Will you be doing any traveling this summer? It's time to start planning. Once you plan your destination, search your database for life events that happened along your route. If traveling with family members, you may not have the luxury of spending all day in a cemetery or library, but you might be able to grab a few hours.
Once you've identified an individual, read everything you've collected on that individual. Sometimes we've put our research aside on an individual because we've hit a brick wall, but the answer to the question you're seeking may be in the documents you've already collected. As a newbie you may have missed a clue hidden in a document that will jump out at you now. Here's a strategy I use.
Evaluate each document you have. Begin by documenting the information found in the document.
Next analyze the evidence. Is the document original or derivative? Is the information primary or secondary? Does the document provide direct or indirect evidence to support a fact? Are there any discrepancies that need to be resolved?
List the next steps. What other sources does this document point you to? If you have not found those other sources, where are they located, perhaps on your vacation route? Maybe some of them are now online. Can you write to a library or repository to get a copy?
Another way to analyze the information is to create a timeline for the individual. This may help you see gaps in your research.
You might also plan to attend the FGS Conference August 21 - 24, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Attending a large conference is a great way to jump start your research. With well over 100 sessions, there's something for everyone and in between lectures you can visit the Exhibit area to see what's new, to purchase books, or just share information with like minded genealogists. And here's an extra bonus…the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library (with one of the largest genealogy collections in the country) will have extended hours Wednesday - Friday from 7 a.m. to midnight! And for those of you interested in Irish research, I'll be doing a 2 1/2 hour workshop on Using Griffith’s Valuation to Identify Your Ancestors’ Origins.
So start preparing now to ensure a successful genealogy vacation.
There's still time to sign up for the Dublin Research Trip.