Genealogy Sleuth Work: Customize Your Organization


You have to devise the system that works best for you, given your time, money, patience, and the way you think. Combining aspects of several systems may work well for you. Whatever you choose, the purpose is to (1) develop an efficient and systematic way to store research data on ancestors, (2) be able to access any given piece of it relatively quickly, and (3) have an effective way to pull materials together for comparison and study. Even those who use genealogy software to link related individuals will still need to use paper and pencil as they gather and evaluate material.

Let's take a piece of advice from an Eleanor Roosevelt mystery in which adviser Louis Howe said to President Franklin Roosevelt: "A disordered mind is unlikely ever to be made up."9 His observation has a valid genealogical application: A genealogist with disordered research is unlikely to make much progress because much is in disarray and the overall picture is blurry. Therefore, organization is imperative, even if only in the lines chosen for study.

     Emily Anne Croom, "Genealogy Sleuth Work: Customize Your Organization," extracted from The Sleuth Book for Genealogists: Strategies for More Successful Family History Research, 2nd ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2008), Chapt. 1, pp. 7-8; digital edition, ( : posted 26 Jul 2012)

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