March 4, 2020
Hello everyone, I hope you are having a great start to the year!
One of the really important parts of researching is keeping your facts neat and tidy, here are five tips to make your researching easier!
1. Save immediately:
When I find a record, certificate or fact about an ancestor that I am sure is correct, I straight away add all the information to my ancestor’s online profile, create profiles for any new family tree members and add any images/certificates to their gallery. This prevents me losing any precious info, and also makes it easier for me to see the most updated facts for that person immediately while researching. If I’m not sure any information is correct, I either write it down in my family history notebook (along with where I got the info from), bookmark/save the link online or (if I am using ancestry.com) save the record to my shoebox.
2. Keep browser tabs tidy:
When I know that I am finished with a certain tab on my computer, I immediately delete it so it does not clog up my browser, slow down my computer or make it difficult to cross reference material. If the information is a useful resource, I bookmark it so I can come back to it later. For significant family finds that I can’t lose, or frequently used resources, I make them into a “pinned tab” in my browser so they are always there. About once a month, I go through all these pinned tabs and ask myself Do I still need this? Is this information still relevant? Am I still using this resource? If the answer is no, I bookmark the website in case I need it again and remove the pinned tab.
3. Have your digital family tree open in a browser tab while researching:
This means you can quickly reference your information quickly while researching. It avoids doubling up or trying to remember correct facts. Even if you are researching on the same website that your family tree is stored on, still have your family tree open in another tab.
4. Keep a family history notebook:
Keeping a notebook that is only used for your family research is really helpful and beneficial, and allows you to quickly jot down dates, facts and theories without having to remember them. If you are someone who researches your family tree on the go (e.g. on public transport to work or lunch break) or if you are travelling, creating a word/pages file on your computer titled “Family History Notebook” might work better for you to save space.
5. Keep a “Resources” list:
Keeping a list of all my family history resources has really worked for me, I simply keep a list in my family history notebook of any websites, books and articles I found useful or that people have recommended. Last week when I started a project on convicts, I was able to quickly refer to my resource list and pull up several websites that proved immensely useful. Again, if you are pressed for space, keeping a word/pages document for resources works really well. 🙂
I hope these tips helped, and as always, happy researching!
Arundel Castle, former home of Adeliza of Louvain, the fair maid of Brabant
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