Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Research Plan -- How and do I really need one??

As I've been working on the history of my family I have been hearing/reading a lot about research plans.  Do I really need to use one??I've been googling trying to find out more.  I use Evernote as my other brain for the things I don't want to forget but know that I will.  I've been trying to come up with a template for Evernote to help with my research.  I think I've finally done it.


The first part of the above Research Plan includes some background information about her and her parents.  Then there is a place for birth, marriage, death and burial information.  In red you will see what I don't have.  One of the great things about Evernote is that I can link to other notes and then when I click on the note link it will take me to the linked note.  (note links are green and links to websites are blue).


In the next part, above, you will see a place for information on Icie's children and below that census information.  I tried using spread sheets to organize/analyze information but I didn't like that I had to go between so many different ones to have all the information that I wanted.  I like having it all in one document.  As I find more information I add to my research plan.  Below the census information there is another table for other information like church records, military, probate records, land records and local history.



The last part of my research plan is my favorite.  The problems section and the research log!  Now as I continue my research I can list my problems and the steps I need to take to solve them all in one location.  As new problems arise I simply copy and paste my problems table to create another one below the first one and fill it in.

One of the great advantages or using this research plan is that I can always see what I'm working and where I left off since "real life" always gets in the way of research time.

Yes, I do need a research plan to keep me on track and to remind me where I left off.  Is it perfect? No, but it is working for me right now.

I've created a shared notebook in Evernote so you can get my research plan for your self and I included Icie's research plan as well.  You can get the research plan by going here.  Feel free to tweak it to suit your needs.

If you have any additions please let me know.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Great Search


Family Search has added images of Wills to their Columbia County Pennsylvania records.  It does take some time to get through them since they are not searchable but persistence pays off.  I was able to locate the will for James Everitt.  James had a daughter named Sarah M. L. Everitt who married John Welsh.  (Sarah and John are my husband Jason's 3rd great grandparents).  I was having a hard time connecting Sarah to her parents.  I thought they were James and Mary Everitt but I did not have any concrete evidence.

Once I found out about the wills being online I took a chance and looked for James' will and there it was!


In his will he states that his wife, Mary, may have whatever she wants to allow her a comfortable living as long as she remains his widow.  His daughter Elizabeth (wife of Henry Delong) gets $250.00.  His son Asa gets $250.00.  He leaves to the heirs of his daughter Susan (wife of John Auten) he leaves Casper Newton Auten $20.00, Francis Marion Auten $20.00, and Allen Cotner Auten $20.00 which they cannot have until they are 21 years of age.  His son Moses gets $50.00.  His daughter Sarah (wife of John Welsh) is given 10 acres of land off the northwest end of his farm which he values at $120.00 and $130.00 in cash.  His son Elijah's heirs, William Henry Everitt and Francis Marion Everitt get $150.00 each but not until they turn the age of 21.  His son Andrew Jackson gets $250.00.  His son Enos gets $10.00.  His son Enoch gets $200.00.  His son Hiram gets $150.00.  His daughter Louisa Anne gets $250.00.  He names his executors as Moses Everitt and Andrew Jackson Everitt.  [Andrew dies before his father James].  He goes on to state that after his death or the death of his Mary (whoever survives the longest) that they are to sell his real estate and any personal property and it is to be split equally by Elizabeth Delong, Asa Everitt, Moses Everitt, Sarah Welsh, Andrew Jackson Everitt, Enos Everitt, Enoch Everitt, Hiram Everitt, and Louisa Anne Everitt.

If my calculations are correct he gas given $1,750.00 to his children and grandchildren and 10 acres of land. In 1863 that was a lot.

I now have more people to add to my tree and to search for information about them.  Finding this will was like hitting the jackpot for me!

I'm off to enjoy my Sunday of ancestor hunting!
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