Beginning my research

I begin organizing my research by using standard genealogy charts to capture the relationships and the names of family members. I also quickly start writing a summary for each direct ancestor. In the summaries I include all the information that I find in the documents. Each document is a snap shot of the life of an ancestor and I try to capture each detail found in the document. This method helps me gather, correlate, and analyze my information.  I also make sure that my entries in the summaries identify where I found each fact. Including the sources and this step helps me draw better conclusions about the accuracy of my information and also helps me find clues that point to more sources.

One important benefit that I enjoy from my summaries is that they make my research efforts more efficient. Information that I needed to continue my research is more readily available and using summaries have reduced the time needed to find more documents.

Another very important benefit that my summaries offer is that they make exchanging information with family members easier. A ring binder with a titled cover invites family members to open and read. The summaries can be easily understood by family members and reading them sometimes brings out memories of family stories and offers to send copies of pictures and documents to me.



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