Sunday, November 11, 2012

FTMM-2 - Research Log, just a thought

Many of us struggle with how to keep a research log. I have posted about this before:

You can search this blog "research log" and will find additional entries.

I am working on a project in Family Tree Maker for the Mac (FTMM-2) and thought I would try something else. This project involves collaboration with a colleague of mine. This file, is part of a presentation, so my involvement with this file will end following the presentation. Also, this person is a PC user. So, how do I SHARE the Research Log. Understanding that some fields and data in FTMM-2 may not be transferable and is not in an Ancestry Member Tree, where this colleague is viewing the file.

What I have been doing, is sending a PDF file, of my Task List (To Do List) sharing what I have researched, need to research, or have completed.

For this project, I thought I would use the High Priority, as the highest or first items to be researched, such as Census Records.

As I go along, I may remember that I need to "look something else up", for a person, so I put that in the Medium Priority. When I complete a Task, I change that to the Lowest Priority.

What I also did, was to create a To Do List, based on the Shaky Leaf Hints. I put all of them in the Medium Category EXCEPT for hints that are from Ancestry Member Trees. I put them in the Lowest Priority. I won't be working on any of them, but my colleague may, in the future want to follow up on those connections.

It dawned on my, why not make this To Do List my Research Log. Where I searched, what I found or didn't find.

As an example, I was working on looking for Obituaries. So, I want to create a lost of those I want to look for obituaries and what I found. I'll start by generating a Custom List of only people who I have Death Information on. That would be the Date and Location.

Go to the Publish Workspace, People Collection, Custom Report. Once the Custom Report starts to generate, then clicked on Selected Individuals. Selecting the Death Fact, where the Place Is Not Blank.

The generated a list of 22 people who have some Death Information.

Note: this is a small file, specifically for this project

The report that is generated, included the Death Fact, (date, place, description), Burial Fact, and for another purpose, the Find-A-Grave fact that I created. Another clue here, is to have the Female Name include the Married Name. An option in the Items to Include menu and selecting the Name Fact at the bottom of the Fact window.

 With this report I can then begin my research.

My first place to look for Obituaries is on I added Genealogy Bank to my Favorite place to search in the Web Search Workspace. I have blogged about how to do that here.

One of the reasons for doing my searching from within FTMM-2 (and FTM2012) is the ease to looking at more details for that Person, but looking in the Lower Left Window or going to the People Workspace. I also am able to use the Web Clipping Option and Merging the data from this website.

Below is the mini-Pedigree Navigation bar, with my person selected. Some of the details for that person is in the Lower Left, as you can see, and I have Selected Genealogy Bank in the Web Search workspace.

Using Genealogy Bank searches I can work with the data, or note that there isn't an Obituary for that person.

In the People Workspace, Person Tab, Task Menu, I make an entry like:

Obituary on GenealogyBank


Obituary on GenealogyBank
Not on 1977 - today - 11 Nov 2012

The first example, I would make it Low Priority and Completed.

The second example, I would make it Low Priority but NOT completed.

The Date is important so that at some time in the future, we might want to go back to do another search on Genealogy Bank.

The reason for doing all of this, in this fashion (for me at least), is that My Research Log is a complete listing in the Plan Workspace. It can be filtered, sorted, etc. For Example: the To Do List for Obituaries from today.

The first couple of entries are completed, others were looked for but not found (including the date).

ff I were to sort by the Person's Name, I can see how I have searched, what I need to search, and what I found or didn't found. That is also available in the People Workspace, Person View, Task Tab.

This is working for me. but may be a different approach for others.


Copyright © 2012 by H R Worthington

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