Become a Better Researcher

Our research problems are unique and our genealogy software, to be useful, must be flexible enough to match our respective problems and our respective methods. The Master Genealogist is that software, but power and flexibility has a down side. The more options a program has, the more decisions the user must make. This year, the Tri-Valley TMG User Group will explore those options and make some of those personal decisions. Would you like to play along with us? Do each month's assignment, and if you like, e-mail it to us at: We'll post some of the completed assignments on this blog each month. Let's hear it for choices!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

June Assignment: Begin with a Military Record

I'm writing this post on Memorial Day weekend, so thinking about soldiers and sailors -- and the records of their service -- is part of my holiday tradition. If it's also part of your tradition, you've made a head start on our June assignment.

  • Choose a military record that intrigues you. Here are a few examples: a draft registration or its associated documents; an affidavit from a pension application; an enlistment or discharge paper; a final payment; a medical record; a military tombstone application. This is just a tiny fraction of the possibilities in the world of military records.
  • Enter the information derived from the record in your TMG database.
    • Did you abstract or transcribe the document?
    • Did you add a scanned image of the document as an exhibit?
    • Did you need to create a custom tag?
  • Don't forget your source citation!
    • What source type template did you use?
    • Did you have any problems citing the source?
  • Write a narrative at least two paragraphs in length.
    • In what type of article would your narrative be appropriate: family history, research report, or proof argument?

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment