Saturday, April 14, 2012

Training The Rookie Genealogist Days 5 & 6

The last two days have been exhausting, for both of us I am sure. But it has been rewarding. These two days have been days of cleaning up files, double checking if her tree had the right people in it.

We have been looking for and found some documentation. We found a birth certificate posted on a memorial in We found a marriage certificate in Ancestry led us to public marriage records. We copied these documents off our screen with jing. You download this cool tool at It's free.

She and her daughter opened a Flicker account. That is free too. We Jinged a photo of an ancestor that was posted on find a grave and  her daughter uploaded it in their new Flickr account. We will link to the photo and other items when she gets her FamilyTree account within

It became obvious that you need to be organized when doing research. I have been gathering sample forms and using different ones as an experiment on which is the best. I am concluding that I will use more than one type and keep a file folder on each ancestor. Here is the link to those I prefer at this time: It can be found in the right side bar under research forms.

I have been anxiously awaiting Barry Ewell to bring me into his beta of In taking a few classes from Barry I am convinced he is on the forefront of effective research. He speaks about how to be organized and how critical it is in not wasting valuable research time.

This is a quote from Barry Ewell about his opinion on how to organize: "Choose an organization system that genealogists use. There are several popular genealogy organization systems. Research the systems and use the one that fits your style and one you will actually use.

Recommendation: I have evaluated and started (and then subsequently abandoned) several filing systems. I took a class from Mary E. V. Hill on a filing system and I reorganized my genealogy using her color coding filing system. It is extremely flexible—the more ancestors you find, the more expandable and flexible the system becomes. It can be multi-generational and strictly linear at the same time. The system is simple to set up, simple to maintain, well organized, and inexpensive. The system is easy to understand for the researcher and the mildly interested relatives alike. I can find anything in just a few seconds.
Here is, besides using and filing Research logs, the main things my trainee learned these past two days:
Following the above process creams the 80% of the information that is most available. Family Search and Find A Grave are free sites. You can visit your nearest LDS Family History Center or Library and access Ancestry using their license.

Learn how to go deeper in Family Search and Ancestry than just putting in your search. There are advanced tools that sometimes perform miracles for you in both. This is another reason to spend some time at an LDS Family History Center - they have willing volunteers that can help you learn these features.

We have less than a full week of training left. She gets her zone assignment on Friday morning. I am anxious to find out which of our 20 zones she goes to. I found out yesterday that those missionaries who are assigned to the Salt Lake City Family History Library will now go through an extra 8 days of training from a new zone they are creating. I might like to be transferred to that zone.

For you members of our church just note: this is an awesome mission. There is a neat spirit here. If you put forth the effort you can really learn how to do family history. The service you provide goes to those who really appreciate it. You feel like you can taste what the celestial kingdom is like.

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