Having some sort of resources checklist is essential so that you don't miss any available records. You can use this checklist to formulate your research plan before you actually start digging into records. I believe the more organized you are the more successful you will be. You will need to tailor your checklist a bit depending on the time period and the location. The basic record sets won't change but the location specific records available in Rhode Island are very different than the ones in South Carolina and the records you will find when researching in the 1700s is different than what you will find in the 1900s.
Here are two different style forms that will help you design something that will work best for you. The first is a fill-in-the-blank type form and the other is just a list that you can cross off as you check each one.
- Genealogy Research Resources Checklist from Capital Area Genealogical Society
- Genealogical Source Checklist from Magnolia Manor Genealogy
If you use Legacy Family Tree there is a built in research guidance feature that customizes the list of things you need to check based on all of the info you have entered on the person such as dates and locations. Every suggestion has three options, ignore, to-do and done which is a really nice way to keep track of things. It also puts in the date that you checked each resource so that if it is a resource that is updated regularly you can decide whether or not it is time to recheck it. I really like Legacy's Research Guidance. You can tell it what fact you are looking for (birth, marriage, death, parents, siblings etc.) and it will give you just those resources that will help you with that goal. Since I have a research calendar for each specific goal this feature really helps me.
Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis