This week’s Legacy Family Tree Webinar was “Plan Your Way to Research Success” by Marian Pierre Louis. As usual, the topic was terrific, the host Geoff Rasmussen was great, the price was right (free!) — and the hour and a half with Marian flew by as she gave tips, examples, motivation and more on using research plans to make our genealogical searches more effective and more efficient. Marian presented a wonderful webinar and I highly recommend it.
On Thursday Marian wrote about it in her blog Marian’s Roots and Rambles: Follow-up on the Research Plan webinar. She includes a link to the archived webinar, which will be free for about ten days. There are also links to purchase the CD or a bundle, and a coupon code for a discount good through Monday, July 23.
Here are some of the important points that I took away from the webinar:
- Search only one person or one family unit (not extended)
- Keep the focus narrow
- Keep the focus more narrow the less you know (e.g., for a brick wall ancestor)
- Writing your research plan necessitates writing what you do know
- This will lead to what you don’t know
- Go to FamilySearch wiki or something similar to find what records exist during the applicable time period and location
- Create a plan to find the information, using research plan forms
Marian’s webinar gives examples of the forms she creates for some of her own research plans. She uses Microsoft Word for these forms. I would probably use a spreadsheet. Marian stressed the importance of using whatever helps you — you need to make it work for the way you organize and think. Don’t get hung up on the way other people make their research plans. The important thing is to take control of the research process and use forms to help identify what you know & what you don’t know to lead to what you WANT to know.
This webinar is what I needed to think through the use of a research plan. It will help me focus on creating smaller research projects. Another important thing that it reinforced is my need to write what I have found, including conclusions, reasons, next steps, stumbling blocks, and why I am perplexed about something. Then when I come back to that family and that individual, it will be easy for me to remember what I learned and what else I need to search for.
Thank you, Marian, for a great webinar!
You may also want to take a look at the list of Legacy’s upcoming webinars. There are some great ones coming up in the next few weeks that I don’t want to miss.