Mark's narrative growing from a court notice in the Grand Traverse Herald was the hit of the February meeting. He did a beautiful job, demonstrating perfectly how one could start from a simple newspaper notice, identify the questions it created, research the answers to those questions, and tell the story he discovered.
In addition to writing the narrative, here are some TMG points to consider when working with your census records:
- Create a Master Source List entry for this record, if you don't already have one, and include a screen shot of the Output form. Are you a lumper or a splitter? This article, "The Great Census Debate," might give you some ideas, even though it was written long before TMG 8.x (or 9.x) came on the scene.
- Analyze the census entry.
- Are you looking at the original census, a digital image, a transcription, or an abstract?
- What census edition are you viewing?
- Did this census answer any questions?
- Do you enter the census information in your database? Where?
- How do you expect to use that information in reports?
- Do you attach an image of each census record to the census tag?
- Don't forget to cite each entry!
- Do you write them down?
- Do you enter them in TMG?
- Do you simply hope you'll remember them?
Update: I'm being a little lazy this month, and I'm not planning to upload screen captures - although I might manage it before the March 15th meeting. I have managed to finish my narrative, though: "The Many Marriages of Benjamin Clark Pearman and Maria (Case) (Deatherage) (Fry) (Pearman) Randle." See if you can find my omissions.
While you're working on this assignment, feel free to post questions and problems to this blog, or send them to Kay and me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bring the finished product with you to the March meeting. I'm looking forward to hearing a lot of new ideas!
Remember this year's goals.
- We want to develop the habit of analyzing each record we use, and not just enter each information bit without thinking about its meaning.
- We want to make conscious decisions on what data we want to enter into TMG, how we enter that data, and how we will use that data in our research.
- We want to develop the habit of writing research reports and real family histories, not just printing out pedigree charts and family group sheets.
- We want to make TMG fit our research needs and goals. We don't want to make our research practices fit TMG.