Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NIGS -Genealogy Class: Methodology Part 2 - Organization Tips

I'm taking two genealogy classes right now at NIGS. One is Methodology Part 2: Organization and Skillbuilding. Among many other things, I've learned many ways to make my genealogical life much, much easier. Here are some of my favorite suggestions for organizing your research:

Color-coded binders Keep your important paperwork in binders, in page protectors, and have different colored binders for each family line. I actually just use color-coded labels - it's cheaper than trying to find the right color binders.
Research log Keep one for each person that you research, recording both successful and unsuccessful searches. This prevents you from wasting time in a place that you've already searched. Since I started researching before I knew what I was looking for, I haven't kept tabs on this information as well as I could have.
Organize your correspondence I never realized how many information requests I would send and receive. Keeping a correspondence log of your information requests ensures that you don't ask for the same information twice. You'll also know what requests have not been answered - both incoming and outgoing - so that you can do the necessary follow-up.
Other forms Find or make the forms that will be most useful to you, and be consistent when you fill them out (always use the same name and date formats, abbreviations, etc.). Software programs can keep track of a lot of information for you, but recording your research problems on paper can help you organize your thoughts and have all the information you need handy, no matter where you are researching. I especially like the idea of having a form to sketch out difficult research problems, including all the information you already have, and specifying what you are trying to find out.

Cyndi's List has compiled a great list of free forms and charts designed to help you organize your research here.
I'm really enjoying my classes so far. The second class that I'm taking is Electronic Resources: Using the Internet. I'll be reflecting on them both a great deal in the near future.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - All Saints Braddock Catholic Cemetery

After a long absence, I finally reappear :) The good news is that a) I finally made a trip to the cemetery and b) I've been working hard on my NIGS classes. There will be several posts about the latter in the coming days.

I have to make another trip to All Saints soon. I went to a funeral there a few years ago, but I didn't realize that the cemetery was so huge! I went last Friday afternoon, since it was the only day that weekend it was not supposed to rain all day. Turns out, it started raining earlier than I thought, cutting my trip short. Another factor was the fact that the groundskeepers had just cut the grass, and it seems that I've recently developed some allergies. Fun. On the upside, I found out that my new phone's GPS marks the location that a picture was taken, to the point that I know exactly where these graves are now in the cemetery. I am continually amazed by technology.

Logistics aside, I did get a few photos of my ancestor's graves, including this one:

When I made the Surname Saturday post about my branch of the DiBernardos, I wrote at length about Giovanni (John) DiBernardo, my great-grandfather. This is his grave, along with his second wife's (Raffeala's), my great-grandmother.

John has become what I recently learned is called a "pet ancestor." I feel a connection to him especially for some reason. I think it may be because he is the first of that family to immigrate to the United States, and he played a part in establishing an Italian immigrant community in Braddock. It's amazing to me, how hard it must have been to do that. To start over in a new place, to make a strange place seem familiar, all while working hard to support a family.

Edit, 5/26/2010: On top of Raffeala's grave, there's another. My grandmother's first child, Josephine, died the day she was born in 1955. She is buried here, with my grandmother's mother. I wish I could have known her.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Joseph L. Davies & Linda (?)

As usual, not so wordless. I have no idea who the little girl in this photo is, other than her first name. I do know that it was taken in Vanport, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, possibly on State Street. "Joe Boy" is Joseph Levern Davies, b. 25 Sep 1944 d. 15 Jan 1998. Hopefully I can find out who Linda is, because I'm sure there's someone out there who would like to see this.

Also, I'll hopefully be getting to cemetery (see previous post) within a few days. I hurt my leg and couldn't go walking around the cemetery yesterday (v. minor issue, but it's a rather large place). I will go down there very soon to get those photos.