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The Research Journal
One way to focus on one person at a time is to create and maintain a Research Journal. To create a journal, take an ordinary notebook. The notebook can be spiral, bound, or most any size that is comfortable for you. On each page, your write the name of one person, starting with your father. The next page is for your mother, and then your brothers and sisters. After that, put in pages for your grandparents and your aunts and uncles. Then, work you way back generation by generation.
Each page in the journal should look like this:
Code (from FamilySearch)
Fill in all the information you know about the person. Where you need to do research is where the information is blank.
Underneaath the information you create a table:
|Date||Source||Source Description||Information Received|
The date is when you made the contact or received the information
The source is where you got the information.
The source description is any indentification that will help some else access the source, such aa library call number or file number.
The information received is what you found out.
Here is an example page:
Florin Marcu LBDT-9LS
born: abt 1894
married: abt 1916
Children: Stefan (m), Maria (f), Ion (m), Dumitru (m), Ecaterina (f) + 3 other children
Date Source Source Description Information received
1 Oct 2013 Mom telephone call Didn't know her grandfather
28 Oct 2013 CNSAS File # R218544 Death date, names of wife &
What do you then need for Florin Marcu? A birth certificate, marriage certificate, and death certificate.
You keep track of the research you need to do on a Research Report that looks like this:
Name Record Source
Florin Marcu Birth Certificate National Archive, Craiova
Florin Marcu Marriage Certificate Amaratii de Jos city offices
Florin Marcu Death Certificate Craiova city offices
Maria Marcu Headstone Craiova cemetary
The Research Report and Work Order
The Reseach Report becomes a to-do list. Don't worry about how long it is, just start at the top and work you way down, one task at a time. This way, family history work becomes less overwhelming. Writing one email or a letter is not so hard to do. But, be sure as you do the tasks, put them in the table on the person's page. If nothing else, it will keep you from doing the same thing twice.
If you notice that one source have information on several people, you can prepare a Work Order. For example, if several of your ancestors are buried in the same cemetary, just take one trip and get all the information from their headstones:
Florin Marcu 1962
Maria Marcu 1960
Adrian Ghinescu 1921
Alin Bobescu 1919