Saturday, May 9, 2015

Citation Saturday - The Ten-Step Plan

I just love it when someone does good work that I can pass on to others.  Lynn Palmero is a Canadian genealogist who's blog The Armchair Genealogist has been one of my favorite hang-outs since I discovered her way back at the beginning of my genealogy journey.

She has been teaching genealogy to beginners at a local archive and came up with a list of all the things she would do differently if she were starting again, from scratch. One of the items on her list was getting sources and citations under control starting on day one.  She came up with a 10-step plan, and it seemed appropriate to share it on a Citation Saturday.

If you would like to read Lynn's original post, you can access it here where you can see a much larger image of the one below.  For those who would be happy with just the list, here it is:

  1. Identify one main line, and the ancestor closest to you, and begin there.
  2. Identify all your sources for this one ancestor.
  3. Cite your sources in a genealogy software program of your choice (Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, etc.)
  4. After recording all citations for sources, now is the time to make a to-do list for each ancestor. Make a list of what is missing, creating a search plan in the process.
  5. Invest in a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  As you work through your ancestors and reference this book, your knowledge of sources and citations will evolve.
  6. Print off an individual summary for each ancestor with all information including sources and citations.  Keep a copy for each ancestor with your hard copies and consider saving this information in a cloud storage program such as Dropbox.
  7. Each time you complete an ancestor, mark it "done" so you know where you left off.
  8. Create a schedule.  Don't try to tackle it all at once.  You'll grow tired and sloppy. Dedicate an allotted amount of time each week to the task, or commit to reviewing a given number of ancestors each week.
  9. Rinse and repeat for each of your ancestors.
  10. After you have completed each of your main lines, go back and begin your off-shoots.
Thanks to Lynn and all her good advice!  

Have a great weekend!

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