We are into week three of the Genealogy Do-Over and are topics this week are (1) tracking research and (2) conducting research. Taking notes and conducting research isn't my problem, it is tracking my research (where I have searched, the results etc.) I have the most problem with. I know the reasons for using a spreadsheet. I have been trying to use them for about the last four years now with no success. Part of the problem is that I see a spreadsheet as math, and I have had a hate/hate relationship with math since kindergarten. That being said, I will eventually find a way to track my research in some form of electronic record keeping but until then I will keep going the way I have for last 35 years with pen and paper.
Tracking my research:
I have used a document log for years now to help keep up with what documents I have for an individual and what I need to find. My main goal is to gather all legal papers that pertain to me, my husband, my children and scan them into a file for the computer and assign them to a file in I-Drive and my genealogy software. I have set up separate files for each of my husbands and my children will be included in both my file and their father's. My son David and his family will have their own file. I have decided that since my oldest son Kenny, is deceased and he has no descendants that his information will be retained in my personal file and his Dad's. I have set my files up by surname with subsequent sub-files for each individual with pedigrees, family group records, birth, marriage & death certificates, land records, wills/probate records, divorce records, church records and so on.
I have most of the documents I need for myself and I have ordered copies of the ones I can longer find or that need to be replaced due to wear and tear. These include my original adoption decree and my amended birth certificate. I also have all three of my marriage certificates and the divorce records for two of my marriages. I have ordered the certificates from the various Catholic churches I was raised in for baptismal, communion and confirmation certificates.
The first census record that I would appear on will be the 1970 US Census. I believe that it will be released about the year 2042 and hopefully I will be alive to see it! I have never served in the military nor have I owned and property, so no documents there. Thankfully, I am not dead yet so that is a category I cannot complete. However, thinking about death records made me realize that I need to do the following: (1) update my living will; (2) update my healthcare power of attorney and (3) update my will to include my grandson and any future grandchildren.
I am feeling good about the documents I have in my possession. I am waiting on snail mail for the documents I have ordered and will scan and catalog them when they arrive.
Conducting my research:
My research plan for research me, Dawn Marie Williams:
Known Facts About Me:
- Born 21 July 1962 at Baptist Hospital, in Miami, Miami-Dade (formerly Dade County), Florida.
- Adopted - Private adoption, arranged by the OB-GYN who delivered me and treated both my birth and adoptive mother's.
- Adoption was finalized 13 November 1962, Chancery Court, Miami-Dade County, Florida.
- Adoptive parents are Bill and Nina.
- Siblings: 3 sisters, 1 brother.
- 1st Marriage to M.H. March 1980 with 2 children born in this marriage.
- Divorced from M.H. June 1984.
- 2nd Marriage to L.W. July 1987 no children from this marriage.
- Divorced from L.W. November 1989.
- 3rd Marriage to T.K. March 1998 no children from this marriage.
- Raised in the Catholic faith
- What is my date of birth?
- Proof of adoption?
- Who are my parents? - Adoptive? Biological?
- Who are my siblings? - Adoptive? Biological?
- How many marriages? - Divorces? Names of Spouses?
- Schools attended? Secondary Education?
- Jobs held?
- Places lived?
- Sacraments received in the Catholic faith?
- 1st Communtion
- Holy Matrimony
- Catholic Church Annulment's?
- Which marriage?
At this point I have processed, scanned, and chronologically listed all evidence in my possession. This evidence includes my birth certificate, adoption decree, church records, marriage certificates and divorce decrees. I will write a source summary, a descriptive summary and a personal narrative of myself. I have completed a pedigree chart for myself. I have done family group sheets for myself with my parents & siblings, and one for each of my marriages.
To do list for research about me:
- Update my living will
- Update my healthcare power of attorney
- Update my will to include my grandson and any future grandchildren
- Write up my source summary and a descriptive summary of the evidence
- Get out my baby book and scrapbook for any additional evidence
- Conduct personal interviews with my parents about my adoption
- The phone call
- First Visit at the hospital
- Bringing me home
That brings me to the close of week three in the great Genealogy Do-Over of 2015. We all know that as genealogist our research never stops and we are always adding the next piece of evidence to our story. Time to get ready for week four, bring it on!
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