By Shannon Combs Bennett, Student
I know this is a blog post about the Methodology 4 course, but I am going to suggest that if you have not gone back and read my post about Methodology 3 you should do that first. Why you ask? Well, like I stated in the previous post these two courses are linked together. Almost like a part 1 and part 2 and this is a post about part 2.
Methodology 4 continues with the last three steps in the six steps to success. These three steps focus more on recording, documenting and preserving your research than other more fundamental skills. Don’t get me wrong. These, in my opinion, are some of the most important skills you should have. Unfortunately they are skills many genealogists feel are not as important as the research find itself. I would like to say they are wrong, and here is why.
While we all love making the big finds and love adding pieces of ephemera or information to our family trees, knowing what to do with it after you find it is crucial. Without the analysis, documentation and proper storage all we have is a cool item and not something that we can really share with others. Sure, we could show the document around but having an analysis and documentation to go with it makes it much more valuable.
This course starts with proper recording of information. Sometimes it amazes me that people (even those who have researched for years) do not keep good records. Without good records we are doomed to retrace our steps or not find information again if we lose it or need to reanalyze it. Bad records will ultimately lead to unreliable research.
Then one of the hot topics, at least in places that I have been, the instructor covers various ways that you can preserve your research. I know many people want to create something, anything, to show off their hard work and pass on to future generations. In this section were some great ideas that I have now stored away for future use. She does cover simple publication ideas (like charts) all the way through to books.
My next post will be on Methodology 5. See you online!