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Disorganized Time

Now you have your supplies, you know how to store the treasures handed down by your ancestors who had dubious taste, and you have printed out far more forms and charts than you will ever need. What next.

Now is when the fun (or agrivation, depending on how you look at it) begins. You are ready to jump in and find out why no one talks about Great Grandpa Miller. However, there is one more area we need to discuss before you get too far ahead of your self.

Remember you will have to make sense of what you write down, not only tomorrow when you transcribe the notes you have taken, but also next week since you weren't able to get to them as soon as you thought you would.

Some things to remember about taking notes:

  • Be exhaustive. There is no such thing as too much detail.
  • Take the time to make not only complete notes, but coherent ones as well. What does squiggle mean?
  • Transcribe the notes you took as soon as possible, while the meaning is still fresh.
  • File now, not later!
Understand the "2nd Cousin Twice Removed"

The above link takes you to the best explanation I have ever found to the twice-removed question. This may come in handy, but mostly it is good trivia material. (Consanguinity)

An example of the kinds of things that you can find when you search for family history is illustrated below. Of course, very few have any relationship to President Lincoln; however, you can find the most amazing things. Pictures, letters, news clippings, the list is endless.

Lincoln family tree Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) Mary Todd Lincoln (1818–1882) Robert Todd Lincoln (1843–1926) Edward Lincoln (1846–1850) William Lincoln (1850–1862) Thomas Lincoln (1853–1871) Mary Isham nee Lincoln (1869–1938) Abraham Lincoln (1873–1890) Jessie Becwith nee Lincoln (1875–1948) Lincoln Isham (1892–1971) Mary Beckwith (1898–1975) Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith (1904–1983)

(McMahon, The Lincoln Family Tree)


Searching for an Ancestor

By Merrell Kenworthy

I went searching for an ancestor
I cannot find him still
He moved around from place to place
And did not leave a will.
He married where the courthouse burned
He mended all his fences
He avoided any man who came
To take the U.S. Census.
He always kept his luggage packed
This man who had no fame
And every twenty years or so
This rascal changed his name.
His parents came from Europe
They should be on some list
Of passengers to the U.S.A.
But somehow they got missed.
And no one else in this world
Is searching for this man
So I play geneasolitare
To find him if I can.
I'm told he's buried in a plot
With tombstone, he was blessed
But weather took engraving
And some vandals took the rest.
He died before the county clerks
Decided to keep records
No family bible has been found
In spite of all my efforts.
To top it off, this ancestor,
Who caused me many groans
Just to give me one more pain
Bethrothed a girl named "Jones"