Finding and solving gaps in our research.

Remembering that stories are important in family history, not just the birth, death, marriage dates and places. So how do we find information to fill in the gaps in the stories was what was discussed at this #ANZAncestryTime chat.

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How do we identify gaps in our research? Is it important to do so?

I use timelines to work out where I need to look for more info eg school records, employment records etc

If you use good desktop software it may have a way to let you know what is missing

I am currently redoing my database and have queries to help find what is missing.

I have two ways of identifying gaps: (1) is writing up my research which makes clear where I’m missing information. (2) checking against my preferred sources to ensure I’ve included them.

To find gaps in knowledge/evidence about an individual … start writing up what you know about them as a sourced biographical narrative. This soon highlights the gaps which you can then set about trying to fill

Starting with what you know is a great tip Jane @Chapja It’s much easier then to see the gaps

Yes, Jane, I can get on board with this method, because my goal is a story, not a full database.

I like to try to fill in the gaps in my research. Often when traditional family history records leave gaps you can fill them using newspapers. DNA has helped me also

Love me a good timeline! Plus checklists, making sure I’ve covered at least all the basics.

For brickwalls I use mindmaps (from FreeMind) to review and identify what I might have missed

I love creating mind maps. I picked up that tip at Rootstech a few years ago. It’s amazing what can jump out at you as missing

Mindmapping – you could do this with pencil and paper I’ve also used Freemind Mindmaps for preparing museum exhibitions What’s really nice is that you can collapse sections or open then up

Using a research log or prompt sheet can help to identify gaps


To visualise gaps in tree … the DNAPainter ‘Ancestral Trees’ function enables you to visualise tree completeness so you can decide where in your tree you may want to focus next – dnapainter.com/#trees

I create detailed timelines for individuals and families – it’s a great way of spotting both gaps and connections I hadn’t noticed before. Creating bios for Wikitree also made me go back and look for things I’d missed, so I could tell a coherent story

As Australia doesn’t have its census records available, we have to utilise different record sets and not get caught in the decennial gap trap.

Identifying gaps in our research is important if we’re to gain a full view of the lives of our ancestors. Learning what records are available for place and time, and using them, is critical.

I find using a spreadsheet to set down timelines of each person useful. Columns represent list of possible records they would be in, when I locate I tick it in the column. Records BMD parish records and census.

As with so much in family history, it’s finding what is most intuitive for each of us that helps productivity.

When looking at gaps in our research we need to look at regional, national and world events to see how they affected our families.

Ancestry’s DNA match colour coding and DNA Painter’s chromosome mapping have filled gaps for me

When new records become available work through them to ensure you have not missed someone GRO site helped me

I use timelines. I include place as well as dates. For example, is it possible that my research people were in e.g. New York for 1910 census and then enumerated in England a few months later in 1911? (Yes, it is, but confirming it opened new avenues)

Yeah Sophie’s “negative space” is basically the same idea, although her approach is more colourful. I’d like to be able to do a 3-D version that layers people on top of time/place. Best I can do for that is Visio/process maps

Visio is a lovely little microsoft package – very easy to use. I also use it for presenting smaller family trees – extracts

It was inspiration from the talk given by @ScientistSoph on Negative Space that really started me thinking more about this topic, including mapping events. Read her blog post here. parchmentrustler.com/family-history…

timelines are really helpful, as is writing up a person’s life. Often realise I’m missing something crucial.

Interesting how many of us find narratives helpful to identify missing research.

I tag my Legacy trees as I find supporting sources so I know which ones I need to find.

i do a timeline sheet in my Research Log (Excel). I add date in first column then age, event and place for each person in the family with a diff colour for each person. Then i can scroll and see where each family member was on a date.

Different formats for diff research questions, but usually just a table in a Word document – year in one column, date in next, then a text field with whatever info I want to record. I find that little bit of visual organisation just enough to work for me

Ancestry’s DNA match colour coding and DNA Painter’s chromosome mapping have filled gaps for me

Yes … Delay no further! DNAPainter has so many useful tools and functions to help find and fill gaps in our research

I have loved DNA painter since Jonny Perl first introduced it at a RootsTech conference. He is brilliant

something I do with my students often is get them to fill out a blank direct ancestor tree just to see where they’re missing bits.

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Do you use a timeline to identify research gaps? Do you use your genealogy program, Excel or another program?

I use mainly Legacy but sometimes go with spread sheet

Funny you mention it, because I created one today about a great grandfather, using a table in WORD. I’m including citations from the many sources I have found about him. He never seemed to stay in one place for long – trying to put all the pieces together.

Those wanderers can be a lot of work to trace. I have a few of those. Timelines do help to see where they’ve been

I have a bigamist who disappears after he serves time in Victoria. Not found anywhere yet.

I suspect some bigamy with my American born Adams 2xgt gddad too. Disappears from Grafton & NSW. Then emerged close & shared DNA matches descended from Tassie man of same name who appeared in Tassie little after Grafton man disappeared. Same man or close family?

I find that now I am writing up the family histories (part of my downsizing project) I am finding gaps and then I just fill them as I go. If I can

Yes writing narratives is a great way to find gaps in information … it also helps to spot inconsistencies in the information you have too

I can be in the middle of a blog post about an ancestor and realise I have a gap. Then it’s off down a rabbit hole before I finish the blog post. That’s where I am now

Writing is the best way to spot gaps! Writing seems to trigger all sorts of analytical processes in your brain that regular research does not.

Yes, and why it takes me so long to finish a blog post, let alone a research report for myself (loved your presentation on that!)

I found an infant death in Ireland following naming patterns and a gap in the births.

Tracing 19th century Aussie wanderers, it’s helpful to put the gold rushes on the timeline. A ‘missing’ person may have gone to try their luck. Check other colonies.

Good tip Brooke to add to the timeline. Also perhaps expansion of an occupation eg railway construction?

Gold rushes impacted just about everybody’s family – follow the gold. One of mine moved from Sydney to Victorian goldfields then up to the Gympie rushes in Queensland and finally over to the Western Australian gold rush. Over generations and not all moved.

Yes, my West Coast NZ gold rush ancestors all started mining life in Victoria. Most of them left family there, though contact has been mostly lost. I hope to re-establish some one day!

Another one of my mining families ducked across to Reefton for a while then back to Queensland. Have to look both sides of the Tasman

I realised one of mine did when I mapped the births of all his (many) children. Another way of spotting gaps. Map the babies.


This timeline was created for a specific research question: where was she living when she got pregnant with her children who were born out of wedlock? The timeline helped me formulate a hypothesis about the probable father, later confirmed with DNA.

My genealogy program allows you to export any query to a spreadsheet so you can work on it outside the program


Freemind is what I use for MindMaps thewindowsclub.com/freemind-free-…

Timeline but also my online tree with Ancestry where I can see on their facts or story what might be missing

Also when I write my biographies I have particular sections of their life to include which means I might need to do more research with newspapers etc to find that info

combination of Excel for checklist and offline family tree program for timeline. This then helps with writing up in more details in a blog.

If I’m looking at a timeline, I will use Excel to analyse what I have and what I’m missing. I always use date, month, year in separate columns. Alternatively I use Word document gaps. I don’t use my genealogy program for this.

my genealogy program is good for seeing gaps in the research plus you can add notes and reminders. I used to have lots of sticky yellow notes but using a program helps keep me focused.

I will write or look for other queries to identify other gaps once I have added census information

While I don’t always use a timeline I do identify gaps as I write up my research. I am using a timeline for my troublesome McSherry family. I also compare my checklist of record sources to see what I might have missed.

I’m constantly using timelines and use Legacy family history software. Occasionally I use excel for timelines

I look at my genealogy software & files for reference, but I create it in MS Word.

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What key facts do you include in your timeline? What records do you use to fill the gaps?

vital records (including addresses/occupations on children’s births), the census, any known migrations.

after looking at all possible records I then look at newspapers and overseas records. Sometimes the ancestor could be a witness or informant in a record.

BDM, children, grave or cremation, residences, any info from Rolls or Census records, newspaper stories

It depends on time period – early 19c Irish ag lab/working class leave very little trace in records so there are often big gaps, especially if they never married/had kids. Newspapers/migration/institutional records may fill gaps but often have to accept gaps

If I could just fill in the gaps in my lots of Irish ancestry I would be very happy. Wills have been useful

If you can find them, if they survive – I’ve yet to find more than a calendar entry and that for only a handful of people. The swines!

So inconsiderate of them! 🙂 I got my English 4GGF’s will. One line sums it up: “to my beloved wife, executor of this will, all my assets” – thanks Grandpa!! 😀

I like to record as many facts as possible in my timelines from cradle to the grave. I also include major events like war, famine, depression, pandemics. These events can trigger ideas for more records to search

If I am trying to find someone who is missing I will search in Newspapers or look for them travelling

Censuses and BDMs are the anchor points. Otherwise it could be anything – church records, entries in the street directory, newspaper reports, appearances as witnesses/registrants on other BDMs, court records – as long as it can be tied to a date

I like to track my ancestors’ locations, and kin, where possible to get a full picture of their lives. For immigrant ancestors I also want their immigration records – where available.

At the moment I’m including day, month, year, event, location, notes and citation. I’ve used newspaper articles, police records/gazettes, BMD certificates, electoral rolls. The guy I am researching went interstate and overseas enough to confuse us all!

Birth, Deaths Marriages, other key events in the life of the person. Also historical events at a certain time, for context

Trove is great for filling gaps we didn’t know we had – totally unexpected events and activities. I like to use Education, land, occupation, military records, immigration, clubs/societies inter alia.

I include every event for which I know a time and place for that ancestor. So vital events, military service, prison time, births of children, etc.

My excel sheet columns include for the names such First & Mid Name, Last Name, Full Name then vital record dates. The ID for the person. I split the dates to a columns for date, month and year. Finally the columns for the specific data I’m working with

vital records (including addresses/occupations on children’s births), the census, any known migrations

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Can you give examples where you or others have successfully plugged research gaps?

One thing that timelines can hide is contradictory activities. eg An ancestor is recorded being in one place for his child’s birth, & having a business. a legal case showed he was also working on the gold fields a distance away: there were regular coaches.

lots of those for my Dickson family. Currently working on Rev Dr David Dickson’s children A few more than in official bios

I used timelines to disprove a family legend (two men) but extending the FAN (family, associates, neighbours) research actually demonstrated there was a foundation for the legend – multiple timelines.

another TL piece: sometimes, not often, RC priests recorded both birth and baptismal dates. RC baptisms usually took place ASAP but there was a 6 week gap. Made me look more closely at godparents. They’d travelled quite a distance, another chink in brickwall

I used timelines to disprove a family legend (two men) but extending the FAN (family, associates, neighbours) research actually demonstrated there was a foundation for the legend – multiple timelines.

Our genimate @luvviealex wrote recently about her life in 12 censuses. It made me think more closely about my own presence in the records and how I wish I’d been able to see my parents’ and grandparents’ census returns.

Tried this today in a timeline but discovered it left out great chunks of our lives even our overseas postings, seems we were always in Aus. Made me think of ancestors gaps

Exactly! I don’t want to share all the nitty gritty but I think it can help highlight the challenge for the next couple of generations while privacy rules apply.

How cool! I have never been enumerated in a census in my life. The Netherlands stopped taking them in 1971 since we have a continuous population registration and they know where we live. 👀

Using DNA Trove BDMs to help adoptees to find their bio families and Collins Leeds method too

My longest running project is the collection of Electoral Data from NZers in my tree. Add another cousin to my tree creates gaps for Electoral Roll entries. Having such a large collection of addresses helps with a diverse range of other research questions

Trying to find out what happened to a woman from when she returned to Scotland in 1868 until her death. For that time period looked at censuses, deaths in her family & mapped them in time & space. Found her. Went to live with her son in England & she died there.

Timelines have been very useful me to find out where ancestors were fighting during WW1. I start with enlistment date and place and then do a timeline of their war service

I hadn’t thought do to a wartime timeline. what a great idea @SharnWhite I intend to do it

It helps to know what battles to research Jennifer and what war diaries to look for

It is always worth looking to see if there were births before a marriage one turned up this week not a relative but the person they married was

I have been trying to find out how a man in Bathurst met a woman in Hill End and how she had 4 children to him. There were no family connections between the places. Today I found on Trove his license to drive a coach from Bathurst to Hill End.  Yes unfortunately he never married her. I must do a timeline to see if his coach trips coincide with the births! I expect they did

Doing a timeline of where members of a family were in census records helped me to find a missing person

I find researching between the census records for missing children has turned up a few who died young

using census records – when I can’t find them I try all variants – Price was indexed as Grice – sometimes gaps are caused by indexing errors, bad handwriting or human error

Or search by a family member with the most distinctive first name. That worked for me.

All of my ancestors start in UK. When they emigrated to New Zealand, I found them passenger lists and rest of the information in the newspapers, even when they then moved to North America, especially the journalist ancestor, which was the subject of my blog

I’ve set up web pages with blog post sections for all my ancestral lines- sometimes cousins read these and make suggestions that I’ve missed something or drawn a wrong conclusion

My ancestors lived in a place in the Netherlands that kept mill tax records in 1700s that listed everyone in the household. I used these to see when children entered the household and prove that one child was baptized under a different name than used later.

I’m using a spreadsheet of every single event I can find for my McSherry family in the hope of breaking down my mysteries. Very clear for a 25 year block, then nada.

Timelines + checklists = winner!

Blog posts relating to the topic

Kerrie Anne – using mindmaps,

Alex – my life in censuses,

Legacy – mindmaps webinar,

Sue – examples of biographies written,

Readers: How do you find the gaps in your research? How do you find the info to fill those gaps?

Preserving your family history

Gee, I am nearly up to date with the #ANZAncestryTime chat summaries. Had time to do this one today at the library as only two people booked and one of them didn’t turn up. So plenty of time to write a post.

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Which part of your family history research do you consider most important to be preserved and why? ie trees, documents, memorabilia, stories, all?

all of it. Bits ‘n’ pieces can be used in error, which would not be helpful to future generations SLR

Stories and memorabilia – the rest can be recreated (albeit painfully!) but those stories and and memorabilia are irreplaceable

I think you might have nailed it here. Today Dad and I were talking about framing his grandfather’s medals in a kind of shadow box. But he was the one who said we need a story with it as well so it means something. So a bit of both.

That’s a really good example Alex, especially when I think of the most effective museum exhibitions I’ve seen e.g. Egyptian Museum in Berlin – a room of papyrus fragments brought to life because they told stories about them

Photos are a good idea too Mandy. I was just thinking that if I could have only three photos of each person in my tree it would be the “maiden, mother, crone” approach 🙂

I would hate to see my trees lost but I have no one interested Tara. Much of my research though is in my stories in blog posts

a lot of my research is in wordpress websites/blogs and I’m hoping my daughter will keep them in the future if not adding to them

I know the @NLIreland is archiving sites of Irish interest so hopefully that will include Irish-oriented genealogy blogs but how do you ensure your blog content survives if wordpress dies?

Above all – the stories. I have insights into parts of Australian history that I had no idea about. Or, had studied the history but didn’t realise any of my ancestors were associated with the events (e.g. Eureka Stockade). But, also documents, photos.

For my own research, the work I have done to try to identify mystery 2xGGF. Even if I don’t figure it out, I would like to leave a head start for someone else

yes – nothing more frustrating than a bunch of notes but not accurately sourced or presented clearly.

I think we still need to downsize our digital photo collections too – do we need all of them? perhaps a few digital albums to pass on or store online

the tree initially as family members like to see number of people and see where they are in grand scheme of things. Stories in a blog is the best thing as it provide more tangible relatable details.

In the same way I was taught by my mother and use her 50 years of work, I am working with my nephew. He is starting to get his young sons interested and eventually I hope his baby daughter, my namesake.

Do you think that because our family thinks this gig is “ours” they switch off? Maybe when we’re not around?

good point. I am starting to have those discussions now. Along the lines of what would make you keep this? Is it about how it is presented? Is it attractive. Is it portable (fits in a box) – i.e. not overwhelming.

I just found a box of boxes of slides in my back bedroom mentioned in my NFHM post . What to do with them is another problem.

I am adding many of my family members to WikiTree writing detailed biographies based on sources. I add my family to FamilySearch. I am hoping to write more of my story, but am finishing off my research road safety scrapbooks this year.

Excellent strategy, adding the sources and stories to online trees such as Wikitree and FamilySearch

For me it would be my tree. I have very little in the way of memorabilia. My FTM tree has photos attached. I wish I had more. I have found some online and a few have been sent to me (digitally) from newly discovered cousins. Always exciting

The trees, the evidence that underpins the trees and the stories that go with the trees

Overall, all components are key to handing over a complete family history. Trees are needed to explain who fits where, documents to support your discoveries and stories to bring it together. Memorabilia offers a tangible link to ancestors.

yes Pauleen the tangible stuff is so important isn’t it? If we can’t walk the land our ancestors stood on, it’s good to hold something they touched e.g. medal or cloth.

IMHO it is the stories of people’s lives that most need to be preserved as usually they will contain all the other elements

All are important but I think stories as you might be the only one that knows that story. A genealogy tree/database can be stored online easily or given to others but only you can write the stories.

what an interesting question. I think descendants get most excited about the trees to begin with – “Ooh look how far back you’ve gone!” but it’s all meaningless without the stories I reckon.

Totally agree Alex. Researching family history has to include finding the stories that make our ancestors become real people

That is very true. I add links to my blog to each individual where I’ve posted their story.

I think that family documents and personal items like photographs are the most important things to preserve

The most important part of family history research to be preserved will be the write up.

I agree because it would typically include reference to the other aspects.

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Have you made plans for or had discussions with your family about what will happen to your research? Do you have a beneficiary chosen and recorded?

vip to consider maintenance of websites especially those that were based on html WYSIWYG technology – a big issue as not so many folks will be able to code in html for websites in the future. This is an issue that the Fellowship of First Fleeters is currently working on

It’s the fluidity of technology that makes me nervous. What will last, what won’t?

Yes. I’ve looked for advice from the major libraries and archives and have followed it with sound files.

I have a niece who has some interest but haven’t discussed plans for my research when I’m gone. It would be a shame for the research to be lost but it has given me a lot of pleasure over the years

Mind you, I have no intention of falling off my perch until I’ve smashed all my brickwalls

When my grandkids visit I show them the items I’ve bequeathed to them and tell them why. I may hand the items over before I pop my clogs but the kids need to be a bit older.

I haven’t yet. I don’t currently have anyone interested although a couple of my cousin’s kids ask questions occasionally. Maybe in 10 years…

school assignments or history assignments usually prompt questions don’t they?

Already answered that. In my will I leave various items to people that I hope will use them. BUT I am getting rid of them now as I am the best to know what is what. I have disposed of five people’s stuff, I’m working hard on my own.

As the older generation we need to tell them about the things they may see so don’t hide things away too much so that they can ask us

yes I think this is the trick. If it is important to us we need to have it on display so that it prompts questions 🙂

I have a convict diary Alex that I believe I have the only full transcription of and both the original and microfiche have disintegrated. I was thinking SAG for that

As there is no one close to me, I am planning to have it all online in various places eg subscription database trees, blog posts on my website (archived by NLA in Trove) and PDF copies of my family histories for whoever wants them

I’m like Shauna, all online for others to connect with and read when they become interested.

I am toying with the idea of preparing something to donate to SAG according to their guidelines.sag.org.au/Deposit-Your-f

I think it may have been more a direction than a discussion 😉 one daughter is my designated beneficiary and that is included in my will. Key memorabilia is also outlined for descendants

very organized Pauleen and people appreciate that. Dad is super organized and has written lists of who should get what and has discussions with me regularly. All amicable. He is a good painter and so his artwork needs to be shared around.

we are such hoarders that my daughter is determined that we will clean up the house now. So those sort of conversations have started. I often wonder if the freshly minted grandson will be interested. No formal arrangements yet.

I know I should make plans but currently my son is not interested he has cousins who may be more interested

I have no idea as yet. No one else in my family is interested. My half-sisters are interested in our Chinese side (paternal), but my maternal side may need to be donated to SAG or a library etc

Passing on access to DNA data is important too

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If no family member is interested in inheriting your research, what steps can you take to ensure it is preserved?

I do have some bits from my father-in-law of historical interest – Union card (branch president) from the 1830s, and letters from the masons building Scott Monument in Edinburgh. I’m looking into best places to donate these

yes sometimes our family isn’t the best place – a museum e.g. Australian War Memorial or State Libraries are a great place for precious memorabilia e.g. diaries/letters

My great grandfather was a cooper. His tools were passed down but we could not keep them so donated to a brewery museum who was able to take and display them..

Especially if an ancestor had no descendants, giving artifacts/documents/photos to museum or library or archive or historical/genealogical society will keep them safe for future researchers

in my estate trust I have a letter of direction for how to dispose of various parts if no one is interested. Org. Names & addresses included.

So important to write instructions regarding what happens to our #Genealogy collection after we join our ancestors. You can also check with the organizations in advance to confirm what they will accept.

My current strategy is to put everything online as much as possible – so trees at WikiTree, FamilySearch and all the ‘biggies’.

Yes, share family trees online to be sure info continues to be available. And for #CousinBait!

none of my family show any interest in family history, occasionally like once in a blue moon they might ask about it, but when the time comes I hope most of my research will be deposited with a Record Office, though the majority of it hopefully will be online

I’ve written an article for a local historical society, and am slowly putting another one together. I gave a conference presentation as well in 2018. I’m trying to get my head around some new information – then I want to publish the findings, in due course.

I’ll donate copies to local county archives. I know they hold a number of genealogies already, some closed and some open

Yes! Borders Family History Society collect member trees. I am currently working on that line, but once I’m reasonably done, I will submit to them, along with DNA confirmation reports.

I collected oral histories last year and got participants’ permission to lodge them in archives. I also made sure they were saved in appropriate electronic format (can’t remember what it is right now but details widely available). I’m hoping that older ones my late uncle collected can also be archived as some are invaluable local history resources

Hopefully If we rely on wikitrees and donations to societies they will keep the technology updated

Societies often publish books to a theme or a special purpose eg Qld’s 150th commemorations. Writing stories for them ensures there’s more than one place that may have your family’s story.

I have noticed in some family history societies, that my earlier research from family reunions eg pedigree charts and family sheets have been given by family members. I will need to give more up to date research to them I think

There would be nothing better than finding information about your family history at a society Sue. It hasn’t happened to me although I found a photo at a historical museum and got a copy

Since the 1840’s many of my recent ancestors resided in NZ so the “NZSG Pedigree Registration Collection” is an opportunity for me to share my tree details. The info goes into the Kiwi Collection and it available to members if I understand it correctly.

I’m a big believer in writing up the stories in a blog, book or booklet. Links to your documents will help future researchers with the trail. I download my blog to book format using Blog2Print even though it’s currently preserved in Pandora. Belt and braces.

even if no one is interested now, they may be in the future. I wonder if the family thinks the research is my “thing” and when I’m gone they’ll be more interested. Organising seems a key need whether it’s going to family or elsewhere.

Some archives or museums may take items of interest but we need to investigate. Websites may preserve some things if they are digital. WikiTree and Family Search.

did think perhaps depositing it to the various family history societies for each county/country the family can be found in

My plan is to have it online in various places to be shared by all in the future. PDF is a good way to save my family histories and I can attach them to my website. The Internet Archive may also be a place to upload them.

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Have you taken steps to organise your research, documents etc? What strategies could help to ensure our research is preserved amidst changing technologies in the future?

honestly, with the changing speed of technology I just don’t trust that we won’t lose data over time. I trust hard copies more and digitise as a backup. I believe books have a better chance of survival.

I definitely agree with you. Print will survive any change in technology. Paperless #Genealogy is not my goal–my goal is perpetuating #FamilyHistory for the sake of future researchers and future descendants.

I have THOUGHT about the steps I need to take to preserve my family history. Now I need to take some steps!

try using brightly coloured Post It notes stuck on drawers of filing cabinets et al. Eg scan this drawer by August/September etc. Visual flags.

I’ve scanned my photo albums, my sister has scanned her collection, waiting for my brother to scan the albums he has had for about 20 years. I will pass on my original albums once I have written about them.

I am now using FOREVER rather than dropbox Margaret.

One payment and I have forever storage of photos guaranteed to keep up with changing technology

Yes have used ppt for videos now I upgraded to Office 2019, easy to add photos and commentary for each slide

have digitalised some things but have so much it would take rather long time. But whilst prepping for blogs before being written up, this is when I sort things out a bit.

it is incredibly tedious to do but then again there may be an advantage in going over old ground. We see new things every time we look at a document again.

Have evidence scattered across hard copy files and electronic files; the latter could be better organised (note to self!) and have made a start to writing biographical narratives which are kept both in electronic form and hardcopy …

Currently digitising photos, docs and writing up family histories and checking genealogy databases and adding citations. Not a quick process but doing it one set of GG grandparents at a time. Salami tactics.

I cannot wait to get rid of my archive boxes once everything is scanned Shauna. We inherited paper and will leave things in digital format.

A tough one, as some of the answers to earlier questions indicate. I’m not quite at the point of some, writing up wikis or blogs but I do need to get better at it, even sharing my working notes around family members would be a start. As crgalvin said LOCKSS – Lots of copies, keep stuff safe

Make videos and save to youtube. More that it is another free place to save stuff. Your talks that are not held to ransom by organisers would be an option also.

do the steps have to be practical? Can’t they be in my head? “All” my records are in family folders which should help but I need to streamline them and weed out the excess. A LOT still to be done!

Today I’ve been Re-reading Devon and Andy Lee’s book on Downsizing with Family History in Mind. It really sets out a clear, practical path. Highly recommended.

yes isn’t it? I printed out the kind of timeline or checklist they suggest. I reckon the paper is the hardest stuff to get through. Furniture, china…all that is easy. I’m even finding books easy now 🙂 (shock! horror!)

The papers and the fiddly bits like badges that lurk in the corners and have a story to tell.

 

Lots of tips and blogposts found by Alex and other participants

Readers: Have you thought about how you are going to preserve your family history into the future?