Since starting to write this blog I have realised a few things that I should have done right from the start of my research:
I should have
- written down the source of all snippets of information I find – so that when I go back to them I can find the original again easily rather than having to search from scratch
- made a note of the email addresses of anyone who has been in touch with me about our shared family history so that when I find something new I can contact them
- kept a “to do” list so that during those moments of boredom I could do a bit of quick focused research rather than aimless browsing
- filed certificates and census records in a sensible order rather than all muddled up together
- organised my notes more logically rather than having random jottings, some of which have been repeated several times as the years have passed
Writing the blog posts has made me evaluate the details of my research, and has challenged some of the assumptions I’d taken for granted. It has highlighted the gaps and made me question some “facts” which may not be as rock-solid as I’d thought. if you haven’t yet begun to write up your research then I really recommend it as a good piece of family history discipline. It’s so easy to add things to a website such as Ancestry or to your family history program, but trying to retell the story casts a very different light on your research. I am constantly returning to my notes to try to make sense of the complex webs my ancestors wove.