Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rainy Days Equals Genealogy Organization

I love rainy days!  I love to be inside warmed by a cozy fire and accomplishing all sorts of projects – and, of course, many of those are genealogy related!

One of my genealogy goals for 2011 is to produce a monograph of the Hardenbrook family line. I have a lot of research written up, but it now needs fact checking, photos, and the next step, a deeper level of research, i.e. land and probate records.  I continue to search for the reason as to why they traveled north to Seneca County, NY.  Was it availability of bounty lands, the rumor of available fertile farmland, or some other reason?

It became evident I needed to better organize the research materials I had put into a three-ring research binder. I took everything out and sorted by individual names, and then filed them back into the binder now separated by labeled tab file dividers.  The first page of my binder is the list of local history/genealogy information sheet for Seneca County kindly sent to me by the librarian at the Edith Ford Library in Ovid, New York.  Next are pages of cemetery listings where I found Hardenbrooks and associated families buried.  At the very back of the binder is a tab labeled, “Related Articles,” which contains items that may or may not be relevant. One woman interested in my Hardenbrook research sent me her article on the Dey Family of Bergen County, NJ and Seneca County, NY. At this point I don’t think there is a link, but one never knows.  I do appreciate her suggestions and interest.

This reorganization project provided me the opportunity to revisit much of the research I had done over the past few years, and can now view from a different perspective. It also allows me to fact check easier – when I see a statement, date or citation, I go immediately to the person’s section in my research binder and double check.

Aesthetics is important to me: the Hardenbrook genealogy resides in a sage green three ring binder featuring a color photo of my Grandmother Laura Wortman Hardenbook featured on the cover with her “famous” saying – “I will never give up the Hardenbrook name.”  The Hardenbrook research binder is white with a clip art tree on the cover sheet and spine labeled “Hardenbrook Family Research Documents.”  When I make a research trip for this family all I will need is the two binders.

I realize now that I should go through this process with each family line – how many rainy days will we have?

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