Part two of the Family History Research Toolkit series will introduce you to more charts, forms, and check lists to help you stay on track throughout the research process.
Relationship Chart: As you get deeper in your genealogical research, the relationships between ancestors start to get very complicated. Use this chart to help clarify where your ancestor’s fall in your family tree, and how you should refer to them in your documentation.
Research Log: This form will help you keep track of the sources that you have used, and plan to use during your genealogical research. Use this form for resources found both inside and outside of the home. A research log will also help reduce the potential for duplicating your efforts because you will have a place to record every source that you have already analyzed and plan to analyze in the future. The information on this form will help you especially when you encounter conflicting information during your research because you will be able to easily cross-reference your new information with what you have previously found. Also, in genealogy it is very important to cite your sources every time you collect new information. This form will help you keep on top of citing your sources, and will help keep them organized.
The information that you should record on your research log before you search includes:
- Name of your ancestor
- Your selected research objective
- The title of the source, including the author and call number
- The name of the location where the source is kept
Once you record all of this information on your research log, you are ready to start your search. After you have finished your search, record the following information:
- The date that you searched the source
- The citation of the source
- Notes about what you found or did not find
- Whether or not you made a photocopy or transcription
- Whether this source should be further investigated in the future
After you have recorded all of the necessary information into your research log, take the data such as dates and places, and transfer the information onto your pedigree chart and onto your family group record. Each additional entry gets you one step closer to making new discoveries.
Internal Sources Checklist: Your home, and the homes of other family members, will be rich in resources to help you discover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your family history. This checklist provides many of the relevant items and records to look for. Do not get discouraged if you do not find all of these items, not every family has all of them. Just try your best to locate a few that will be most relevant for your personal research project. Use these items to help add to or validate the information that you have in your pedigree chart and family group sheet.
To access all of the forms in the Family History Research Toolkit, please visit the Mocavo Learning Center.