Week #4 – For which free offline genealogy tool are you most grateful? How did you find this tool and how has it benefitted your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love. (Thanks to Amy Coffin and Thomas MacEntee.)
This week’s question was a bit more difficult for me since I have done most of my research online. Without any doubt, I am most grateful for 1st cousin once removed, Dana Jack Bode. His research (done mostly in the days of pencil, paper, notebook, and film-based camera) is the foundation of my work. However Dana, while offline, is not a resource that others can access.
As I have been getting ready for RootsTech 2012 and my opportunity to have a couple of extra days in the Family History Library, there is one tool that has been quite helpful as I have been organizing my To-Do list — namely, source citation cards. While I have developed my own cards, I have to admit that the idea came from “Cite Your Sources” sticky-notes that can be obtained from Fun Stuff for Genealogists, Inc. (www.petersenprints.com/store/contents/en-us/d111.html) The “Fun Stuff” website is full of neat things for genealogists: archival resources, T shirts, bumper stickers, jewelry, maps, scrapbooking resources, etc. (Note: I have no connection with Fun Stuff for Genealogists, Inc. I mention them because they were the origin of the idea.)
While I was impressed with their “Cite Your Sources” sticky-notes, their notes weren’t quite what I wanted for my own record-keeping. So I designed my own. Mine fit on 4″ X 6″ cards and use both the front and back to add information.
I keep a stack of the cards near my desktop computer so I can quickly pick up one when I have located something online that I want to preserve. Mostly, citation material for my online research is saved in a digital form. Occasionally, however I reach for one of the citation cards.
I have found these citation cards most helpful while doing offline research at a repository. Take a picture, scan a document, transcribe a paragraph from a newspaper or book… then the citation card is crucial for securing the necessary data for the citation. While I have not used them for such, the cards could also provide input to a research log.
The front contains the basic information necessary for creating the citation.
The back gives me a place to indicate the quality of the resource. It also has space for any information or comments that I want to record.
I have found the citation cards to be most helpful as I have been preparing for my trip to Salt Lake City. I intend to research my 3g-grandmother Brenner’s ancestors in Baden. Johanna Catarina Venninger married Georg Friederich Brenner in Adelshofen, Baden, in 1822. In 1836 my 2g-grandfather, Johannes (John) Brenner, was born. John was the first of my direct-line Brenner ancestors to come to the United States (1856).
I have received extensive data from an online “cousin,” detailing Johanna Venninger’s ancestors. They came from the Baden villages of Adelshofen, Kurnbach, Ittlingen,Neipperg, Stettin, Sulzfeld, and Waiblingen. FHL has information taken from church and civil records of those communities. I intend to explore those microfilms to validate the information that I have received.
For each village, I have a list of individuals (with events and dates). I have prepared citation cards with all the pertinent information about the respective microfilms for each village. Since I will not have to develop a separate card for each item I find, I have numbered all the citation cards and will simply note on my lists the citation card # plus additional information. If any particular find takes me in a new direction or provides new information, I will prepare a separate card.
I have found these cards to be most helpful.