Genealogy Wise

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Research Logs 101

Are you using a research log? The first step in reviewing the research you have completed to-date is to refer to your research log. Unfortunately, when many of us start our genealogy journey, keeping track of our findings is likely the last thing on our mind. 

Typically, a research log is created for each family group, but depending on how you prefer to work, you may want to create one for each person. A research log can help you to quickly see what sources you have already consulted that may answer the current question related to the person/family you are researching.  

Research logs are usually in a table format, allowing us to record specific pieces of information related to sources we have searched. You can use pre-printed forms/templets or create your own. At a minimum, a research log should contain the following categories: date, source, repository, objective and results.  

Remember, this log not only helps you track everything you have found but also what you did not find. In some cases, such as a search for online family trees, you may want to repeat a previously-performed search since new information is published online every day.  

While it may seem time-consuming, creating research logs is an important tool for your research.  Our course, "Skill Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls" will help, saving you precious time in the long run.   

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