Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday's Tip ~ Working With My Legacy Database

Over at my other blog, The The Keough Corner, I made a list of my December genealogy goals (a continuing project to get organized and move in the direction of going paperless ~ sigh, one can dream).  One of my goals this month is to spend some time going through and cleaning up my master lists.  Legacy makes this relatively painless, what with the file maintenance features and master list views.  I have been doing file maintenance each month for the past quarter, so there are very few corrections this month.

Another project I spent part of  both October and November on was working with my source citations.  In my Legacy program, I had both the old style (original) sources and the new style (sourcewriter) sources.  The orderly researcher in me just wants everything to be one way and as close to best practice as possible.  Lucky for me I haven't been doing this genealogy thing too long and although I had kept track of my sources (usually right in the event notes) I had not always gotten around to using the source function in Legacy (I know mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa).  Well I spent some time reading through Evidence Explained, various blogs, and the Legacy Users' Forum and came to a few conclusions.
  • I am a lumper
  • I want all my sources to be grouped by type for easy reference
  • I want all my sources to be in a similar format
The process that worked for me was to work with a class of events/facts at a time.  I enter a census as an event/fact and so I did a search in Legacy to find all my census entries.  I then worked on one family at a time (working my way backward) to standardize the census entries and the accompanying source entries. Getting the census entries cleaned up should make my life easier when the 1940 census is released on April 2, 2012.  Next up, I plan to focus on my military entries (draft registration, enlistment, and service).

My tip for all of us is to spend some time cleaning up our databases (the boring, no so much fun part of this obsession) and come Spring we will have everything clean, organized and ready to go.  So what are you up to with your genealogy database program and how do you make it work for you?  Have you set any December genealogy goals?

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