28 January 2015

Check Marks the Source

     When I first started my genealogy research in 2003, I created a family tree in Excel and kept dates and places.  After a bit, I purchased the genealogy software for Mac, called Reunion.  I had quite a tree at this point, which lacked any sort of sources.  I've played catchup ever since, and still come across "facts" in my family tree that lack a good source.

     I've thought before about starting over - but that's just not practical.  Instead, I need a method to verify my research and root out the areas that lack sources.  Learning how the DAR reviews applications has given me the method to do so.  I learned about this process by working with my Registrar on my mom's application, as well as a supplemental application.  So, here's the method:

     So, what all's going on here?  First, I've highlighted the facts that were in the DAR database.  I did this purely for the application process, but would not necessarily do this when verifying my family tree.

     Otherwise, I put check marks on each piece of information.  Each.  Individual.  Piece.  So for a date, there's one check for the day, one for the month, and one for the year.  And I do not put any checks until I can point out exactly where I got the information from.  This method has helped me uncover a few typos and a few places where I have no idea where I got some pieces of information from.  You can see in the image where I've made a few corrections or adjustments.

    This method, regardless of whether or not I'm working on a DAR application, will be very helpful for catching the errors in my database.


Unknown said...

Jenny Lanctot posted a link to the blog over at the Facebook group for Genealogy Do-Over. I found your method very clear cut. And will adapt it to my methods. Thank you for such clearcut support..

Family Curator said...

Clear. Simple. Effective. I really like this. Thanks so much for sharing, and especially for posting the photo (always worth 1000 words. This is something I grapple with too.

Anonymous said...

Great! Just when I think I am doing good by finding the census info for all dates when my relative was alive you go and tell me that I need 10X more info! I guess baby steps right?

Dana Leeds said...

Great idea! We could do this for each line by going out as far as we've gotten and then go through this process. I've thought about joining various organizations, too, so I can make sure those lines are solid. For example, First Families of Kansas or Huguenot Society.

mandorac said...

I worked with my DAR registrar, and this is exactly how she reviewed my app. As she checked items off, she red underlined the fact on the document copy to send to DAR. I did a Civil War society app on my own and did it the same way, and it was approved recently! Good habit to get into!

Jana Iverson Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/01/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-january-30.html

Have a great weekend!

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, Valerie,

Just wanted to let you know this post was highlighted in my Friday Finds and Follows: 30 January 2015 post on my genealogy blog, AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors.



Darlene said...

I am working on 'my version' of the Do-Over and this method will contribute A LOT! I haven't even started my Do-Over because I am still working on strategy. Thanks Valerie for writing this post.

Thanks to Miriam is how I found on Google+.


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