PDA

View Full Version : seeking advice for doing surname/place studies


Linda G
20 October 2008, 10:52 AM
This question is for those who have done, or are doing, surname and/or place studies.

My current project is trying to identify the parents and siblings for a RW ancestor. I started with information from sources dated after the Amer. Revolution when he lived in the area around Lake George, New York. His affidavit in his RW pension file states his units (in CT), where he first enlisted (Hartford), and document his marriage (New Fairfield/Sherman). His War of 1812 discharge paper says he was born in Middletown. An earlier family historian from the 1960's cited church records for his baptism in Middletown in one church, and for 2 alleged brothers in a 2nd church in the same area (part of Middletown at the time).

My project is exploring existent records to see in what way I can connect the CT man with the NY man. I find myself collecting relatively large numbers of records (land, probate, church, vital so far) for specific surnames in specific geographic areas and trying to sort out the families. The amount of information is probably not that large if I had a systematic way to process it into a framework designed for this purpose. But I'm starting to feel very swamped with my crude spreadsheet approach.

Finally, to my question: are there tools, techniques that you have found useful for organizing and integrating such information and 'recreating' a community subset as it evolved over time? Have you used Reunion as one of your tools? other software? can you recommend how I can might learn about methodologies? other forums/online communities of people who are working on these kinds of problems?

I appreciate any recommendations!

Terry Medlar
20 October 2008, 12:50 PM
Try GenScribe. It is a very inexpensive tool for organizing research.
http://users.rcn.com/psherman/genscribe.html

ML Hollister
13 September 2009, 06:44 PM
This question is for those who have done, or are doing, surname and/or place studies.

My current project is trying to identify the parents and siblings for a RW ancestor. I started with information from sources dated after the Amer. Revolution when he lived in the area around Lake George, New York. His affidavit in his RW pension file states his units (in CT), where he first enlisted (Hartford), and document his marriage (New Fairfield/Sherman). His War of 1812 discharge paper says he was born in Middletown. An earlier family historian from the 1960's cited church records for his baptism in Middletown in one church, and for 2 alleged brothers in a 2nd church in the same area (part of Middletown at the time).

My project is exploring existent records to see in what way I can connect the CT man with the NY man. I find myself collecting relatively large numbers of records (land, probate, church, vital so far) for specific surnames in specific geographic areas and trying to sort out the families. The amount of information is probably not that large if I had a systematic way to process it into a framework designed for this purpose. But I'm starting to feel very swamped with my crude spreadsheet approach.

Finally, to my question: are there tools, techniques that you have found useful for organizing and integrating such information and 'recreating' a community subset as it evolved over time? Have you used Reunion as one of your tools? other software? can you recommend how I can might learn about methodologies? other forums/online communities of people who are working on these kinds of problems?

I appreciate any recommendations!

I have the same question and I appreciate the reply about genscribe. I've recently transitioned from PC to a MAC. Is anyone actively using GenScribe? The notes on the website seem rather old. I am having difficulty downloading the free trial but that is another issue.

kmgenealogy
14 September 2009, 06:55 AM
Although neither of these will do everything you have mentioned, together, they may be helpful:

1) Check out the free Excel spreadsheets on www.CensusTools.com. These are free. He has included others besides the censuses. Included are Cemetery Data, Ship Manifest Data and Research Log. There are over 40 spreadsheets. They work fine on my MS for Mac 2004 Excel. I haven't checked them on any other spreadsheet software.

2) Notebook by www.CircusPonies.com. This has been mentioned on several different forums.

Hope this helps.

Kaye

steveoc
14 September 2009, 10:36 AM
I'm playing with DEVONthink, Circus Ponies' Notebook, and Scrivener--the latter for the writing component.

I think you would be best served by DEVONthink. I like the fact that it can store almost any kind of file. If you get DEVONthink Pro Office, along with a compatible scanner, it is very simple to scan documents into the software where OCR can be applied automatically.

I use a Fujitsu Snapscan S300M portable duplex document scanner. It's great for onsite research and integrates seamlessly with DEVONthink. When visiting a historical society or such, I am able to process massive amounts very quickly. I tend to scan in everything even remotely relevant so I can evaluate it later.

Cormac
14 September 2009, 11:24 PM
Although neither of these will do everything you have mentioned, together, they may be helpful:

1) Check out the free Excel spreadsheets on www.CensusTools.com. These are free. He has included others besides the censuses. Included are Cemetery Data, Ship Manifest Data and Research Log. There are over 40 spreadsheets. They work fine on my MS for Mac 2004 Excel. I haven't checked them on any other spreadsheet software.

Hope this helps.

Kaye

Those look awesome! Thanks for the tip.

rthum
15 September 2009, 07:03 PM
Check out the free Excel spreadsheets on www.CensusTools.com. These are free. He has included others besides the censuses. Included are Cemetery Data, Ship Manifest Data and Research Log. There are over 40 spreadsheets. They work fine on my MS for Mac 2004 Excel. I haven't checked them on any other spreadsheet software.

Hope this helps.

Kaye

Just a quick note: Both "OpenOffice" and "NeoOffice" open the spreadsheet just as formatted. Had Office 2004 and 2008 open to compare against. Apples "Numbers", part of iWork 09, seems to have some problems. A Document Warnings dialog box appeared the two problems. 1. Print Area isn't supported and the setting was removed. 2. Cells in a hidden column or row were unhidden to show merged cells.