Oh, yeah, I also created an ahnentafel report and put in a plastic folder for easy access to help me stay on track with my direct lines. I also put a copy of the guidelines in the notebook, so I guess tomorrow I’ll get back with the work!
Ok, I think I’ve come up with a workable plan to manage my genealogy data problems:
My direct lines:
Documentation in FTM for direct line as per ahnentafel genealogy report format
Documentation in FTM for C B Stanley & J D Hall descendants (my oldest living relatives)
Others may be added to FTM, but documentation not required
Documentation placed per sources/citation button only
BCG computer database divisions:
Filing Cabinet- organization
a) Surnames folders- all like surnames paper-clipped together, placed in same folder (may eventually need to change to 3-ring binders as volume of documentation increases)
Filing cabinet- placement of women:
a) Remain in parent’s surname folder until married
b) If does not marry, reamin in parent’s surname folder
c) If marries, all future documentation placed in husband’s surname folder
d) If outlives husband, remains in husband’s surname folder
e) If remarries, all future documentation placed in new husband’s surname folderI think I can live with this. It satisfies the organization problem, and also the need to prove my direct lines. Other ancestors can be added, and ultimately the documentation will still be available for them, too. After all, these “horizontal” lines usually present themselves through evidence of the direct lines, anyway.
Now, I just gotta gather up all the papers that are scattered all over the livingroom floor…
Well, I got all the surname files done and so this morning I started adding the data to my FTM database. THERE IS SOOOOOOOOO MUCH STUFF TO DOCUMENT!!!!! In the FTM, there are several places to document one piece of data, so you end up repeating yourself. That’s just for one person. When you have a document that involves several people, like a census, then you have to repeat yourself several times for each person.
And then there’s the confusion of the “maiden name vs the married name”. Where do you put a wife? With her parents’ surname or her spouse’s surname? And if she outlives her husband, do her later records stay with her husband or go back to her parent’s? What if she remarries?
I have got to work out a system that I can remember and easily follow. I get so confused trying to document everything in duplicate for each individual, family, surname.
And then there’s the problem of where do you stop, as far as adding names to the data base. It’s very easy to get lost when documenting family that is “off the beaten path”, in other words how far away from my direct lines do I go? 1 generation, 2 generations, 10 generations?
I think this will be my next, most urgent task. I’ll have to figure out a system and then write it down so I can remember and follow it. This before I try to document anything else!
Why didn’t I figure this all out when I first started looking into my family history, just 4 years, 1 month and 2 days ago!!!
I think this may be the reason I sometimes drop genealogy altogether, and leave it for several months at a time. Too stressful!