20 June 2009

Sit Down and Organize

I made significant headway on my wife's ancestors from County Cumberland in England while I was at the Family History Library in Salt Lake with my group last month. Some of the finds I have been posting on the website--at least the things that fall into the category of "neat" (which is not really too well-defined, but I know it when I see it.

I have even made contact with two distant cousins working on one of the same families--one cousin in the UK and another in Australia. That falls into the category of "neat" too.

The one thing I have not done is to organize what I have found and entered the information into my files. While at the library, I took notes of what I did, or scanned enough information so that I could follow my line of reasoning. What I should have done was started the data entry as soon as I got home from Salt Lake. I can still pretty much retrace my steps, but the longer it is from the time I found it, the more likely it is that I won't remember what I did.

So for now, instead of trying to find more information, I need to organize and put together what I have. Those who subscribe to Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and read my "Casefile Clues" column will read about my work in the Cumberland records as I organize what I have. Writing is a great way to help me to organize and put together my materials.

There is another reason to organize my material. I'll be presenting at the BYU Genealogy Conference at the end of July and am hoping to sneak in a little time at the Family History Library on Saturday. I can't effectively get more information if I don't organize what I already have.