Welcome back to this installment of the 22 Steps in Researching Your Family Tree!
This blog article is about…
Step 19 – Re-evaluate your research and ensure everything is well documented with reference citations
When researching your family tree, it’s essential to ensure that all the information you have gathered is accurate and reliable. This is where Step 19 comes in – Re-evaluating your research and ensuring everything is well documented with reference citations.
As you continue your research journey, it’s important to review and re-evaluate the information you’ve gathered regularly. This step involves organizing your research, reviewing its accuracy and consistency, and using reliable sources to ensure the information you have is correct. It’s also important to evaluate the source of the information, keeping track of all your sources and using reference citations in your notes.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a detailed and accurate record of your family history that can be shared with future generations. This step can help you identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your research, and ensure that your family tree is up-to-date and accurate. Seeking help from a professional genealogist or family historian may also be necessary if you encounter any roadblocks in your research.
In this article, we’ll explore Step 19 in more detail, providing you with tips, strategies, and practical advice to help you re-evaluate your research and ensure everything is well documented with reference citations.
Tracing your family tree is an exciting and fulfilling process that allows you to discover your roots, learn about your ancestors, and explore your family’s history. As you progress in your research, you may find that new information emerges, and you may need to re-evaluate your previous findings. This is where step 19 of the family tree research process comes into play – re-evaluating your research and ensuring everything is well-documented with reference citations.
Let’s look back at how Abraham is progressing…
Continuing Abraham’s Story
A while back, as Abraham was following the “22 Steps in Researching Your Family Tree” he started with Step 1, interviewing his family members, and was surprised at how much he learned about his ancestors. From there, he moved on to Step 2, organizing his findings, and found that he had a lot more information than he thought.
As he worked his way through the steps, Abraham uncovered some incredible stories about his family. He learned that his great-grandfather had been a World War II hero and that his great-great-grandmother had immigrated to the United States from Italy.
But as he reached Step 19, Re-evaluate your research and ensure everything is well documented with reference citations, Abraham realized that he had made some mistakes along the way. He had failed to document some of his sources properly and had forgotten to note where he had found certain pieces of information.
Determined to fix his mistakes, Abraham went back through his research with a fine-toothed comb. He created a detailed spreadsheet that listed all of his sources and the information he had gathered from each one. He also made sure to include reference citations for every piece of information he had found.
It was a tedious process, but Abraham knew it was essential if he wanted his family tree to be accurate and reliable. As he worked, he discovered a few new leads that he had overlooked before, and he added them to his spreadsheet.
Finally, after weeks of work, Abraham felt confident that his family tree was well-documented and accurate. He knew that there was always more to learn and discover, but he was proud of what he had accomplished so far.
Armed with his newfound knowledge, Abraham started to share his family’s history with his relatives. They were amazed by what he had uncovered and grateful for the time and effort he had put into researching their family tree.
And as Abraham sat down with his family, telling them stories of their ancestors, he knew that he had made a real difference. His family’s history was no longer a mystery but a rich and colorful tapestry that he had carefully woven together.
Why is Re-evaluating Your Research Important?
As you embark on your journey to build your family tree, it is easy to become carried away by the excitement and the thrill of discovering new information. However, it is important to remember that not all information is created equal, and not all sources are reliable. This is where re-evaluating your research becomes essential.
By re-evaluating your research, you can ensure that you have accurate and reliable information that will help you build a more accurate family tree. It also allows you to identify any gaps in your research, verify your sources, and eliminate any errors or inconsistencies in your findings.
How to Re-evaluate Your Research?
Re-evaluating your research can be a daunting task, especially if you have a lot of information to sort through. However, it is essential to take the time to do it right. Here are some tips to help you re-evaluate your research:
- Start by reviewing all the information you have gathered so far. Make a list of all the sources you have used, and ensure that they are all reliable and credible.
- Double-check the accuracy of the information you have collected. If you have any doubts about the validity of the information, verify it with additional sources.
- Make sure that all the information you have collected is consistent and coherent. If you find any discrepancies or inconsistencies, investigate further to find the correct information.
- Document all the information you have collected with reference citations. This is essential to ensure that you can track your sources and verify your information in the future.
- Review your family tree to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors or gaps, update your research accordingly.
Importance of Reference Citations
One of the most critical aspects of re-evaluating your research is documenting all the information you have collected with reference citations. Reference citations are essential because they provide a trail of evidence that allows you or anyone else to verify the information you have collected.
When documenting your sources, be sure to include the author’s name, title of the work, publication date, and publisher. You can use different citation styles such as APA, MLA, or Chicago style, depending on your preference and the requirements of your project.
Forms & Charts
There are several forms and charts that you can use to evaluate and re-evaluate your research and documents. Here are some of the most commonly used ones:
- Research log: A research log is a form that you can use to record all the details about the sources you have consulted, including the date, author, title, and other relevant information. It helps you keep track of your research progress and helps you identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your research.
- Research calendar: A research calendar is a form that you can use to plan your research activities and keep track of important dates such as when you contacted a repository or when a record is due to be released.
- Pedigree chart: A pedigree chart is a form that displays the genealogy of a family in a simple and easy-to-read format. It can help you visualize your family tree and identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your research.
- Family group sheet: A family group sheet is a form that records information about a specific family unit, including the parents, children, and other relevant details. It helps you organize your research and identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your research.
- Evidence analysis form: An evidence analysis form is a chart that helps you evaluate the evidence you have collected and determine its reliability and accuracy. It can help you identify any inconsistencies or gaps in your research and help you make informed decisions about your family tree.
- Document analysis worksheet: A document analysis worksheet is a form that helps you analyze a specific document, including its author, date, and content. It helps you evaluate the reliability and accuracy of the information contained in the document.
These are just a few examples of the forms and charts that you can use to evaluate and re-evaluate your research and documents. Depending on your research needs and preferences, you may find that other forms or charts are more useful for your research project.
Detailed Guide to Re-evaluate Your Research
Step 19 of researching your family tree is to re-evaluate your research and ensure everything is well documented with reference citations. This step is critical in ensuring that the information you have gathered is accurate and reliable, and that you have a clear record of your research process. Here is a detailed guide for this step:
- Start by organizing your research: Before you can evaluate your research, you need to have all your information organized. This includes all the documents you have gathered, as well as any notes, charts, and family trees you have created. Make sure that all the information is easily accessible and well-organized.
- Review your research: Once you have all your information organized, start reviewing your research. Look at the data you have collected and make sure that it is accurate and consistent. Look for any discrepancies or missing information that you may have overlooked.
- Use reliable sources: When evaluating your research, it’s important to use reliable sources. Look for primary sources, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and census records, whenever possible. Secondary sources, such as family trees and published genealogies, can be useful but should be verified with primary sources.
- Evaluate the source: When analyzing a source, consider the author’s credibility, the date of the document, and the purpose of the document. Look for any biases or inconsistencies that may affect the accuracy of the information.
- Check for accuracy and consistency: When evaluating your research, check for accuracy and consistency. Ensure that the information you’ve collected is correct and that there are no discrepancies or conflicts in the information.
- Document your sources: When evaluating your research, make sure to document your sources. Keep track of the information you’ve collected and where you found it, so you can easily verify it in the future. Use reference citations in your notes to help you keep track of your sources.
- Use genealogical software: Genealogical software can help you keep track of your research and sources, as well as create detailed charts and family trees. There are several genealogy software programs available, including Ancestry, Family Tree Maker, and Legacy Family Tree.
- Re-evaluate your research regularly: Re-evaluate your research regularly, especially when you uncover new information or find conflicting data. This can help you identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your research and ensure that your family tree is accurate and up-to-date.
- Seek help if necessary: If you’re struggling to evaluate your research or need help verifying information, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional genealogist or family historian.
By following these steps, you can effectively evaluate and re-evaluate your research and documents, ensuring that your family tree is accurate and reliable. With careful research and documentation, you can create a detailed and accurate record of your family history that can be shared with future generations.
How to Cite Your Resource Document
When citing genealogy research documents such as birth certificates, marriage records, and death certificates on a research log, you should follow the guidelines of the citation style you are using. Here are some general tips:
- Include the full name of the individual whose record you found and their relationship to you, if applicable.
- Provide the date of the record, including the day, month, and year if available.
- Include the location of the record, including the name of the city or town, the county, the state or province, and the country.
- If you accessed the record online, provide the website URL and the date you accessed it.
- Use proper citation formatting for the citation style you are using (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
Here is an example citation for a birth certificate:
Smith, John. Birth Certificate. 3 March 1945. New York City, New York, United States. Accessed from Vital Records Online (http://www.vitalrecordsonline.com) on 14 March 2023.
When citing multiple records on a research log, organize them by the type of record and then in chronological order. For example:
- Smith, John. Birth Certificate. 3 March 1945. New York City, New York, United States. Accessed from Vital Records Online (http://www.vitalrecordsonline.com) on 14 March 2023.
- Jones, Mary. Birth Certificate. 15 May 1950. Los Angeles, California, United States. Accessed from Ancestry.com on 12 March 2023.
- Smith, John and Jones, Mary. Marriage Certificate. 23 June 1968. Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Accessed from FamilySearch.org on 15 March 2023.
- Brown, Robert and Lee, Susan. Marriage Certificate. 5 October 1975. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Accessed from Ontario Vital Records on 17 March 2023.
- Smith, John. Death Certificate. 1 January 2000. New York City, New York, United States. Accessed from Vital Records Online (http://www.vitalrecordsonline.com) on 10 March 2023.
- Jones, Mary. Death Certificate. 12 February 2015. Los Angeles, California, United States. Accessed from Ancestry.com on 12 March 2023.
In conclusion, Step 19 is a critical step in researching your family tree. Re-evaluating your research and ensuring everything is well documented with reference citations will help you create a detailed and accurate record of your family history. By regularly reviewing your research and using reliable sources, you can identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your family tree, and ensure that the information you have is accurate and up-to-date.
As you continue your journey to discover your family’s history, remember to take your time, verify your sources, and document your findings with reference citations. By doing so, you will ensure that your family tree is an accurate and reliable reflection of your family’s history for generations to come.
Creating your own family tree record sheets and pedigree charts can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. It’s a chance to organize all the information you’ve gathered so far and see your family history in a new light. By getting started on Step 20, you’re taking the next step in discovering your past and uncovering the secrets of your family history. Get ready to dive in and start creating your own family tree record sheets and pedigree charts – it’s going to be an exciting journey!
In closing this blog post, I hope that the blog series has been beneficial to you about learning more about genealogy and how to trace your family history. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback on the series or would like to suggest any improvements, please don’t hesitate to send me a message or email. I value your input and appreciate your support in helping me to create more helpful and informative content for aspiring genealogists. Thank you for following along on this journey, and I wish you the best of luck in your own genealogical research.
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