Researching, Preparation and Completion, the Right Way or the not Thinking Way?
I just read a very, very sad tale, that could have been so very, very different. I want to share with everyone,
what I learned and why it is so valuable to follow.
A researcher on a rootsweb list page posted a tale of woe and discontent of sorts, not total but enough to say that
their ground work was not laid even if they had extra hands and spent time and funds to achieve a specific goal.
I was blessed and had a distant cousin give me some great heads up advise before I traveled to Pennsylvania the
first time. Only after her death did I realize what position she had held in the county and why she was so sharp in
her assisting me to learn what we both were seeking.
She worked in the county office as a Recorder and new the ropes and what was available but maybe not what
was actually there.
But back to this tale.
Before you wander off to visit an area to do research there is some homework that you need to do. Yes, I said Homework.
I have always advocated a certain method be followed from what I learned. Please check the area you are
going to for what is available, in what facilities, and what times they are open. Before you GO.
Then if you have time and you have much kin in this area of the past, I recommend you join their local society
nothing like the natives finding answers for you for they know what to look for where and when.
I also recommend you give them a list of names that are from this region so they can tell you if others are researching these names before you leave home. You may want to contact those in the local area also
doing research to meet you there and you get acquainted with distant kin. Who knows what they have in their
CLOSET or HIDY HOLE. It could be just the document your missing or the photo you need. It could be a scrap
book, picture album or a Bible to see.
If the society knows your coming and you have set a time to arrive they will be watching for you and
generally are glad to see you and help you with furthering their research on your family. The societies like to do that.
Also once you arrive honor their system, sure you want to see a specific document for real, but if to fragile maybe they have alternate method for you to see it or give you data.
Many older records in early court houses have been recorded by the LDS Church and is in their system.
Some things you do not need to leave home for. But if you have trouble unscrambling the data explain to them and
maybe some one there has clearance to check it for you if your gracious and kind.
Always remember to thank each person whom helped you and definitely leave a donation for them to put to use to
continue saving documents for others to see.
My trip was from west coast to east coast and I was so excited to see what they had stacked on a desk for me to
read through and glean information. They also had set up an appointment for me to go to the court house with a
member of their society to vouch that I needed to look at certain documents. The courthouse was more than
happy to oblige a person they felt comfortable and safe with verses someone whom may tear out a page or damage a book and they had not a clue of the strangers background. A personal reference by a society member opened many other doors on this trip also. Different members different days but all courteous, gracious and kind.
Thank you Greene Co. Pennsylvania Cornerstone Clues Genealogical Society. I see some of you are still working
away, making many people still very happy or trying to at least. I plan to see you again soon. Surprise.
Susi Pentico, San Diego, CA