Preparing for a genealogy research trip takes a bit of thought and planning. Initial questions include:
- Where do I want to go?
- Who do I want to research?
- What information do I need to find for each person?
For some research trips, we go to the area of the country where our relatives lived. For others, we travel to a library that has materials related to an area where our ancestors lived. Regardless of where you are traveling, and who you are researching, GenDetective has a series of trip reports that will help you quickly prepare for your trip.
The primary GenDetective research report is the “Research Trip Guide”, which has three main sections. The first section identifies and prioritizes the list of your relatives that lived or worked in the area you plan to research.
The next section of the “Research Trip Guide” is the most important. Each person identified will have an individual “Research Guide”, consisting of a condensed summary of the information known about this relative. Each individual “Research Guide” is arranged in sections, with located information in normal print, and missing information in bold italics. The “Research Guide” is also available as a stand-alone report, where you can create individual guides. The sections in a “Research Guide” include:
- Vital Statistics: birth, death, burial, will, and obituary
- Marriage: each spouse, marriage license, date and location
- Religion: identified religious affiliations
- Immigration: any emigration, immigration and naturalization information; not applicable identifies relatives who never immigrated.
- Census Records: each identified and missing census record is listed by abbreviation and year (US 1940 = United States 1940 census)
- Military Service: each conflict for which this person was age eligible, along with identified service
- Siblings & spouses: good information to have when looking at land deeds, legal documents, obituaries and cemetery markers
- Marriage(s): each spouse with marriage dates and any children born to each couple
- Locations: a quick reference of event locations
- Document area: Provides space to identify the relevant source documents you have or need to locate. GenDetective is unable to identify the types of documents that are cited
by a source, such as a birth or death certificate. This space provides a way to identify the documents you already have, or if left blank, ones you want to locate on your trip.
The final section of the “Research Trip Guide” contains a pre-trip planning worksheet, where you can record the places you plan to visit, books or microfilm to view and notes of items you want to investigate while on your trip.
This concludes our tour of the “Research Trip Guide”. In our next blog we will explore the cemetery marker report.