30 May 2014

Salt Lake City - part 1

I am in Salt Lake City this week doing some genealogy research. I will start with a few hints and tips that I have already come up with for someone who decides to come to SLC for the first time to research.

First write research plans. This applies to any time you are going to do some research, but especially if you are traveling to get to your research location (like Salt Lake City Family History Library, or even your local library). What do you put in a research plan? Start with the basic of who you are researching. Add your name as researcher, the date you wrote the plan and leave a space to put when and where you are doing the research. Then I put my objectives, what it is I am hoping to find. Then I listed what facts I already knew along with what sources I got the information from. Then I wrote what I called a "working hypothesis" where I listed info about the individual (or family). This can include speculations, just be careful to note what is proven fact and what is speculation so you don't confuse yourself. Then I have a section for Research Strategies, where I list specific records to check. Finally I have a section for notes. (See Emma Antrim for an example of one of my research plans.)

Once I had my research plans written and printed I bought some of those 3 prong folders like we used to use in school. In it I put the person's family group sheet, the research plan and a minimal amount of note pages to write note on so I can note what I looked at, documenting sources, what I found, and any new ideas or questions I come up with for further research. This makes it easy to pull out one folder at a time so I can concentrate on one thing at a time, It keeps me from getting too overwhelmed.

Be sure and spend time online researching what records you will be able to use at the location you are going to. Making note of call numbers and film/fiche numbers so you don't have to waste time doing that once you get to the library. On your research plan note the book titles (or film/fiche titles), authors name if given and their call numbers, so that you have all the information in one place.

This is all basic information and while almost any book will tell you the same basic thing it never hurts to hear it again (and again and again).

Will post more later, for now it it time for me to get back to my research. :)

Happy Hunting!