When I started in genealogy, I thought I was being organized and mindful if I saved a record I discovered to the appropriate folder with an appropriately descriptive file name. But I didn’t abstract those records as I went along. Big mistake. In certain instances, I’m still trying to dig myself out from under a landslide of such unabstracted records just sitting there unrecorded and unanalyzed.
When I begin a particular project now, I automatically start by abstracting (and citing) pertinent records as I find them and chronologizing those abstracts in my master file. I use the slightly awkward word “chronologizing” because I want to highlight the fact that it should be a conscious, active effort; not an accidental by-product.
Chronologizing has at least three significant benefits.
Only NGS members have access to full articles of NGS Monthly. Please log in or click here to learn more about joining the National Genealogical Society.
If you have trouble logging on or accessing the articles, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org