In an earlier post I talked about strategy, breaking it down into ten segments. Today I am going to write a about bring material together. which is essentially segment eight. You can read the strategy series HERE
I said in one of the earlier posts that this was much like bring the strands of a tapestry together and hopefully from today’s post you will see what I mean. There is much overlap with the last post and the next post.
You have gathered material for your project, whether that is from a data set extracting references to a surname or references from an archive relating to a place. At this point I am going to focus on the surname element, but will come back later, after this series finishes and talk about places.
I reconstruct family groups and follow the family through the Census recording places of birth (and any variations!), occupations, ages of children including missing children (did they die or go into service, the military of simply move away). I tend to draw out trees and I have shared this previous in this post. Once I am happy that I have the correct people in the correct family and I have the citations and sources ready I enter the material into my genealogical programme. Usually once a month I update TNG by uploading a GEDCOM file and the various images and pictures if I have them. On occasions there are people who leave a huge documentary footprint. For those folk I create an individual timeline and I wrote about that here and at this point the material is in my genealogical software. I write out a timeline, it helps me think and identifies what material I have and what I do not, which is just as important. In the case of Daniel Butcher, I have copies of the majority of the sales and purchases that he made in Surrey. All those document will be scanned and added to my website, linked to Daniel because he was a prolific character.
There are things I don’t know about him. From a variety of documents it is clear that he did have a good relationship with his brother Richard, they entered into a number of property deals together. Suddenly he was written out of Richard’s will. Daniel too was not liked by his wife’s aunt, she left a rather scathing comment about him in her will. He was a reputable member of the community and served at the manorial court. That was until he stopped serving ten years later. I get a sense that something happened to Daniel, I of course don’t know what and may never find out, but that does not stop me wanting to know and the search continues.
For individuals born later on, so they appear in the Births, Marriages and Death indexes I note down where the individual is on the Census, how old they say they are, where they were born, children, spouse, occupation. I track the individuals by using the material from FreeBMD and keep that material in a spreadsheet, much like a holding pen. As I track each marriage, I enter the details onto the spreadsheet and then into TNG. That way I can track how far through the marriages I am and add any documents to the individual in TNG.
Not all Guild members work this way, we each have our own method of working and ways in which we bring those strands together so we can build a profile of an individual’s life and consider how hard things would have been compared to our modern 21st Century existence where we can touch a button for pretty much everything.
Tomorrow I will be back, writing about sharing material.