Friday, April 03, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Thoughts

Cycle 2 Do-Over graphic by Thomas McEntee
As I just completed the Genealogy Do-Over Cycle 1 (The Pioneer Group), I'd like to point out that the ideas that were shared by Thomas and the members of the group may have given all of us "food for thought" about many things that we have not been doing in the years that we have been researching. 

Several years ago, I attended a talk given by two women who had a great idea that can be done by any genealogist or family historian. They suggested a "Vital Records Binder" with COPIES of records for everyday use. I had just completed the records for PROVING my lineage applications for my first two Mayflower ancestors and the lineage records for joining the DAR. Even though I had followed the process given by both organizations for requesting and receiving certified vital records, I really did not have a good plan on to how to store the originals and what to do after making copies after the required copies to be included with my application for membership papers once I had sent them off. Certified records are expensive.

When I received the original certificates, I photocopied an extra copy and put it in this notebook. Then, I scanned them. The originals are in clean, clearly marked envelopes and are in my fire proof box. I don't need to look at them again since I have copies in this notebook. It has proven to be one of the most excellent tips in my career. 

Bop's Death Record. Cost? $28 (the most expensive in my collection)

I have used these copies for many things. Did you know that when you retire you need to bring with you proof of your marriage to claim your Social Security benefits? My spouse retired first and so when I went to claim my Social Security, I had to prove my marriage to him. 

Now I find that I need a "Table of Contents" so that I know exactly what we already have. This made me think about forms. Just as I was thinking about that, Thomas gave us a tip that Family Tree Magazine sells a CD of forms that you can type in and save as PDF. I have sent for this very inexpensive CD and plan to work with it in the coming months. While I am waiting for it to arrive, I am going to take a look at the free forms that Family Tree Magazine has to offer. These are "the print out and write in" kind of forms but they have helped me in the past stay focused and organized.

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