Home Work for QuickLesson 1. Analysis & Citation

March 14, 2016

Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 1: Analysis & Citation,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-1-analysis-citation : accessed 06 Mar 2016)

 

Well DearMYRTLE has us working again. This time using Elizabeth Shown Mills, QuickLessons on the evidenceexplaind.com website.

ESM_QuickLessons

 

I really enjoyed reading and studying what this quick lesson has to say. Analyzing of what I am looking at, then crafting a Citation.

IF I don’t spend the early stages in looking at a document, trying to address these two questions Up Front, I may be going in a direction that I really do want to go, at this moment.

In order for me to craft that Citation, I find that I have to understand 1) What exactly, am I looking at, and 2) Where did I get it from. Some where along the way, I learned to read the details about the Record group that I have a record from. I quickly determine IF that record will answer my Genealogical Question at hand.

The “WHAT” might include an Index, a derivative from an online database, or is there an image to actually look at myself.

The “WHERE” did I get it from, is probably the easy answer. Much of the records I look at are from an Online website, ‘cause I can do that from home. It the What is an image, that may be good enough, but the other two, Index or a Derivative I may want to know where that website got their information from. How far away from the actual record am I.

When I start looking  and analyzing what I am looking at, I take the time to determine WHAT Claims will that record provide me and will it help me answer the question I am researching. That detailed description, usually at the bottom of the page will help me what I may find, it may or may not be about my specific person, but the record might have the information to answer the information or a lead to where that answer might me.

In studying this QuickLesson and thinking about how I research, I actually have several steps of analysis in my research process. I have been doing this for years, but never thought out it until I tried to study this lesson.

I do most of my record research from Shaky Leaf Hints. Sorry, if that raises any red flags or “no-no” reaction, but I do. I let my software AND my online database do some work for me, in fact a lot of work. Yes, they will give me the “low hanging fruit” or that 10% of information that is “online” but, you know what, I’ll take it.

I have a way to manage these record groups. If I have been there before, I open my Genealogy Tool Box and see what notes I might have about the record group that that leaf is presenting to me. I may have already seen and analyzed this collection before so I remind myself what I thought about the record before. If not, I spend time with the complete description of that record.

Because of how these details are presented, I can capture the pieces of information that I will need for crafting that citation. I can do that hard part up front. Oh, if I have already have a write up on this, I will already have the basis for a citation.

Now, what do I do what that hint. I use my genealogy database management program help be bring that information in, one piece at a time. That Process, there, presents me what I have in my database and what information has been transcribed from that record.

My software and online hints did their analysis, now I did my analysis. If there is an Image, before I go forward, I look at that image to make sure that the transcription is correct. Understanding that the transcription is for my benefit, but for what the shaky leaf hint is looking for to get me to look closer. Looking at the Image, myself, then puts the real burden on me.

Studying this QuickLesson suggests to me that my 3 level of analysis works for me. That Hint, the Transcription, and the actual document are the three levels that I use.

I am working on a project, for a presentation, that will allow me to analyze and document how good these Shaky Leaf Hints are. On the database I am working on, I have a better than 95% accuracy rate for those hints. I won’t say it’s higher, only because I don’t have enough data, but it proving to me that this process of Analysis of the information that I use is good information. Here is a brief study:

  • 243 Hints Presented
  • 112 Records Used
  • 12 Hints went away because of the records used
  • 8 Record Hints that I intentionally ignored
  • 5 Records were for the wrong person

As I calculate the usefulness of using this process I have a 95.7% good results. I still have 100 to go, and 5 hints that are at the bottom of my priority list. I think that is a pretty good use of my time. And, 44 of the 112 records were from State or Federal Census Records, where many people in the database had claims in those records. Not bad for a database of under 200 individuals (5 generations, plus a few extra people).

Not to miss a point n the QuickLesson, I do have a number of items on my ToDo list to follow up on. I am sure that some of those items will get me to go below the water line to find the answer to my question. But I can go after that information with a larger database of information to go find THE answer to my question.

 

 


FINALLY Get Organized-Status Week of 10 Jan 16

March 12, 2016

Going to try to get caught up on my status. I have been keeping up but not reporting back like I should so:

IMDoingIT

Week of January 10, 2016

Task Status
1. First, back up your data Absolutely. Hard Drive is constantly being backed up and I randomly do a Restore of one of the backed up files — same with my genealogy database, but it several times a day as I work on it
2. Decide on a genealogy management program Family Tree Maker (FTM2014)
3. Enter 5 Generations into my genealogy database Complete
4. Set aside a 3-ring binder for your surname Declining to create Binders. I work so my better on the computer
5. Label oversize tabbed 3-ring dividers and insert in the surname binder I label any folders, by PERSON, as required and have a project folder. Very little paper
6. Print out family group sheets starting with yourself They are instantly available with my software
7. Place the 4 family group sheets  behind the appropriate generation dividers  in your surname binder n/a
8. Scan and file photos and documents relating to each of these four generations in your surname/maiden name binder This is where my organization of Filenaming has come into play. In fact, I am now bringing in photos of anyone that I might already have into this new database
9. As soon as you’ve scanned them, place all important “must save” photos and documents in top-loading page protectors All digital, so far
10. Create an introduction for those that follow Not quite ready to write up an introduction for a person yet
11. Add a “genealogy codicil” to your will by making an appointment with your attorney. ToDo List

Wow, what a busy week. I have listed each of the tasks from the DearMYRTLE blog for the week.


FINALLY Get Organized-Filenaming

March 11, 2016

On the post recent Mondays With Myrt, we talked about File Naming, for our Digital Files and how we file them on our computer.

This project of Getting Organized and this new file I am working on, have come together.

IMDoingIT

I am working on my 5 Generation file, staying focused on the Descendants of my Great Grandfather. He specifically, so that I can create a book for my new cousin.

I would normally have the Find-A-Grave website pretty high on my list of websites to work on. In this case it is NOT. Mostly because I do a lot of detailed work on the information from that website, especially if there are links to other family member which takes time. I am  using the Index Hints from Ancestry.com as a breadcrumb to go to the Find-A-Grave website late. (no ToDo lists for them, because I’ll work off of the Citation List from the Ancestry index.

Since I have done a lot of work taking photos and uploading them to the website. I have about 1,600 photos in my collection. Then it dawned on my, I have those photos already organized. But I needed to  check it out, and I do.

My filing system for Cemetery Photo’s isn’t difficult but here is goes. It is made up of 4 major components:

  • State
  • County
  • City
  • Name

Notice, NO Cemetery Name. That is because I FILE these files by Cemetery.

For me, it’s all about sorting. I  use an Underscore to make the filename more readable, for me at least.

Here Is a screen capture of my spreadsheet on how I track these photos to show it it pays off for me.

2016-03-08_183645

This starts a column “S” to get to the filename. There are columns for the State, the County, the City, the Cemetery to the left. My spreadsheet is also about Sorting and Filtering.

I use these photos for a number of reasons as well. These are my photos but I want to use them for another Blog that I have, for uploading to the Find A Grave website, and for my own use.

That is where this organization (for me) paid off. This 5 generation tree is “my folks” many of whom lived within a couple hour drive so I have taken my own photos.

You will notice some cells in Yellow. That is how I KNOW that I have added them to file.

When I brought these photos into my database I navigated to that Cemetery Folder and selected and brought a COPY of that image into my database. It only took a couple of minutes to get those images into my database. The spreadsheet had the data I wanted in my database but I worked off of the Image that is now in my file. Yes, all properly cited.

At the end of the name part of the filename, I will add things like –1, or –plot, or –sign, because when I take the photos, I book end the pictures in the cemetery with a sign or two OF the Cemetery. They are also in this spreadsheet AND my database.

Filename Format:

ST_County_City-Surname_FirstName_MiddleName-[number] if required.

Do make this work a little easier, I put the photos in Folders.

Folder Format:

ST-County-CemeteryName

2016-03-08_193424

If you can read that image, you will see that I have pictures from 4 different cemeteries in Baltimore County. It has worked for me, to stay at the County Level, and not create a City level or piece of the filename.

This system has worked for me, but it took a little thought, and to figure out how best to sort the information. It also helps keeping  names consistent.

I do a lot of copy / paste of the Filename. I use a Type Once, Paste a lot mindset.

Here is a link to the Mondays with Myrt Hangout I mentioned earlier.

PromoSHOA

Mondays with Myrt – 07 Mar 2016


Tech Tuesday–A Mystery in a Census Record–Update

March 10, 2016

Earlier this week I posted

Tech Tuesday – A Mystery in a Census Record

Well, I missed something else, thanks to a blog reader. Thanks Dr. Donald.

2016-03-08_013637

He kindly pointed out that I missed the M1 and M2 in the column. In reality that confirmed what I hope that I suggested in the earlier blog post. That HE was married before and that this was her first marriage The fact remains that she had no children and they had been married  about 1884.

Like I said in the Tuesday post, it is in the Detail. I had miss that confirming hint, for me at least.


FINALLY Get Organized–Check In for January 03

March 9, 2016

Better late than never.

Because I started late, doesn’t mean that I haven’t been working on FINALLY getting organized. In fact, I have. I have set aside some time, almost every  day, to get “my stuff” organized. Living in an apartment for years, meant stuff in storage or some where away or better said, In The Way.

Getting the house in order, gardening, getting those “shaky leaves”, you know the real ones, the grass, and keeping the birds and squirrels happy takes time. With the Christmas break and not being able to do “stuff’ I am taking the time to get the Genea-Cave in order.

So, how have I stacked for the January Check List:

IMDoingIT

Date Task Status
01/03/16 Clean off the computer desk and make piles for everything That was done, but making the desk workable, is “work in progress”
  Check your office supplies With an office supply house just down the street. done
  Set Up Computer Desk I had a plan to have someone build me one like the one that Mr. Myrt build for DearMYRTLE – Change in plans have turned out OK
  Designate a Red and Green Cliipboard Didn’t do this one with clipboards, but with specific workspace for that

There has been some fine tuning during this process, but the process is starting to pay off.


Tech Tuesday – A Mystery in a Census Record

March 8, 2016

Yeah know there is something fishy when you see a Son and Granddaughter listed in a 1910 Census Record BUT the Wife had no children born, nor living.

Russell_Henry_C-1910_Census

The relationships are clean, but looking at that one box for females in the 1910 Census, that asks the number of children born and number of children living and the answer to both is zero ( 0 ), something is wrong.

I got the son and granddaughter as the relationships are spelled out for me. But, looking as his age could be 40 or 48. Which is the right age is not the issue, BUT, it does show that he was older than the 26 years that the Head of Household and his wife were married.

The Head of Household and his Son immigrated in 1868, it appears in the same year, and probably at the same time. Haven’t found that record yet. The son and his father were both born in Ireland. The “wife” was born in Pennsylvania.

Interesting other item on this record is that the Son, has listed 2 Children Born and 2 Children Living. One of them is living in this household in 1910.

I am going to guess, that I may or may NOT find how the Son’s mother is. But, I have updated by database to show that the “wife” in this census record is not the mother.

It’s in the detail. Those two columns have left me with a number of unanswered questions, but also had me look for children who might have died earlier.

Lesson Learned: Pay attention to columns 11 and 12 in the 1900 census and columns 10 and 11 in the 1910 census


Finally Get Organized–Part 3, Scheduling

March 7, 2016

The calendar has rolled over to March. Yeah about a week ago, but …

This whole calendar thing might have gotten me off track for getting Organized. All of the Letters, All of those Photographs, so little time. Did I mention that I now have 4 large envelops of letters from my Cousin?

But looking at the next couple of months, my usual calendar for out side the home activities is pretty much under control. But, there is that word again, the person leading this FINALLY Get Organized, DearMYRTLE and I are jointly giving four presentations in Fairfax, Virginia the first weekend in April and I have one of them to do. Not a new presentation, but one that I had “retired” due to the subject at hand and some other events in the community that I hang out it.

IMDoingIT

The topic that Myrt and I thought I could present was a talk on “Information Overload”, well hope appropriate is that.

A couple of comments I have seen as this series of blog posts have made their rounds folks want me to follow those BOS’s (Bright Shiny Objects). Since Information Overload is about several thousand Shaky Leaf Hints, talk about BSO’s, I wonder IF there is time to GET ORGANIZED.

Stay tuned as I go through my Genealogy Tool Box to see if there IS a way to do “all of the above” and to get organized while doing that.

I’m thinking about getting back to those 5 generations item on the FINALLY Get Organized Check List has a role in THIS Information Overload.


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