The next release of GenDetective, version 1.5, scheduled to be released on May 5th, introduces a new and exciting feature, Personal Research Goals. Today, in GenDetective, reports are created to answer a research questions, such as:
- Who needs a 1940 census record?
- What information do I need to find for Grandpa Joe?
- I want to research the relatives who lived in Philadelphia, who are those relatives and what do I need to find for each of them?
- I am researching with the California Death Index from years 1940-1997, who did die, or probably died, in California during those years?
What exactly are Personal Research Goals ? Personal Research Goals provide a mechanism to share your goals, or the kinds of information you attempt to find, with GenDetective. These goals are yours and yours alone, and will most likely differ from the goals of other researchers. The research and documentation required for someone whose goal is to join DAR or the Mayflower Society is different from the researcher who does not have such lofty goals.
What types of goals can I configure in GenDetective? Most of the personal research goals are composed of a two-part question: Do I research a particular type of record? And if so, starting from what year?
- Burial locations; from what year?
- Cemetery markers/plots; from what year?
- Will and/or probate records; from what year?
- Obituaries; from what year?
- Immigration information?
- Emigration information?
- Naturalization information?
- Occupations for men; from what year?
- Occupations for women; from what year?
- Census records from which year forward?
- Religious events? And if so, how many events do I try to locate?
- Military service?
Personal research goals also include a few goals that you can not configure. Since our objective in genealogy is to identify our relatives, there are several demographics that are universal to each person. They include:
- A first name and last name
- Birth date and location
- Death date and location (if applicable)
Using your personal goals, GenDetective can now recomend the relatives that need additional research! Instead of saying I want to research a specific type of record or person today, the question becomes: Which of my relatives fall short of my personal research goals?
To identify your progress toward your goals, GenDetective uses a set of foot prints to represent your progress for each relative. The report, My Research Progress Summary, uses these foot prints to provide a visual cue as to the relatives who have the greatest research opportunities. A quick glance at the sample reveals that George Franklin Goodman, Joseph Moorhouse, and Harry Irving Vernier are good candidates for additional research.
Now that you can see the power of the Personal Research Goals, in our next post we will explore the additional reports that you can use to identify your research opportunities.