Genealogy Do-Over: Week One – January 1-8 – My Golden Rules

Here’s my Progress this first week:

The first thing I did was create “My Golden Rules of Genealogy”

My Golden Rules of Genealogy:

  1. Schedule a set time to work – no less than 30 minutes a session
  2. Be consistent
  3. Touch it ONCE! Put it where it should go – permanently
  4. Use a research log – use Apps
  5. Create To-Do lists to avoid getting distracted 
  6. keep it handy as I research
  7. Look at the whole picture – go deeper
  8. Remember “Pickholtz’ Rules” (Israel Pickholz’ rules to verify data)
  9. Share…and ask for help
  10. Don’t quit – it’s OK to skip a “work-date”

I then began to think about the three topics posed this week:

1. Setting Previous Research Aside

  • I decided to leave all hard copies, binders, etc. where they are
  • I renamed my genealogy folder as “Hold Genealogy” and created a new one in preparation for what I find during the Do-Over.
  • I created a new file on RootsMagic and started inputting info beginning with myself.

2. Preparing to Research

  • Have a plan – before beginning a research session, I will determine my “problem”/objective/goal
  • Have RootsMagic open
  • Have Evernote open (use research template on Evernote)

3. Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines

I am adopting Thomas’ suggestions (Thomas MacEntee of Hack Genealogy is the originator of this Do-Over):
  • track all work, even dead ends, negative evidence and non-productive searches 
  • cite sources, even if in a rudimentary manner to note the “what, where and when” information about a record 
  • make the “first pass the only pass” which means slow down and spend as much time as needed on a document or source and wring every bit of information out of it.
I’m a little overwhelmed by the process. But, I’ll hang in there and see how it goes.
Next Week’s Topics:
 1) Setting Research Goals, 2) Conducting Self Interview, and 3) Conducting Family Interviews

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