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Too Many Things To Do

I have so many things to do: Find out what kind of ship John Olsson was the captain of; Get in touch with several Catholic Churches in New York to get marriage records; Bring some records up to date in my software program; Contact a historian in Newburgh, New York; Wash my clothes... This brought to mind that many genealogists also have many things to do. Perhaps a planner can help. I have a planner that lists all the things that I want to accomplish per day. I plan for one week at a time and I write in pencil. That way I can move things around if I run out of time. Don't forget that writing your family history takes up time too.

Using Google

If you've been doing genealogy research for a long time, you might forget to do some of the things you did a while ago. Don't forget that Google has many books you can look into while looking for family. Not only that, you can look for research tips using Ancestry Magazine which you can find in Google books.

Saving Your Documents

Of course you know that if your tree is on Ancestry, you must download documents to your own computer, not just to your tree. A few years ago, I started a filing system with digitized documents. It is a simple method so that I don't stress out over saving my documents. I simply create folders on my desktop for each family, In each folder are sub folders with names such as baptisms, marriages, tax records, newspaper, deaths, and, well, you get the idea. I usually back up the info every week. It's a simple way of filing digitized documents.

Probate Records

When my husband's g-g-grandfather died in 1894, his widow, Margaret, went before the court to file for probate. In it, three children are listed by name. I know Margaret and her husband had more children, including my husband's g-grandfather. She named only those children who were still living with her and were dependent upon her, even though one was a daughter who was older than her brother (great-grandfather). She's not buried with her parents and brothers, so where is she? This calls for more searching to find Katherine.

Don't Forget to send a letter

All right, you say, we have email now, so no need to go back to snail mail. But writing has several advantages. You can detail more information and you can send a small gratuity. If you're looking to see if an ancestor is buried in a particular cemetery in a city that is not close to you, write to the caretaker. State what you're looking for and send a tip and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Send a letter to a genealogy society, to a funeral home, to a church, school, etc. By sending a self-addressed stamped envelope, it is more likely that you will get a reply.

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