Are your genealogy research notes organized?

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

How do you document your genealogy research?

Are you fully computerized, or do you take notes in another manner? I have always used school notebooks, bound not loose leaf. While researching, I date each page and say where I got the information from — a library, archives or online website.

I try to keep each notebook on one family or topic, if possible. I number the notebooks, create a table of contents/index in front, and label the cover. For example: Russell Notebook No. 2, June 5, 2021 through June 21, 2021. The system has worked for decades. Sometimes, I look back and see that I did not always follow through with my system. With any system, you have to keep your standards up.

In the last several years, I have also tried to write a computer memo outlining my research thinking and discoveries and listing the unanswered questions I have. Some people do their research and immediately or simultaneously post it online. I find it easier to review a paper notebook, make additional observations in the margins and add updates. Evernote is one of the online systems devised for keeping notes, and it’s worth trying. You want your notes useful to you in the future and to anyone who will be taking over your files. Nothing is worse than notes that can’t be read or interpreted, or if you found something and then can’t recall the location where you found it.

Georgia Archives’ July 23 event

The Georgia Archives Fourth Friday virtual lecture series will be at noon on July 23. Penny Cliff, Archives education specialist, will speak on “Centuries of Fascinating Stories in Georgia History: Investigating the Collections at the Georgia Archives.” The lecture is free. To watch, check for the meeting link or call 678-364-3710 for information.

Family medical history

Family medical history is important to document when you come across it in your research. You should let close relatives know. Be sure you are asking those questions.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30031 or