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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 ($).

Research Ideas Log and Research Log

Each couple’s file should include a Research Ideas Log and Research Log. I keep mine at the back of the files so I can locate them quickly. Alternatively these sections can be a part of the Notes for each person in your genealogy software. The notes of a pedigree analysis can go in the ancestor’s file. The ideas for research so generated can be placed on the Research Ideas Log and be acted upon as convenient. When you have accessed a source and searched it, write this in the Research Log as having been completed, together with a note as to whether it was successful or not. Keep generating ideas until you eventually solve each puzzle.

The Research Ideas Log is a compilation of your ideas on further sources to search, as in the example from my agnatic line shown in the following chart.

Research Ideas Log for: William and Mary Ann Gardner

INFORMATION
NEEDED
WHERE TO SEARCH
RESULT
Death date William
1851 census Stratford, West Ham, Essex
Wife widow thus before 30 Mar 1851
Death date William
1841 census Stratford, West Ham, Essex
Wife widow thus before 6 Jun 1841
Death date William
GRO indexes 1841 2Q and back to 3Q 1837
Not present, perhaps before 1 Jul 1837
Burial date William
All Saints, West Ham 1837 and back
Found 4 Jun 1837


The Research Log is a list of all the work you have done on this family, as in this chart.

Research Log for: William and Mary Ann Gardner

Date Research Done
Source Consulted
Result
6 Jul 1985
1851 census Stratford, West Ham, Essex
Mary Ann a widow
12 Aug 1985
1841 census Stratford, West Ham, Essex
Mary Ann a widow
20 Aug 1985
GRO Death indexes 3Q 1837 - 2Q 1841
No death William GARDNER in West Ham
1 Oct 1985
Burials, All Saints, West Ham
Buried 4 Jun 1837 age 34


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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 22:27.
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