Organizing Research for Non-Computer-Literate Genealogist #general


Sheldon Dan <sheldan1955@...>
 

I have been corresponding with someone who is helping me with genealogy. She
sent me an e-mail in which she admitted that she needs help.

She writes, "I don't know how to organize my information. I spend hours pulling
out >from here or there, write it on scraps of paper, and there it sits." She
works with a smart phone, and I have been sending charts >from my genealogy
project. I have been using MyHeritage for a while, and although I could use
descendants' reports that are similar to those of other genealogy programs I've
seen, the reports are good enough to communicate with people through e-mail. As
she says, "Your charts I take off and write on paper so it can be seen. Then
what?"

She apparently does not have a good idea for organizing the material. She
suspects that she has looked up the material two or three times because she
cannot find the data she is looking for.

I would truly like to give some good advice, so I am turning to you. What would
you suggest to a non-computer-literate genealogist about organizing the data
into something that will function well?

Sheldon Dan
sheldan1955@bellsouth.net


Pierre HAHN
 

The 3x5 cards (or the next size larger)

Each card with one named person the last name highlighted for sorting
it in alphabetic order

Each card with the information collected for that person:
date of BMD, burial, education, prizes, occupation, residences,
etc..and the references on where you got the information

Each card with the following four entries:
Previous name of grand parents
With name of spouse(s) and sibling(s)
Next name of offspring(s)

Other names of friends, nanies, co-workers etc and other people
important to this person's life

Obviously if you use a computer you will not have to repeat a lot of
info, but that is what you will need

All the information to be legible so that others may be able to read
it - no personal short cuts

A large file cabinet for the thousands when your tre becomes a forest.

My $$$$ worth

Pierre M Hahn, San Francisco

On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 11:03 AM, Sheldon Dan <sheldan1955@bellsouth.net> wrote:
I have been corresponding with someone who is helping me with genealogy. She
sent me an e-mail in which she admitted that she needs help.

She writes, "I don't know how to organize my information. I spend hours pulling
out >from here or there, write it on scraps of paper, and there it sits." She
works with a smart phone, and I have been sending charts >from my genealogy
project. I have been using MyHeritage for a while, and although I could use
descendants' reports that are similar to those of other genealogy programs I've
seen, the reports are good enough to communicate with people through e-mail. As
she says, "Your charts I take off and write on paper so it can be seen. Then
what?"

She apparently does not have a good idea for organizing the material. She
suspects that she has looked up the material two or three times because she
cannot find the data she is looking for.

I would truly like to give some good advice, so I am turning to you. What would
you suggest to a non-computer-literate genealogist about organizing the data
into something that will function well?
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Eva Lawrence
 

I'm pretty computer literate, but I prefer to work with paper records. So
I acquired a printer and organise my research results in A4 ring binders. I
have binder for each surname or person, depending on the amount of material
available, marked clearly on the cover. The print-ups are inserted into
transparent punched-hole A4 filing envelopes and slotted in date order (the
date of the vital record, not the date of acquiring it).

Because the software enters sources on the print-ups in most cases, I don't
need to do that. But your friend can do the same with her manuscript notes,
recording the source herself. She does need to take time to write the data
out neatly with all the relevant information on each sheet, or sheets.

Just doing such meticulous filing will give her a much better overview of
what she has found out, and make it evident when a piece of research has
already been done.

It may sometimes be helpful to file duplicate sheets in different folders.
And don't edit out anything that doesn't seem relevant now, because it may
prove to be useful later on.

Admittedly this filing system takes up a lot of space - but that's my
personal choice. And I keep the stuff on my computer as well!

Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

From: Sheldon Dan <sheldan1955@bellsouth.net>

...What would you suggest to a non-computer-literate genealogist about
organizing the data into something that will function well?


Sheldon Dan <sheldan1955@...>
 

Thank you for all your responses to my post. I have forwarded the ones which
are most likely beneficial to my friend--I am accepting her word that she is
not very computer-literate (so certain computer-based suggestions might not
be helpful to her).

I have sent a number of queries to this forum and have been very pleased with
the results. You have not let me down, and I am happy.

Sheldon Dan
sheldan1955@bellsouth.net

MODERATOR NOTE: JewishGen Discussion Group participants have a long history
of generosity and awesomeness. Bravo!


Lesley K. Cafarelli
 

Sheldon Dan wrote:
...What would you suggest to a non-computer-literate genealogist about
organizing the data into something that will function well?
If you or another computer-savvy friend or relative or Family History Center
volunteer can help her print out an initial set, your friend might benefit
from using the many genealogical forms that are online, including research
plans, research logs, individual tracking forms, family group sheets,
pedigree charts, and forms for extracting information >from censuses, etc.
With one or two copies of each type of form she likes, she can take a set to
a copy shop such as Kinko's or UPS to make lots of copies, keeping one clean
set to make more when she needs them. As she works, she can organize her
forms in binders, as someone else suggested, or file folders by family group.

You can find sample forms on FamilySearch, NARA, links on Cyndi's List and
many other places. You can also find an assortment by searching a particular
type of form in Google Images. There is also a group on Facebook called The
Organized Genealogist where people share forms they've found or created.

I can't imagine fitting all the information I collect on an individual on a
regular index card or even a 5" x 8" card, but these forms might help. All
she needs is someone to help her find and print the initial set.

Lesley K. Cafarelli
Minneapolis, MN, USA