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Proformat News
No: 73
Mar 2012
March Seminars
3: Family history on the Web, WEA Centre Adelaide, 10:00am to 1:00pm
4: North Adelaide Heritage walk, WEA Centre Adelaide, 2:00 to 4:00pm
5: Tracing your Irish ancestors, Payneham Library, 6:30 to 8:30pm
17: Goodbye IGI, Fleurieu Peninsula FH Group, 2:00 to 3:00pm
25: Coming to grips with FamilySearch, WEA Centre Adelaide, 10:00am to 1:00pm

April Seminars
15: Glenelg Heritage Walk: Esplanade and shopping precinct, Friends of SA's Archives, 2:00 to 5:00pm
17: Finding your way around the English and Welsh censuses 1841­ 1911, Elizabeth Civic Centre Library 7:00 to 9:0pm

See the seminar program for more details and bookings.

13th Congress in Adelaide
Adelaide Proformat is a sponsor of the 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry to be held at the Convention Centre 27–31 March. The Congress has a great line up of speakers on a great range of topics. Participants and the general public can visit the associated exhibition. Graham Jaunay will be offering free advice on the Adelaide Proformat stand:
1. Dating up to 5 19th century photographs (not photocopies)
   • 28 Mar: 12:45 to 1:00pm
   • 29 Mar:12:45 to 1:00pm
   • 30 Mar: 2:35 to 3:00pm
   • 31 Mar: 12:45 to 1:00pm
2. Answering general queries about family history research, publishing books, accessing records, and so on. Persons seeking help must book a 15 minute time slot using the booking sheet on the stand.
   • 28 Mar: 2:35 to 3:35pm (4 slots)
   • 29 Mar: 8:00 to 8:30am; 9:35 to 10:35am; 11:00 to 12:00pm (10)
   • 30 Mar: 8:00 to 8:30am; 11:00 to 12:00pm (6 slots)
   • 31 Mar: 8:00 to 8:30am; 11:00 to 12:00pm (6 slots)
Graham Jaunay's sessions include:
   • 28 Mar: Workshop: Now who could that be? Sorting 19th century photographs 4:00 to 5:00pm.
   • 29 Mar: Walking tour: Gentlemen’s mansions and Manning houses 4:00 to 5:00pm.
   • 30 Mar: Manifests and embarkation lists—these are two of my favourite things 4:00 to 5:00pm.
   • 31 Mar: A storm in a teacup; there’s no room for Irish orphans in Australia 2:35 to 3:35pm.

In this issue:
March Seminars
April Seminars
13th Congress Adelaide

Feature article
7 steps to successful research


Graham Jaunay
Adelaide Proformat

Glandore SA 5037

Tel: +61 8 8371 4465

Breaking news: fb

Drafting charts
Locating documents
Seminar presentations
Writing & publishing
SA lookup service
Ship paintings

Adelaide Proformat uses
The Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.

Proformat News acknowledges the support by awe AWE

7 steps to successful research

1. Identify what you know about your family

Write what you already know about your ancestors on a Pedigree Chart using the conventions already outlined in Newsletter 69.
Fill out the Family Charts for each married couple on your Pedigree Chart.
These are the main tools used in genealogical research. Even with all of the wonderful genealogy computer programs available today, filling in the blanks on these two charts is your main objective in researching your genealogy. It is the best way to manage all the data you will collect. Your family history computer program should be able to produce pedigree and family charts. You can download pdf versions too.

2. Decide what you want to find out
Empty spaces on your charts are asking questions that need answers!
Before jumping in, do some detailed and lateral thinking about these spaces.
Why are they empty? Where could you look for material that may contain the answers? Are there any clues hidden in the material you have already gathered up? Would someone in the family already know the answer and just need a little prompting to reveal it?
Once you have focussed your research you need the third essential tool used by family historians, a research log.
You will not find a log in your family tree program but an example can be freely downloaded from the above link, but you could just as easily use a ruled exercise book or a file on your laptop or tablet.

Fill in the first two columns in your log, namely the task at hand and the first venue you are going to use to seek out the record. The venue may be a nearby or distant repository or it may be an Internet site.
It cannot be over emphasised just how important maintaining a log is to manage your research successfully. As the number of leads grows along with the number of known ancestors, so the log becomes even more important.

3. Select records to search
Determine if the genealogical records you are searching are compiled or original records. Compiled records are secondary records and have a potential to contain copying errors. They are easier to locate but once found should contain details that will lead you to the original record. If they don't then they are potentially useless and should be used as a guide only. In the end you need to consult the primary or original record.
Take care as some seemingly primary documents are in fact secondary. Unfortunately in some cases (census enumerators sheets are an example) the secondary document is the only surviving record. There are examples of a document being in part primary and in other parts secondary! Some early parish registers in England are examples of this. Consider the instruction to start writing on vellum rather than paper made in 1594. Some priests (or their clerks) on receipt of the vellum version copied the earlier paper entries into it before implementing it as the primary record in the parish. In fact many parish records may not in fact be primary but again will be the only version available. Consider the priest who wrote baptism details on a scrap of paper and later copied it into the register.
Sometimes you may think the original record is wrong or incomplete. Then you have to take a decision on how to present the material. For example in many birth registrations you will find a single given name, whereas the person is known to have used a second given name all their lives. For completeness you should record this discrepancy but remember it is not a great issue. In Australia, until some 20 years ago, anyone could adopt any name they liked, simply by using the adopted name—no paperwork was required!

4. Obtain and search the record
Whatever the source, search the records. Look at broad time periods, check for spelling variations, and write down your results even if you come up empty-handed. The best way of recording all this is in your research log. If the records you use are compiled make sure to note where the originals can be located.

5. Record the source details
Record the location of the record in such a way that anyone else can locate the record. That usually means the following:
      1. Repository name.
      2. Call number and title of the item.
      3. The specific pages or location within the item.
      4. The date the item was inspected.
Ensure you transcribe it exactly as written even if you know it is incorrect! If you can photocopy the item make sure you can read the copy before you leave! Many memorials held by the GRO in Adelaide can be read on the film readers but the hard copies are almost impossible to read making a transcription essential! Some English BDM indexes demonstrate the same problem (pictured GRO Births 1st qtr 1847):

Record all similar entries—you may need them later!

6. Use the information
Evaluate what you’ve found. Did you find the information that you were looking for? Is that information complete? Does it conflict with other information you already have?
Querying the record is the most important step in research and the most neglected!

7. Record the new information
If you are happy with the new information transfer it to the pedigree and/or family sheets or enter it into your computer program. If you are not 100% happy with the new material you may still like to enter it but make sure you distinguish that it is unconfirmed!

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