Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Relatively Speaking - Research Plans

Karen over at Genealogy Frame of Mind and Carol over at Reflections from the Fence have both shared with you their research plans/folders. Karen plans out her trips to the tiniest detail; Carol often does hers by the seat of her pants. I am somewhere in the middle.

Usually the only genealogical trips we really plan are trips to Fort Wayne and the Allen County Public Library genealogical collection and to Lexington, Kentucky. There are two places where I like to research in Lexington: Lexington Cemetery and the Lexington Public Library, especially for their newspaper collection. Over the years, I have kept a to-do list of birth, marriage and death notices and obituaries to retrieve at the library in Lexington. It varies at any given time between ten and thirty pages. It seems the more I get, the more I find I need to get. Since they have a local history index online at the library, I am usually well prepared with my list. Currently, the list stands at 21 pages. At the Lexington Cemetery, there is also an online index of burials under the "Genealogy Research" tab. I can't tell you how many trips I've made to that cemetery. For a while, we were stopping there twice a year. I probably still have close to 200 headstones to locate.

The Lexington Cemetery to-do list is basically a comb-binder with a list by section of everyone I am looking for. I also print a section map (which goes along with the map on the cover) so that I can go to the cemetery office and use their map to locate graves on my section maps. This is so useful, because their numbering system is sometimes a bit odd.

You can see that while I use a spreadsheet for this cemetery, I don't go into detail. I know they are buried there, all I want is a photo of the stone. I leave room to fill in details if necessary.

My to-do list descriptions are the name of the newspaper and the date. Since there are several newspapers covering a wide range of dates, often overlapping, I have rarely not found something. If I haven't found what I was looking for, it was because the index was in error. The details part of the to-do list is actually a cut and paste right from the Lexington Public Library local history index. Leaves little room for error.

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Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

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