Genealogy Rewind First Step

In a recent blog, I told you that I’d decided to do a Genealogy Rewind of sorts. When I started doing genealogy about 20 years ago, I read nearly everything I could get my hands on, and I have to say I continue to do that even now.

Of course, all the genealogy books said the same thing. To begin with yourself and work backward. Over the years I’ve learned that if you want to do effective research, you need to have a research plan.

This is also true when you start a Genealogy Rewind. It helps if you decided what your goal is. My goal for my rewind is to take the two boxes of loose files and papers and multiple notebooks and go through them to see if any pertinent information had been missed. You know all those notebooks that you take on research trips? Well, I had some from the early days (when I wrote everything about my surnames), and I wondered if there was anything that didn’t appear important then but might be now.

I also want to go through my computer and organize my files and ensure that all information is backed up. I also want to scan the binders that I created in those early years and create a digital copy.

Currently, I only keep the certificates I purchased and the rest of my genealogy I keep digitally. We’ll get into that later.

Finally, I want to look at my early genealogy and see what holes might need to be further researched.

The Genealogy Standards published by the Board for Certification of Genealogists states that the standards are for completed research. So because I feel my early genealogy is more or less complete, I need to see if it meets the five components.

  • Reasonably exhaustive research
  • Complete and accurate source citation
  • Critical tests of relevant evidence through the process of analysis and correlation
  • resolution of conflicting evidence

I started this part of my Genealogy Rewind by collecting all the things that I wanted to deal with this time and put them in one place. If you’ve been following for a while then you know that I started that process a couple of years ago. You can read that blog HERE.

I decided I would start with the notebooks. There are six of them. I went through each page and as I found things that should be added to my genealogy I did so and checked them off in the notebook. Then I needed to create citations for each of the things that I discovered.

Genealogy Standards tells us that a citation has four elements.

  • Who – the person, agency, business, government, office or religious body that authored, created, edited produced or was responsible for the source; or, if identified the source’s informant.
  • What – the source’s title or name; if it is untitled, a clear item-specific description.
  • When – the date, the source was created, published, last modified, or accessed; in some cases, if the source is unpublished, the date of the event it reports.
  • Where – if unpublished, the source’s physical location; if a published book, CD-ROM, microfilm, or newspaper, its place of publication; if an online resource, a stable URL

Complete citations to information items documenting specific statements, fact, images and conclusion (reference-note citations) describe the fifth facet:

  • Wherein – the specific location within the source where the information item can be found.

So it was now time to check; Evidence Explained and see how I should write my citations. (Note that Elizabeth Shown Mills also has a Quick Guide for Evidence Explained on Amazon.)

Citations can be very scary. I’ve read a lot of articles about them, and some can be scary enough to make you consider not doing genealogy anymore. But I think the thing you have to remember is that you are trying to create a citation so that someone else could read it and know where they could find that same information. So don’t be put off by it. Do you best, and with practice, you’ll get better at it.

The next step will be my loose files. I hope I’m not the only one with some of those.

Those of you that would like to follow along may want to join my Facebook page; Getting My Poop In A Group (Genealogy & Photo Rewind). Here I post items that I feel help to work through the process of organizing not only your genealogy but your photos.

Note: The post above contains affiliate links. This means I make a small percentage on the sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. This is a supplement to my income so I can continue  to support The DNA Angel Project and to make donations to the Alzheimer’s’ Society

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