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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Preparation Sunday - Step 4 of 7

Over the spam of seven Sundays, I am sharing with you my approach to preparing your ancestor stories to share with others. Before you can share, of course, you must have them and have them in a form to be useful to share and tell. [ See 13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories, for doing that]

If you are on Facebook, the 7 Steps of Preparation to TELL YOUR ANCESTOR STORIES are already available by joining the Cause: TELL YOUR ANCESTOR STORIES. I encourage you to join.

The 7 Steps are, very briefly: Ask, Listen, Record, Organize, Research, Write, Share.

Our focus today is on Organize, the Step 4 of the 7 Steps.

This is the stage of the process where you must gather together all of your collected materials and make some sense of them. This material may include family tradition information (oral, written or other), your notes from conversations, audio or video recordings, books, pamphlets, brochures, artifacts, preliminary research and a variety of other materials. Each of us is going to have our own experiences with organizing materials, either positive or negative. One element for each of us is to set some priorities. What are your goals for this particular set of materials? All of the materials will eventually be useful, but which are most critical to accomplish your current goal or goals? This may mean transcriptions of oral or video recordings. It may mean photographing or scanning artifacts or materials collected (some may need to be returned, for example). It certainly will include entering data into your computer database and creating new and expanded Research To Do Lists.

Especially if you have no predetermined organizing process (or that you are satisfying with), you may want to consider a process that was just published by one of my favorite genealogy blogs: Colour Coding for Fun and Profit. Katrina McQuarrie is a young genealogist with a distinctive background and approach to the techniques of gathering, organizing and storing/sharing your information. Check out this particular post, and while you are there, check out some of the other topics she presents. Let her know with your comments how you like her process, and mention this referral, if you care to.

Now, back to our priorities. Ancestor Stories to share should be one of your priorities, so extracting specific details from your materials that will be useful to TELL YOUR ANCESTOR STORIES should be a top priority. This may take some practice, but it will be worth the effort.

The last three Steps are Research, Write and Share. You will need to check and confirm vital facts that you pick up from family tradition stories. These should go directly to your Research To Do List. We will discuss this more, next week, but it needs to be on your mind as you organize your materials, for sure.

If you have a favorite organizing technique, or other references, please fell free to include them in your comments. We can each learn from each other. Thanks for your interest and suggestions.

Families are Forever! ;-)

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