 people and 1982 records.

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