Footnotes! Footnotes! Footnotes! Part 2

How do you manage footnotes while you are writing so their inclusion does not halt the flow of your writing?

footnotesI struggled with this while I wrote my Kinship Determination Project (KDP) and Case Study for my portfolio for certification for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. [1]

In the end, I employed two basic techniques.

First, I internalize information as I do my research and take copious notes. Before I started writing, however, I also reread several key documents I had deemed critical to the research question. Then, I started writing. I do not consider myself a great writer, but once I “get going,” I do not like to stop. Here is what I do to accommodate my “with the flow” approach to citation inclusion.

I write three, four or even ten paragraphs before I pause. At those pauses, I go back to what I have written, do some rough editing and insert a “dummy citation.” Yes, it could be a real footnote if I have all the information handy, but instead of pulling out the document and figuring out how to cite the evidence, I insert number for the footnote and insert a code for the source, for example, DR HJB. This would tell me I needed to cite the death record of Henry J. Bode at that location. There may be many of these “dummy citations.”

I enter a footnote everywhere I think a footnote is needed. For every dummy citation I put where I think/know the information is found.  I rarely leave one blank.

Then I  continue writing.

At a (later) time of “citation inspiration,” I return to what I have written and start entering “real” citations. I dig out the source, confirm that it actually supports the statement, check Evidence Explained to see if there is any construction guidance and then build the citation. [2] If the content does not support the statement I am making, I have two choices: I can rewrite the paragraph so it is supportable or I go looking for a source that supports the statement.

This process allows me to keep up with the flow of writing, but also reminds me of a need for a citation. How do you handle the flow and the citation timing?

You might find it interesting to read my first blog on this topic, Footnotes! Footnotes! Footnotes!

Happy hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last post: worked on my Timelines presentation for the Olympia GS to be given in March. I have a “never-evers” presentation I need to put together for February. I am excited about some great speaking opportunities that are coming my way for 2017.  I listened to some webinars on Legacy. I thought Gena Philibert-Ortega’s on “Social History” was particularly good.

[1] http://www.bcgcertification.org/certification/index.html

[2] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, third edition (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2015).

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Footnotes! Footnotes! Footnotes!

Do you manage your footnotes or do they manage you?

When writing my Kinship Determination Project (KDP) for my portfolio, I had trouble keeping  the footnotes “complete and accurate.”[1] They should add “consistent’ to this rubric.

I thought I had a plan. I didn’t; or the one I had didn’t work so well; or maybe it worked as well as could be expected.

Nevertheless, I thought I would outline my process. Hopefully, you can find some ideas you can use or perhaps learn from my mistakes.

I would also be interested in how you manage your footnotes when writing  a footnote intensive paper. I would like to improve this process.

Note: I don’t use RefNote or any specialized software. I used Word.

I did OK for most of the KDP in keeping my footnotes consistent.   I attained what consistency I did have by keeping a record in Word of every type of footnote and using the style as a template for future footnotes of the same type.  The footnotes were arranged by record type in the Word document–all the death footnote types were together, all the electronic ones were together, etc.

But, I learned as I wrote and some things shifted in the footnote creating inconsistencies.

Every footnote was entered as a full footnote. I did not make it a shortform, even if I knew there was a similar reference before it, until I was completely done with the paper. If I knew (or thought) that a footnote was previously used, I put the letters SF, for “short form,” at the beginning of the footnote.  If the footnote was a candidate for Ibid., I put that at the beginning as well. But I  did not convert it to a SF or an Ibid. until the very end of the writing process. Reason? I was moving around paragraphs of information right up until the end.  At one point I removed about 1000 words from my KDP. I knew I had to be careful. It also didn’t matter if I made a mistake because I knew I had to check every one.

By the time I got to the end of writing the document, inconsistencies in my formatting of even the typical footnote templates, had slipped in. I had also knew that there were consistencies, even if accurate.

So, I re-reviewed every footnote at the end of writing the paper. (Which I think you would have to do anyway.) Here is how I reviewed all my footnotes:

I first made sure that all footnotes were the same font type, size and black in color.

Starting with footnote number 1 and going in order:

  1. I made all my footnotes into endnotes and copied them into a single Word document (I called this document the “Endnotes”). Then I changed the document with endnotes back into one with footnotes.
  2. Working back and forth between the document and the Endnotes, I checked to make sure that footnote #1 was accurately reflecting the content of the cited work, complete and in a format that was most consistent with the narrative.
  3. I re-checked each one against Evidence Explained [2] so I knew where I deviated and why.
  4. I used the Find feature to see if I had any duplicates of that footnote. Since even the most typical footnote had a unique identifier, this was not hard. (Obviously, the first footnotes were unique, so this happened later in the writing.)
  5. On the Endnotes, I changed the color of that particular footnote to green, when I was completed with checking for correctness, accuracy, consistency.
  6. Repeat, until you find a source that has already been cited. Create the shortform. Copy the shortform and paste into the Endnotes, under the first full citation.
  7. As you go, adjust the footnotes to include Ibid., if appropriate.
  8. When you are done, all Endnotes will be green; all shortforms and Ibid.s will be entered and you will have checked all against other similar footnotes for consistency. And you will have checked each type against Evidence Explained.
  9. Pat yourself of the back and repeat for the Case Study! [3]

I hope it doesn’t sound confusing. It went quite smoothly and quicker than I thought.  I am visual so the color coding was essential. The Find feature was a godsend. If I discovered an inconsistency, I could identify all of the affected footnotes and change them one-by-one.

That describe how I handled them when the document was finished.  Next we will look at how I did ciations during the writing process so they didn’t put a full stop on the flow of the writing.

Happy hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting: I know it has been some time since I posted but I have traveled to the Eastern time zone 3 times in about 10 days.  Plus made presentations in about 10 venues. I also am Seattle Genealogical Society’s president.  It’s been an active fall, but is now winding down as we get ready for our daughter’s wedding in Boston.  Looking forward to it and to a little relaxation afterwards.

[1] “Rubrics for Evaluating New Applications for BCG Certification, revised 18 January 2016,” Board for Certification of Genealogists (http://www.bcgcertification.org/brochures/BCGNewAppRubrics2016.pdf : accessed 9 November 2016).
[2] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, third edition (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2015).
[3] I wanted to make this a 12-step program, but I just couldn’t come up with two more steps to my process! 🙂

 

 

Home again!

jacobson-chris-funeral-arrangementsI have now arrived home and am faced with the work of analyzing the mounds of information which I “harvested” on my trip through the Midwest. “Harvest” is the best word, because I recognize that my itinerary and timeline did not allow me to take as much care as I might want with each document at the time I gathered it.

So how will I do this?

  1. I have to focus on my portfolio for certification; therefore, I will separate the items which pertain to the portfolio first.  There are three documents or sets which are important:
    1. Naturalization papers (first and final papers) of John/Jan Cornelius Bode.
    2. Church papers from Christian Reformed Church, Leighton, Iowa, founded by my ancestor in 1895. This is a more arduous task as transcription may be in order and there are many pages.  It is possible also that nothing from these documents will make the portfolio.
    3. Study the will I found in courthouse and compare to online version which I am using in my transcription element of my portfolio. They are different, but how different?
    4. Negative findings are important too.  I have to figure out how these work into my paper.
  2. I need to incorporate my new findings about Dirk Bode into my “Finding Dirk!” presentation which I am giving in October.
    1. New photos taken at the Peoria site of the buildings
    2. New photos taken of the grave of Dirk
    3. information from the conservator
    4. Information found in the probate and conservator packet including that the family visited Dirk while in the asylum, sent Christmas presents annually and “pin money” for him.
  3. Everything else.
    1. Scads of deeds, photos and even the funeral director’s notes on the automobile procession for my grandfather’s funeral (see above.) [1]
    2. Newspaper notices of the bankruptcy of my grandfather, particularly the loss of his bank in 1931/1932. (Note to self: actual court documents may be in NARA in St. Louis.)
    3. Investigation of the individuals at the Elgin Insane Asylum, looking for evidence of PTSD.
    4. Article on what one might find in court minutes at the county level. (I have no idea who might like to publish this one.)

I think that’s enough for a while!  (Couple the above with a 1 week vacation in the San Juans with friends from OK, a 3 part Beginning Swedish Genealogy class starting October 26 and a number of Saturday presentations and seminars, including one in Indiana with Anne Staley–I think I will have a very busy Fall.)

Happy hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last post:  traveled to Seattle–14 hours of driving time from my brother’s place in WY.  And unpacking the car–which is no mean feat when you realize I have been living out of it for six weeks. I am glad to be home, as is my cat!

[1] Kenneth F. Boughton, “Funeral Arrangements,” notes for the procession for Mrs. Chris Jacobson, (MS, Britt, Iowa, 7 September 1941); privately held by Betty (Jacobson) Anderson, [address for private use,] Downers Grove, Illinois, 2016. Ms. Anderson is the daughter of Mrs. Chris “Emma” (Anderson) Jacobson.

Repositories I Know & Love!

deeds-in-courthouse-iaI have been on a research “sabbatical” for six weeks this summer, traveling from Seattle to Chicago and back. As I traveled, I researched my family in Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.  The trip was a testament to the need to look beyond the internet to find information about our ancestors.

I’d like to say that I was super prepared for each repository and had a written plan for each I visited. But, that would be a lie. Sometimes I had a written plan–3-4 items I wished to find, but sometimes, I was thinking about it on the drive to the building. The latter “Last Minute Planning” did not occur often. I did identify a problem that each repository could possibility assist with; I usually knew what specific record I wanted and I had a methodology for taking notes (the latter I will cover in a blog post later.)

I had some basic themes:

  • find naturalization records for:
    • my paternal grandfather (Chris Jacobson) and
    • my maternal great great grandfather (John C. Bode).
    • my maternal great grandfather (Hendrik J. Bode)
  • Obtain probate records for Henry Bode and church records in Leighton, Iowa.
  • Verify residence of Eda Berg and her family between 1862 and 1871.

Here is a list of all the repositories I visited. There is only one that I visited “online” while on the road!

  1. BYU Harold Lee Library, Provo, Utah: in my previous post I noted that I should have done research here, but didn’t know the extent of their holdings until too late.  Oh, well.  That happens too.
  2. Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America Library, Minneapolis, MN: New this year was the index to the “Quellen und Forschungen”, the journal of the genealogical society in Ostfriesland’s journal. I was excited as this journal is very difficult to search since there is  not even an index for individual issues and it is written in German. OGSA also had the new Weener OSB. Result? No findings for the “fam” in Q & F (surprising because they owned land.) and nothing new in the OSB.
  3. Newspaper archives of the Britt News-Tribute, held by the Summit newspaper system in Forest City, IA: Great success here! Found my grandfather’s declaration of bankruptcy and my other grandfather’s first advertisement for his new business. While these are filmed, it was far easier to skim the originals as the films were so dark.
  4. Hancock County IA Courthouse: Good documentation here.  No naturalization of my paternal grandfather, but picked up lots of deeds and probate records.
  5. Garner, IA, Public Library: newspapers, plat maps. They had the newspapers from number 3 above on film, but they were too dark to read.
  6. Hardin County Courthouse: This repository was a goal. Probate, deeds and naturalizations. LOTS of deeds here. A deed with my great grandmother’s name established her residency in the county in December of 1871, a previously undocumented date. Now, why can’t I find them in the 1870 census?
  7. Cerro Gordo County Courthouse: Went looking for my grandfather Jacobson’s naturalization records but they had been moved to library. See no. 8.
  8. Mason City Public Library: naturalizations (Grandfather’s naturalization not there. I have now narrowed my repositories down to 97 counties in which to look!)
  9. Wright County Court house in Clarion, IA: found some land records.
  10. Grundy County Courthouse in Grundy Center, IA: Found the probate for my great grandfather in this surprise location. See no. 19 below. I also found, land deeds and naturalizations of collaterals.
  11. Wellsburg, IA Public Library: general genealogical search of collection; I thought they had tax assessments. of the county They did…for the wrong years & the wrong township; others thrown away. But, I had some fun conversations with two Ostfriesen cousins.
  12. Butler County Courthouse in Allison, IA: Found probate, and deeds
  13. Franklin County Courthouse in IA: Probate, deeds and naturalizations. Found that great grandfather (Ryke Berends Rykena) was certified insane by court late in life and son was named guardian.  Access to these records was, of course, restricted . Next task: figure out the access laws for Iowa mental health records.  (Note to self: probably dementia.)
  14. Northern District Bankruptcy Court in Cedar Rapids, IA: I looked for bankruptcy records of John Bode. Clerk stated that records were moved and then thrown away after they were moved to KC NARA. That sounded suspicious.
  15. [Online] NARA catalog in Kansas City, MO: for bankruptcy documents (need to check more thoroughly, but may have bankruptcy documents that no. 14 thought were thrown away.)
  16. Iowa State Historical Society in Iowa City, IA: Iowa has two state repositories and the collections are not exactly identical! I had just a little time in Iowa but more time in Des Moines. While in Iowa HS, I first identified if the record was also available in Des Moines (no. 17 below).  Since I had scheduled more time in DM, I postponed any research that I could do there.  I found a terrific dissertation on the banking crisis from 1929 to 1933 from an Iowa perspective.  My grandfather’s bank one of 7000 private banks in the country in 1930; his bank failed in 1931/2. This was not “research”, which implies analysis.  This was “harvesting.”
  17. Iowa State Historical Society in Des Moines, IA: Spent laborious time looking for the naturalization records of my paternal grandfather Jacobson. There are 99 counties in Iowa. I reviewed the naturalization records of seven of them.  Knowing that my grandfather was also not naturalized in Hancock means I have 91 to go.
  18. Des Moines Genealogical Society Library in Des Moines, IA: The Library is located across the street from the Historical Society. Susan gave me a very nice tour of their holdings.  Alice (CG), Rikkie (on-the-clock) and I discussed certification.  What I needed was in the Iowa State Historical Society (no. 17 above) so I did no research at the GS, but I did put a donation in the cup.
  19. Mahaska County Courthouse in Oskaloosa, IA: I was looking for probate and land records here and found nothing.  I thought that Henry might have owned a farm or a house in Lieghton (pronounced “Lie-ton”) but it appears that they either used a parishioner’s house or a house bought by the congregation. No probate here but I found the probate packet for him in no. 10 above.
  20. Christian Reformed Church in Leighton, IA: Big time win here! Henry, Ed and Dorothy were so helpful!  I was given the deluxe tour of the church and although the original church had been torn down, my guides showed me the items that had moved from the original church where my great grandfather preached, including the Bible.  Then, we went to the bank and rooted around in their original church books. Good people.
  21. Swenson Research Center in Rock Island IL: This was a short stop but Jill Seaholm was very gracious, giving me an indepth tour of the research area and stacks.  Interesting to talk to her about what they accept and reject.  Came away with some great additions for the SGS library. My goal was to meet Jill and establish a relationship. Goal achieved.
  22. Stephenson County IL Court house, in Freeport IL: BINGO! Although I found nothing on the elusive Freidrick Eilers, I found the naturalization of my maternal great grandfather.  But, the big coup–they handed me the probate packets for Dirk Bode (insane). My presentation on insanity just got an added dimension.
  23. Freeport Public Library: (a bit of a stretch to count this one) hot and humid outside and so I decided to visit the FPL. I researched derivative naturalization for children in the 1800s.  My great great grandfather got his citizenship on 13 December 1859 and my great grandfather was just 14 at the time!  He and his siblings became citizens using “derivative naturalization”.
  24. Bartonville IL (Peoria) Hospital cemetery for the mentally ill, in Peoria, IL: Memorable surprise find here! Is a cemetery a repository?  It is when it has my ancestor who was confined to an asylum for his entire adult life. Death certificate not found….anywhere. only two “documents” give direct evidence of his death– a probate document in Stephenson County and his tombstone.
  25. Bartonville IL (Peoria) Museum:  I found some great maps which showed which buildings were present when Dirk was there. Christine was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and changed my view of what happened to Dirk. There really are no records available for Dirk.  They do not exist because they were thrown away years ago.
  26. Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, IL: The presidential library has many newspapers and I reviewed several looking for the elusive Friedrick Eilers (not found), and the original newspaper of the obituary i have (not found) and references to Eda Berg and her family (nada, nothing).
  27. Illinois State Archive: This was a late add to the list.  The WPA transcribed court minutes for Stephenson County in 1940. These records are held at the Illinois State Archives.  I had a great time reviewing these records.  While I learned lots about the community, I found no Bergs, Bodes or Eilerts.
  28. This is totally a late add:  Why didn’t I think of my Aunt Betty!  My cousin and I poured over her albums and loose papers.  I even found the mortuary’s folder which included who would drive the cars to the cemetery, who would be in which cars and the order of the procession.

How did I do?

  • naturalization records for:
    • my paternal grandfather (Chris Jacobson) : not found
    • my maternal great great grandfather (John C. Bode) found
    • my maternal great grandfather (Hendrik J. Bode): his was a derivative naturalization
  • Obtain probate records for Henry Bode and any church records: found
  • Verify residence of Eda Berg and her family between 1862 and 1871: no new info except a verification of their residence in Iowa in late 1871..

 

Bonus items received but not anticipated:

  • Probate and conservator packets on Dirk Bode
  • seeing Dirk Bode’s tombstone
  • holding Henry Bode’s Bible and seeing his lecturn.

It’s been a great trip!  I am now mentally to head home.  I will be leaving the conference on Saturday and heading back to Seattle.

Happy hunting!

Jill

 

Keeping Track of Footnote Status

The Problem? How do you maintain writing momentum while composing footnotes? How does one track the status of footnotes as you write?

I doubt I am inventing anything here and, in fact, I suspect most folks come up with a system of some sort and perhaps one even fairly similar to mine.

I have a four methods I use to maintain consistency between similar footnotes, clean up footnotes and identify short form/Ibid footnotes. The main reason why I need multiple methods is because I find writing painful if I have to stop writing and make a footnote. What I do instead is intensely research and take notes (Evernote, Dropbox, Word are my friends). And then start writing and it can flow out of me.  “Flow” makes it sound simple; actually writing is only less painful if I do it this way.

If the writing naturally breaks up into chunks, I will write then do footnotes and then repeat. But, trust me, at the beginning, the paper is pretty ugly.

Here we go…

Method 1:

  1. I insert the footnotes into the very ugly draft. There are two types–ones I found while researching– These are usually in good shape because I carefully compose them while I am researching.  The other category are ones based on my documents I have collected over the years that I wish to reference in the document. These I  compose as I find I need them.
  2. Each footnote is also copied onto a Master Source List and placed in an appropriate category, e.g. censuses 1850 and before, vital records, books, etc. and in alpha order within each category.

Method 2: Color coding

  1. If I find I am missing a source,  I will make a footnote and instead of a citation I write what I am missing, e.g. “DR for Antje R.” or even “what was I thinking here?” These I put in red.
  2. If I have a partial footnote or I am missing information, I enter the partial citation, I enter a note to myself. For example, a newspaper clipping in my file but with no newspaper noted, I will put the citation in as I know it but put “What is the newspaper’s name?” in red. I might be able to find the name of the newspaper later.
  3. If I think the citation is complete and I am happy with it, I color it green.
  4. After all citations are green, I will then, and only then turn them all black.

Method 3: identifying Short form and Ibid opportunities

  1. I make all citations long form until all citations are “black.”
  2. While I write and if I think I have used it before (usually I know this because it appears on my Master Source List) I place a “SF” at the start of the citation indicating this citation is a candidate for a short form citation or “IBID” indicating there might be an opportunity to just use Ibid. But, I won’t know this until the paper is finished

Method 4:

  1. To cross check the citations after they have all turned black, I plan on (haven’t gotten this far yet on any document) turning them into endnotes (yes, you can change them back to footnotes when you are finished), and check each one very carefully.  I am not sure yet how this will work, but I think I will pick off the first one, paste it into a separate Word document making another Master Source List II, and turn the appropriate ones into short form or add Ibid. This will force me to look for inconsistencies, anomalies (should be few, but I know a few sneaked in).
  2. I will check each one against EE [1] to make sure any changes I have made are defensible.
  3. I think I will have to do this because I wasn’t religious about entering every unique citation into my first master source list, but even if I had, I would still probably make a Master Source List II because I want my citations to be super-consistent and composed appropriately.

Hope this helps someone.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last post: worked on my KDP almost exclusively, toning up my two presentations for Jamboree which is just in 2.5 weeks, and signed up for their live streaming of their DNA Day. I bought some downloads from NGS and have listened to a couple so far (Judy R on women and the law and Lisa Alzo on eastern European brick walls).

[1] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace,” third edition (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2015).

KDP Hints & Tips

2016 0220 Pima CtyI have been working on my Kinship Determination Project (KDP) for the past 2 weeks (no, I am 4th from left, not second!). The KDP is a component of my portfolio for certification and has to prove the relationships between three generations of a family.  Many days I put in 8-12 hours of work. Other days, I muster 6 hours.  The reality is usually somewhere in-between. I have developed some thoughts about the process of the KDP.  These thoughts were encouraged by my hostess here in Tucson, a Ph.D. in Business.

We are taught at institutes etc. about research records sets and how to access and use them. We are introduced to the Genealogical Proof Standard which is a road map for solution of problems but…

…we are not taught how one actually does qualitative research, the research of interviews, observations and documents. Nor are we trained in how to organize that data so it is retrievable when needed.

How should we start?

First off–I think I approached my KDP all wrong! This doesn’t mean my output will be unacceptable, just that my process might have been smoother if I thought about it differently. Recently there was an engaged discussion about the similarities–or not–of the Genealogical Proof Standard  to the Scientific Process on the Transitional Genealogist list serve. (resolution: unresolved)

One thing that is very different for genealogists is that we collect sources, information and evidence over decades.  The Social Scientist will devise a research problem, develop a plan and then go out and gather data, synthesize the data and report. They start with the end in mind. Often we, as genealogists, “grow” into our field–true OJT.

Another differences between my friend’s (or anyone’s) thesis and the process outlined for any KDP is the amount of collaboration that is encouraged in one and discouraged, and in fact, prevented in another.  I wonder if ‘no collaboration’ is a good idea. Is the best research done in a vacuum? Is the best outcome the interpretation by one person?

Should I have started writing my KDP with a research question? Should I have developed a plan first? Should I have had a better idea of the outcome before I started? I had a theme, but could that have made me more sharply focused if it had been articluated as a question?

Here are some hints based on my sometimes successful and sometimes stumbling approach to getting my KDP written! Some of these ideas I incorporated from the beginning  and other ideas came to me too late. I am, of course, assuming you have already gathered a fair amount of information about your family already.

  • Use your genealogy software program religiously.  Every document is an event entered. I have at least one citation (crude, admittedly) for every event. I have linked every individual involved in every event. I did a rough transcription of every entry (I didn’t know enough to do a good one, but it doesn’t matter because I go back to the original anyway.) What a time saver now!
  • Test several KDP three-generation scenarios to see what  might work for you. Put them up on a wall and look at them.
  • Write a paragraph about each of the three-generation scenarios you identified.  Make very brief notes on each of the generations for each triplet. Do you have a research question you are trying to “answer” for the reader?
  • Analyze each scenario. Is there a theme running through three generations?  Do you care if there is? What is the triplet that you might like to work on for months!  At a minimum, you had best like the family you are writing about.
  • Develop an outline of your paper; a very brief outline is fine but it’s time to get serious about the structure of the paper. Probably, at least one of your outlines will be chronological but try other organizations of the paper, perhaps thematic or some other plan. Nevertheless, you will make at least one outline for each scenario with some high-level events you wish to include in each.
  • Develop your first research plan.  What are you missing? What sources are you relying on that should be better? Your goal will be to keep a running research plan going at all times because as you write the document, you will continually to identify new information your are lacking to achieve Element #1 of the GPS– “a reasonably exhaustive research.” I use post-its on the wall.
  • Understand your own writing pattern. Yours will not be like mine. I used snippets from my genealogy software in chrono order and then return to each snippet and develop it appropriately. Some get deleted; some get combined or expanded.
  •  Organize your collected data.  This is the “stuff” that relates but is not event oriented. I could have used Evernote more. The ability to tag (perhaps based on your research plan or first outline?) would have been ideal.  I used it but not to the extent I could have. It helped when I could use it.
  • Reduce the number of places you store information. I have my content right now in about 5 places: books on my shelf; photos, e-journals etc. on my iPad; photos of content on my phone; my genealogical software; and my computer. It would have been better if it was all in one place, or at most two.  The good news is that the number of places I stored my information is finite and small, so I do not have too many places to look!
  • Update the outline as you go. This will keep you focused and point out the areas where you are still missing information.
  • Develop a citation style sheet so your citations are VERY consistent. I made my own. Mine almost looks like a bibliography of all my sources but in full reference note form. I don’t think Zotera and other such programs work for us but if they work for you, go for it–let me know. Maybe I missed the boat here.
  • Take off six weeks away from you home and use the time  to write–make it Arizona if you live up north and it’s winter. I do not even have a cat to pet! I recommend this highly. 🙂
  • And, finally, no excuses. Just do it!

There are three components to my KDP writing –I write the narrative; I work on citations and I re-read articles and books for content that I might have missed and which I now wish to incorporate into the paper. I cycle through the three elements all day–when I get bored/uninspired with one, I move to another.

I am not done writing my KDP. I am not even done with a first draft (closer every day), but I hope these organizational hints will help you as you go forward.

If you want more information about qualitative research as a methodology, my friend recommended two books. The second book might be helpful with the Evernote tags. I know that genealogical research is not like surveying a million people and trying to keep track of the results but if we can borrow from other academies, why shouldn’t we?

  • Michael Quinn Patton, Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2002)
  • Johnny Saldana, The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009)

I think genealogy, if it is to be considered a discipline by the ones who now do not, should teach the next generation of professional genealogists about how to research, how to  record qualitative work and how to retrieve that information successfully.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since my last posting: presented to the Pima County Genealogical Society on the GPS (see photo); went out to eat with relatives of my husband and wrote, wrote, and wrote some more.

Case Study Tips & More

2016 AZ mtnsAs some of you know, I have been taking a six week driving “sabbatical” since my retirement on 6 January 2016.  This has been a great few weeks so far and I expect it to be even better.

My goals for the trip have been:

  • get to the warm (see pic on left)
  • do some research in Salt Lake City
  • write a bunch of my portfolio (Case Study & Kinship Determination Project or KDP)
  • visit some friends along the way

 

Get to the warm:

I have definitely accomplished that (see above!).  I will spend about 3+ weeks in Arizona and southern California in full sunshine and 80 degree temps!  Woo hoo!

Research in SLC:

I spent four days there doing research. Of course, as soon as I left I noticed that I had missed checking out a database that is only available at the library, so I hired my friend, Barry Kline, who I knew was still there to check it for me.  Great job, Barry.  Just what I needed.

2016 AZ study stationWrite a bunch of my portfolio:

I wanted to come out of my week in Colorado (post-SLC) with my Case Study in very good shape.  Well, it took longer than that but I really like what it looks like.  A little more work but it is shaping up nicely.

I want to complete my AZ segment of the trip with a very good start on my KDP (see study station at left).  Right now–it is really ugly, but it is getting incrementally better every day (sometimes the increments are very small, however.).  I am finding some items I need to access, and so, I will be ordering some tapes so I can review them when I get back to Seattle.  It is also possible that I will have to re-up my “on-the clock”. As you can tell from the countdown clock on the sidebar, I only have two full months left. I have some information in Iowa that I need to get but I won’t be there until August, when I do another 7 week driving trip.

Visit friends & relatives

I have had the joy of being in Colorado with my husband’s two brothers and one of  the sister-in-laws. I am in AZ staying with a friend and will head out the end of this month to San Diego to meet up with my brother and his wife for a few days.  Then, it is on to Fresno to visit with another friend, BUT I have to be back in Seattle on the 8th so I can fly to Chicago on the 9th for the weekend.

Whew!! This retirement thing is exhausting.

2016 AZ postitsI promised some tips for the Case Study.  Here is what I discovered:

  1. Jot down 5 or 6 possible case studies.  Remember every immigrant is a problem of identity here and there; every person with multiple birth dates for the same person is conflicting direct evidence.
  2. Pick a problem you already have “solved.”  Do not pick one you haven’t solved.
  3. Once you pick your problem, write up your research question.  I had a hard time with this (I know it shouldn’t be, but my preconceptions kept getting in the way.)
  4. Determine what kind of a conflict it is and then read NGSQ articles for ones that are similar. While you are reading, look for a format or structure that fits your problem–you do not need to reinvent the wheel. There are good examples out there.
  5. Start writing; the sooner the better.
  6. While you are writing (at least this was true for me) there will be “little discoveries” along the way that needed to be researched. At first I was disappointed that I hadn’t noticed them before but then I viewed them as little challenges within the bigger one of the Case Study.

In the end, I got more than I bargained for–which was a very pleasant gift.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last post:  a lot.