The latest Pharos introduction to One-Name Studies course is almost at an end and if you missed the opportunity, a new course begins in May!
As we embarked on the first week, one of the questions that was asked of the course participants was about Organisation. The way we keep our study may differ from that of our own family history research.
As I responded to a question I simply commented that it was important to look at the aims of your study. What followed, was that my fingers travelled across the keyboard at a fairly rapid rate and before I knew where I was I had written a very lengthy post. I then cut and pasted that into a document. That was four weeks ago and since then I have realigned the document along with my thoughts and further comments and created an article for the Journal of One-Name Studies.
How we organise our material will depend on what our aims are for our studies. Are you simply wanting to:
- Collect instances of the surname
- Reconstruct families
- Do you going to want a website to share and preserve your material?
This is not a case of collect or reconstruct, as a number of members, me included do both. The key thing is, if a website is on your horizon, but you have elected to keep your material on index cards then you are going to have to do a whole lot of work and retyping to turn the contents of the index cards into a means used to create a website.
There is nothing wrong with the index card approach, and I use them, but they are not my only means. I did a review of my aims and methods a year or two ago and decided that I was going to computerise my entire research, digitise 25 years of papers and insert the scrappy bits of paper drawn trees into my software programme and ensure that I had the evidences to support the tree. I also knew I wanted to use TNG and opted to sign up for the Members Website Project, which is a members benefit and enables me to use a website on the Guild’s server AND to preserve my work, whilst still allowing me to update and continue working on my study. I get to the website and TNG from my computerised study by means of a GEDCOM and the ability to add what is referred to a “media” which is images, documents and a number of other elements.
My GEDCOM is not perfect because I have 25 years of work in the filing cabinet and numerous computer files – it remains as a work in progress, as I ensure that I have source citations and so forth all appropriately identified. Over the course of the coming weeks I am going to share how I made the jump from paper to my database.
So, what are your aims for your One-Name Study, where do you want your study to be?