I recently wrote about doing "Homework" before one travels. I want to elaborate on the Homework in this note.
Homework is the checking of all sources you can do before you head out the door.
1. A working 5 generation chart filled out, blanks noted in yellow or red to show needs
2. Tells you where you want to go for research. IOWA, PA, ND. etc
3. Contact that area you need assistant in and share your knowledge with them, they then will be willing to share data with you.
These agencies are basically volunteers like you and what you share they can share with others,
4. Check the Surname cards they may have on file for others researching your names. They generally will send this if you send your names to them
asking for assistance. (I sent mine on 3x 5 cards filled for them to add to their files. They in turn laid the 3 x 5 cards on copy machine and sent me 6 to 8 at a
time on a copied sheet of paper. I called them on the phone it cut down the mail time between data for some of this information.) That is how I learned of the 3 x 5 surname cards and was able to send them and the 5 generation chart, also with permission to share this information with other distant kin.
5. When contacting them include a completed as possible 5 generation chart of your family for their files.
6. Send stamped, self addressed envelope. I always include extra stamps for them to mail a larger than normal amount of data. Yes, even with a computer, doing this is
7. Do you realize many societies do not yet have computers or software to do what we do? Snail mail and phone is still key to many smaller societies in many places.
8. Ask if someone in the society is possibly a distant kin and would like to work with you while your there and maybe even home later.
9. Be patient, be kind, be gracious. Manners go many miles when all else fails.
10. Make sure to tell them what data you have already gathered and what books you have already looked at so they do not replicate what was already done.
Now go and enjoy and have fun.