Guide to Turbo Genealogy
There is no better method of research than
to obtain copies of primary documentation. If time is of the essence
at the state archives library where you will be, follow my steps to turbo
*Copy now, read later. Don't spend valuable research time reading. Copy those pages which have your surnames on it. You can figure out connections when you get home.
*Do not hand write information from source material. When you get home, you'll wish you had the photocopies anyway.
*Limit transcription from microfilm. Print copies and write page/roll numbers on the back of the copy while the next image is printing. If you need to transcribe a hard-to-read will, then do so. Sometimes only the left or right column is illegible so I will transcribe those hard-to-read words off the microfilm right then because I can read the remainder from the printout.
*Spare no expense copying. On average, I will spend $16 to $20 on microfilm prints and photocopies in one visit to a state archives facility.
*Obtain abstracts first. Many researchers have already compiled and published abstracts of the legal books. Copy this first and then decide if you have time or wish to obtain the original off microfilm later. Many times the abstracts provide the information you need.
*Print all marriage licenses/bonds/certificates you are able to locate on microfilm.
*Do your research before you do your research. Locate citations to primary documents in your notes or through the internet. If you find something on the internet always go back and obtain a copy from the original source. I take several pages of information I am looking for with specific dates, will book pages, etc. This helps me locate the information quickly without spending time rolling through microfilm. Also, be prepared to jump around through your list and it is alright if you don't find everything.
*Look at the state archives and library websites before planning your visit. Some libraries are not open on Monday.
*Get a subscription to Ancestry.com. The integration of the website with Family Tree Maker improves online search results.