Genealogy Road Trip Tip 23: File your findings

Tip 23: File your findings. Part of “Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You” — 30 posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo 2016.

Your post-trip organizing should be well underway by now. You’ve backed up your photos and recordings and written a report on your Genealogy Road Trip discoveries.

File your findings. As soon as you can after your return, start excavating the treasured items you discovered during your trip and integrating them into your existing online or hard-copy filing system. By: Marie Janssen

Now’s the time to file your findings in your paper and/or digital family archive so they will be there for reference when you need them.

I know, I know…it’s tempting to just chuck the genealogy road trip bag on a chair and move on with your life.

But as soon as you can after your return, start excavating the treasured items you discovered during your trip and integrating them into your existing online or hard copy filing system.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Set up a location file. If you don’t have one already, set up a location file for the family history area you just visited. Location files are great for storing items from a specific area that pertain to multiple families.

File location-specific items. In this folder, place items from your trip that are specific to that location. These might include:

  • Cemetery records for multiple families,
  • Historic maps showing ancestors’ names and/or property lines,
  • Small town or county histories, or photocopies/scans of pages pertinent to your families,
  • Historical society or fraternal organization records you obtained,
  • Your post-trip report on the location you and your travel partner visited, and
  • Photos of family homes you say during your trip.

File ancestor-specific items. Any documentation or other findings that pertain to a specific ancestor should be filed in their digital/paper folder. Depending on how you have organized your archive, you might put vital records in one folder, census records in another, etc.

Cite your sources. As you file each item, take the time to include a source along with it. Consult a copy of Evidence Explained, or a quick citation sheet that follows this genealogical citation method, and document where each of your findings came from. You may think you will remember later on — but trust me, you won’t. So take a few minutes as you file to cite your sources so they will be there when you go back to them for reference.

More on this in the next post Tip 24: Trim your tree. Please stop back.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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