Monday, 17 June 2013

Family History Hunt Part 3: Getting Serious

There are many benefits to working in a library, particularly the one I work at: access to information and experts. We have a Family History Librarian, who hosts regular talks, which I have begun to attend, gathering nuggets of information.

There was one about getting organised: one coloured box / folder (real and/or virtual) for each grandparent. So, I've done that.
Not only for organising info, but a useful high ground
I also follow the edict: from the known to the unknown. To make it patently obvious where my gaps of knowledge - provable information - I've utilised the lovely blank walls in my lounge, and a lot of post-it notes.
The traditional family tree

Pedigree chart style
I have a box with index cards it in, so I can keep track of the info as I find it. I could have a word document and all that - but there's something so satisfying about index cards. Old-school librarian sneaking out, I guess.

(And, it all justifies the love of stationery... seriously! Hunting down four different coloured boxes, plastic envelopes, highlighter pens. Bliss!)

I've also downloaded the free version of Legacy - family tree database software. A distant cousin has it, too, so I'm hoping I can get all of the info she has on hers, and add it to mine - so I don't have to redo it all.

Searching genealogy resources has brought up some interesting questions, but all the information will have to be checked and verified, of course.

Thanks to historical Births, Deaths and Marriages online, I have been able to order some documents to aid in my hunt. With each little breadcrumb, my trail grows. I ordered a birth certificate of an Isabella Graydon, the name of my father's father's mother's mother... alas, I didn't pay enough attention, and her birth date was 1898. Quite a trick, when her daughter was married in 1895... and 'her' first grandson was born in 1896... Hmmm. There is no other Isabella Graydon in the database.

But, I mustn't get too excited and run off in too many directions at once. Focus on one person at a time, and follow their trail.

At the moment - it is Aunty Mum - my father's mother's mother. There's a newspaper article saying she was a survivor of the 1886 Tarawera Eruption. She would have been about three. I've put feelers out... now I wait.

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