Several months ago, I decided to move all my genealogy research to Evernote and I have been keeping my research log there ever since. As most genealogists know, a good research log can save you time, but when your family refused to live more than 45 miles from each other for 6 generations (on most all lines) you find yourself using the same records over and over and over again despite the best of logs. I needed something that could grow with my research.
In Evernote, I created a note for each book our local research library had on Bedford County, TN. My ancestor, Burnett Victory lived most his life there, and the Civil District I need in 1850 to prove his parents doesn’t exist, so I need to look at wills, deeds, etc to see if I can abstract every Victory, Vickery, Vickory, (well you get the gist.) from the records.
Once I had made a note for each book at home, it was time today to visit the library. I took my computer, iphone, Evernote and a good looking research assistant to help me. I went to the stacks and got every book the library had on Bedford County and began the process of looking up my Victory family. I didn’t look for other surnames today, that will require another trip. Just too easy to get distracted. But I did copy the front page and page with the publisher’s information so that I could use it to set up source citations in TMG.
I copied those pages to Evernote to refer to for future surnames.
Once I had that done, each note now has a source citation, a copy of the cover page and publisher page and notes about any Victorys found in the index.
Each ancestor has a tag for found and not found. So now that I am home, I can tag each book with each Victory ancestor as to whether he or she was found or not. Then I will know at a glance which books I have researched and found or not found information.
Next time I go, I will pick another surname in that county and yes, I will retrace my steps, just not for the Victorys again. I will be able to see that I have looked them up already in the index. And I can easily get a group of books I have looked a certain ancestor up and not found any data for just by searching for certain tags.
Now if only I had found some suggestion of who were his parents….