The problem with starting over

Many of us began our genealogy research before we really understood how to evaluate or document our information sources. A year ago, I decided to be more rigorous by taking another look at the sources I had amassed for my family history. The more I did, the more daunted I felt. I realized that I needed to learn more about handling sources and I needed to develop better systems for keeping track of them. 

The learning continues every day, and the systems are gradually being developed. I decided on a naming system for image files (scans of censuses, birth registrations, etc.) and a process for reviewing and cataloging them in Aperture before I add them to my Reunion database. I am logging research notes and ideas in Filemaker Pro; this system alone has taken many hours since previously I was using Bento.

At least now I feel that I can tackle my growing list of sources systematically. The new problem? Almost every old source I turn to gives me information I hadn’t noticed before, or suggests new lines of inquiry. What a delicious problem to have!

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