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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice  by Louise St Denis, Brenda Dougall Merriman and Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Forms

Research Activity

Every book, family document, microfilm, microfiche, newspaper, etc., you look at should be listed on the Research Activity form. This will prevent duplicate searches. It will also provide a reference to verify if certain documents have not yet been checked. You may wish to keep one Research Activity log for each ancestor (as on our form) or make it more generic for one family surname.

Date of Search—when you viewed the source.

Resource Centre—this is where you viewed a particular document or other type of source; it might have been a library, archive, home of a relative, etc.

Type of Source/Description—indicate whether the source was an original document (will, deed, military papers, marriage registration, etc.) or a secondary source like a book or website.

Document Status—on the line at the bottom of this form you can note the condition of the source as to legibility and reproduction quality.

Source Citation—this is the precise reference you need to return to view the same source, or to guide anyone who reads your information at any time in the future: library or archival citations. If it was a family or relative’s source, their name, address, phone number are essential. A secondary source like a book or website, needs the same cataloguing or URL reference. In particular, you should note the creator of the source: it may be different from the resource center where you viewed it and available through other media (e.g., a certain book may be available in many different libraries, so it needs a cataloguing number or better yet, an ISBN number. Census returns have been created by various government agencies through the years. You may have viewed them at the institution which created and/or holds the original material; you may have viewed them on microfilm at a FamilySearch Center; you may have viewed them online as scanned or digital versions of the original pages).

Results/Comments—this space is reserved for noting whether you found your ancestor or family in this source. Or not. Negative “results” preclude duplication of future research as long as you know the objective of consulting that source in the first place. You can also add any relevant comments if the source or document was damaged or difficult to read. Do not feel restricted to using only one line for an entry to make your comments clear and jog your memory.



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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.

  • This page was last modified on 22 April 2014, at 19:27.
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