Thursday, October 25, 2012

Starting Over

Public Service Announcements:
Woo hoo! Score one for cemetery preservation! This cemetery is about 8 miles from my house. Judge Rules Georgia Power Can't Cut Trees at King Cemetery.

We now have over 100 people following this blog via email! Not bad considering we have only been around for 3 months. I want to thank everyone that takes the time to read the blog and I enjoy your feedback so E-MAIL ME!

If you missed yesterday's webinar Your Civil War Ancestors: Beginning Your Research by certified genealogist Michael Hait, you have 10 days to watch it free.

Comment from Trudy:
"I have my genealogy information in Family Tree Maker. I did not source my findings and want to basically start over with Legacy and source all my information. I have yet to even get started with this project. At this point it just seems so overwhelming. Like most family historians, I have tons of documents, books, photographs all needing to be organized and most needing to be scanned. Just not sure how to get started. I can easily get strayed from this project into something more enjoyable like hunting for a family member to give a found piece of their family history.

I feel your pain. I was once in this same position. It is a VERY big project but I promise you, you won’t regret it. Whether you keep your stuff in FTM or you switch to Legacy, starting over and sourcing everything properly is a good idea. Besides the obvious reason of getting your info in the correct format, you will find errors that you didn’t know you had and you will discover things you didn’t know you knew!

How many people do you have in your file? Depending on how many you have decides which strategy you should take. A small file means you can just work on everyone one at a time (in family groups). A large file means you should start with your direct line, then add the siblings of your direct line, and then you can go from there. Legacy has a way to tag people. You can tag everyone in your file and then untag them one at a time as you get done with them.

I would scan the documents and photos in as you use them as sources that way you won't get overwhelmed by having to scan in 500 documents at one time. This will give you time to really analyze each document. You need to come up with a Computer Filing System that makes sense to you. You need to write a full citation right on the documents before you scan. On the photos you need to add a border and then write a full citation. You can do this with photo editing software or you can simply write the citation on a piece of paper and scan it right next to the photo. You can then link the document/photo to the person(s) in your file.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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