Saturday, July 20, 2013

What do you know?

Who do you know? And what do you know about them, or yourself, for that matter?!
At the Central Point, Oregon family history center, MY family history center - there was a sheet on the table I was intrigued by. Perhaps someone printed it out as a handout for a class.... It came from FamilySearch in 2011, but with no form # (don't you love a mystery?). How can I get one of these, without just lifting this one? :-D

Google to the rescue! Putting "anything" or "just about anything" inside quotation marks in the Google (or most any) search box - the " " quote marks keeps those words together, and in that same order. This sheet had a title, so I Googled: "Information to Collect from Your Home and Other People." It is not case sensitive; I did not capitalize anything. One of the returned matches was the link to this document from FamilySearch - the one I had in my hot little hand!
(Who is frankie? Thanks, Frankie :-)

This is like a shopping list to check off when you've found these treasures of information on a person on your scavenger hunt. It could also serve as a list of prompts, as to what TO look for. I have a "probably" cousin, Vern Taylor, who tipped me off - that for every person in my genealogy database I might be able to find them in every census held during their lifetime. This would be a very useful skeleton from which to branch out with other details on a person. That was a big Aha moment for me. Searching Census records is "relatively" easy (pun?), and often pretty low-cost, but it can give you a lot of useful information, and eliminate some discrepancies. [I just mis-typed that word; went to and looked it up & came back to correct it. Then it morphed into discrapencies. Your timeline of Census listings can help you avoid those, too.]

Well, this checklist is like that, helping to coordinate a whole lot of records created during a lifetime, and which might still be extant. Ask - you might get lucky! Who knows why families, especially moms, save Stuff, ephemera, etc.? But genealogists are sure grateful to get some of that Stuff :-D What a terrific find to come up with a journal, letters, Marked family pictures....! That should give each of us pause to consider: Is my Stuff worth anything to tell my life's story? What story IS it telling by default? If it's not organized [discrapencies?] it could just look like flotsam. Jettison your jetsam before you drown in Stuff! ...When no one will be able to tell the important Stuff from the ....