Genealogy is more than collecting data, papers, and photographs. Without detailed information as to where the collection is stored or how the information was obtained, the research is in vain. Research will be duplicated; documents will be lost; citations for future contact will be unknown.
The following example eliminates duplication, but took time to reestablish the research line and citation information.
Step 1: All papers have been placed in SURNAME folders and filed in two large metal file cabinets.
Step 2: All digital images have been stored in multiple external hard drives.
Step 3: The digital organization is in process. Creative Memories software will be used to organize all images. Evernote software will be used to organize notes and other research. Roots Magic software will be used to organize the family. NOW begins the time consuming project of combining the many, many backup copies and extra digital images from the external hard drives.
Explaining the preceding completed steps was necessary in order to understand the example and the process. In the digital back-ups, I found a 175 page copy of the KOPPLEMANN genealogy dated 1999. The digital image does not reveal who provided the information. As a beginner, would not the source of the names be Kopplemann genealogy? NO! The source is the name and contact information for the person who provided me with the 175 pages with the Kopplemann genealogy.
The Roots Magic Software program for Koppleman revealed that Sue Gardner Shreve provided the family information. By going to the file cabinet, I am able to find a paper copy of the document filed under Koppleman. Now, this loose digital image has a new home in Evernote. Using Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills, a complete citation with Sue Gardner Shreve as compiler has been added. Complete citations belong on every document both paper and digital. Every document needs an organizational location.
Before collecting more papers and images, stop and organize. Our Genealogy Group at Clayton State University offers workshops to assist all levels of researchers.
Family historians relate your experiences, contact Selma Blackmon.