Do Genealogy the Old Fashioned Way in a New Fangled World…. Pt 2.


I have spent this weekend working with moving my research tasks from The Master Genealogist to Evernote, simply because I have decided Evernote is better for a research log than TMG is.  Part of that reason is Evernote allows me to bulk create tasks.  SO I thought I’d share the process for my genealogy friends here.

First off, Tennessee has put a small portion of their probates online at Family Search. These are the same films you view when you go to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) and you can find a listing of their microfilm inventories here. TSLA Microfilm

The first thing I did was use Gensmarts for TMG to analyze my data to get a list of my direct ancestors who lived in Davidson County, TN.  This narrowed my very large genealogy file down to 23 people who I needed to research.  In Evernote, I copied this list to a note and the created a list of things to do by editing the file to add check lists.  The note looks like this:


Now I only need to copy the list and paste it to a new note and I have a list of ancestors to look for on each roll of Davidson County, TN microfilms (and books when I get to the library next).

Next I created a note for each roll of microfilm, using the TN microfilm inventory for the Probate Court.  In each note, I copied my list of ancestors note. 

Then I went down the list. Anyone who died more than one year before the dates of the film I marked off they most likely weren’t going to be on the film. And then I marked off everyone who died after the dates of the film.   That left me with a list of ancestors to research.


Once the note was finished, I then tag the note. If an ancestor is found, I tag it with his name and dates. If he is not found, I tag it with his names, dates and Not Found.  One way to make tagging quicker when you are using a lot of tags is to prefix the tags with a number. This way all the ancestors sort together in the tag list.

After you tag all the notes, with Found or Not Found, then you can easily see a list of notes that you have researched for an ancestor.

Notes for ancestor that he was found on:



Notes where he was not found:


And then finally, you need to transcribe the document, create the source and add it to your genealogy software.

All of this was done in my comfy chair, with an internet connection. Over three days, I researched 23 ancestors, in 41 rolls of microfilm and never left home. Well, not to research anyway. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s