When doing family history research, a vital part of the process is evaluating the results of your inquiry and sharing your information with others.
I ask myself the question, "What do I see?" Sometimes what I find is only a clue; other times, it's a gold mine. I record what I learn in my research log. At this point, based on the information I've gathered, I decide where I want to go and start with step one again.
As you evaluate your information, consider the following questions:
- Did I find the information I was looking for?
- Is the information complete?
- Does the information conflict with other information I have?
- Is the source of the information credible?
Next, organize your records for easy access.
There are a number of computer programs that can help you organize your records on your home computer. If you are just starting, consider the following tips:
- Keep pedigree charts numbered and arranged numerically.
- Keep family group records in alphabetical order by the husband's name.
- Keep notes, research logs and copies of documents behind the related family group record.
Barry J. Ewell is author of Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering your Family History and founder of MyGenShare.com, an online educational website for genealogy and family history.
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