Wednesday, March 2

Beyond Family Group Sheets...

As with any kind of project, genealogy is in a constant state of evolution and change. I'm no exception to this rule.

I lately read Sharon DeBartolo Carmack's Organizing Your Family History Search. Though she talks about organizing using the usual family group sheets, she also discusses the use of a genealogical or family summary. I've mulled over the usage of basic word processing programs in regards to genealogy for awhile, it never really clicked until I read the following:
"Family group sheets, like pedigree charts, are meant to record the vital statistics on a family, not much more. When you have reached the point in your research where you have gone beyond the name, dates and places, where you are doing in-depth research and analysis and gathering historical context, you will need a better way of organizing your data... Genealogists find writing out the information in narrative form to be the best method. These are called genealogical or family summaries... it can be equally beneficial to your research to write out all your data as a genealogical or family summary and use a working copy as you would a family group sheet." 1
So I'm a slow learner - it's taken me this long to clue into a system that (appears) to be working for me! :)

So far, I love it! I'm a writer by nature, so there's so much more room to expand. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy (yes, I did say enjoy) annotated footnotes. And while I haven't got all the kinks worked out, a revision of my research plan is in definite order!


1 Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Organizing Your Family History Search: Efficient and Effective Ways to Gather and Protect Your Genealogical Research (Cincinnati, O.H.: Betterway Books, 1999), p. 68.

1 comment:

Kathy Reed said...

I'm surprised to see that the book you are referring to is published in Cincinnati. I got into blogging as a way to organize my family history beyond the charts with names, dates, etc. I think context is so important. I'd rather write than input data any day of the week. It's so much more rewarding.