Still working on my genealogy “Do Over” – which I’ll probably be working on for years – but I’m now ready to add the 1940 census record for my grandparents.

My original plan was to take every document for a single person into Evidentia and Roots Magic and pull out every piece of information that I could as well as making sure my citations were correct. I was not going to move on to another person until every document that I had already collected was “processed”. My plan was not to add anyone to my tree until I had proper proof for adding that person to my tree.  For example, I would not add a parent or a child for an individual unless I had documentation of the relationship such as a birth record or marriage recording that clearly stated who the parent was.

But my frustration with finding the correct citation template for different documents is really dragging down my enthusiasm for the project. So I’m changing my plan slightly. Since I know which template I want to use for the 1940 census and I know I’ll use this template multiple times and because I know exactly where to look to find each piece of information needed for the citation, I’m going to process every 1940 census that I have, no matter who it is for. After I process all of the 1940 census records, I will go back to each person and make sure that I have all non-census records documented for those individuals. Then I will move on to the 1930 census and process all of those.

I hope that this new plan doesn’t get me into another mess. I truly want to make sure that everyone is properly documented. I don’t want to accidentally miss entering citations for a collateral line person because I’m focusing on a specific record type instead of 1 person at a time. I think that collateral ancestors will hold a goldmine of information for me to find!

According to my calculations, I have 6 direct line ancestors with census records for 1940. 2 grandparents, 3 great-grandparent and 1 great-great grandmother. Because some of these are married couples, I’ll actually be looking at 4 records. I’ll use the citations and information for each person in their family at that time. When I calculate the number of people included in total, there will be 25 people. But at least I’ll be able to copy and paste citations once I’ve created the citation for the head of household. I thought about doing calculations like this for the 1930 census, but I’m afraid if I think about it too much, I’ll never pick up this project again!

I’m really anxious to get back to the earlier generations – to people that I had been researching before I started this project. My research time is limited, so I really have to force myself to stick with this plan. I’m kinda looking at these recent generations – people that my mother actually knew – as my learning opportunity for the software I’m using and for the process that I’m committing to, so I know it’s worth my time – just not as “fun” as the research I was doing before. Getting this process down now will (hopefully) lead to the information that I need to break through my brick walls!

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