Reevaluate 1

In my previous blog posts this month about female ancestors I suggested some tips for research. If you followed the advice of those posts you’ve asked for help with your research and you took a look at different sources. So what else can you do? Reevaluate.

  1. Sit down, take everything you’ve learned about your ancestor, and make a plan. Create a research plan. One of my favorite explanations of how to do this was written by Kimberley Powell and can be found on the website, Think Like a Detective - How to Develop a Genealogy Research Plan .
  2. Evaluate your evidence. How do you do this? Take out the documents you have and transcribe them. Transcribing provides you a chance to really analyze what you’re looking at. It forces you to take your time and not accidentally skip over things. You can learn more about transcribing at the BCG website . Then evaluate your documents by using the Evidence Analysis Process Map . This can help you determine the quality of the evidence, and help you make some decisions about what other types of documents are needed.
  3. Continue on, whether that means you keep researching or you spend some time writing up what you found. Take time to evaluate your progress. We get so wrapped up in the research process that sometimes we can’t decide when the project is done (for now). If it’s time to stop researching and start writing, remember to share it with family, or make plans for how it will be shared.

How do you research female ancestors? It takes time, and in some cases it feels impossible, but hopefully this month’s posts have given you the opportunity to think more about what your next steps to uncovering her story will be.

Gena Philibert-Ortega

About Gena Philibert-Ortega

Gena Philibert-Ortega holds Master’s degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies and Religion. She is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera . Her latest book is From the Family Kitchen (F + W Media, 2012). Gena is the author of IDG’s monthly column, Remember the Ladies.

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