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Here Comes My 19th Nervous Breakdown — 8 Comments

  1. I have to admire you. I have been doing research for four years and had never given a thought to a research log. I think that is because when I started I had no idea of where and how to search.

    It looks like an excellent idea. I only have add people who I was sure about, so I think the log id do-able. I will give it a try.

    I also have a family (Jacob A Bowser and Mary Ann Murphy Bowser) that I can not find in the 1870 census. I also found one son living with other realtives. I have not a clue where they were.

  2. When my cousin and I recently tried to merge our family files we did not reach consensus, but one of the good things that came out of it (for me) is that my cousin keeps all her research notes under (duh) Research Notes in Legacy.

    I thought this was redundant, putting a census transcription under ‘Actual Text of Source’, (for instance) then putting it under Event Notes (Geoff Rasmussen’s method for making a clear Chronology view) AND putting it under Research Notes. But it’s really great to be able to see everything that’s been found for someone including one’s own ramblings about what it means, what doesn’t make sense, etc. in one place.

  3. I am very impressed by your research logs – excellent work. The funny thing is, when I first started research and knew little about the resources that were available, I took notes which, though not pretty in form, actually traced my steps. Later, when I knew more about resources, I didn’t do this as much. And when I picked up research again this week I could see that there are a lot of gaps – I didn’t check a particular type of record for a family, or I did but failed to enter the information. Must change these bad habits. And BTW, 19th Nervous Breakdown is one of my favorite Stones songs.

  4. You are so right about keeping a research log. I’m a slow learner, and it’s been expensive both in terms of money and time. I think it’s imperative to do so when you are constantly having to stop and start your research. Great post – and thanks for sharing the fruits of your labor. 🙂

  5. I looked at your new research log and thought it was very, very detailed, possibly excessively so. I then looked at the link to your earlier research log. I realized why all the detail in your new log. You won’t miss a thing with your new long!

    I keep similar information in mine but don’t have boxes for every event — just date, what I was searching for, where I searched, and what I found or didn’t find. It’s been working but I think I sometimes forget to include recent internet searches, especially if I don’t find anything. Of course, with the internet, you can search the same site a month later and possibly find exactly what you were looking for. And lately, in my gen. program I’ve been including notes about what I found and how I think it fits in with other searches and sources.

    Thanks for a great post. It sounds like you’re on the track to success now.

  6. Great research logs. Your by showing negative searches in your frenzied log, you may save yourself from the next nervous breakdown! I need to work on that – the negative results not the nervous breakdown. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for your post, I checked out the classes, and started my own research log on a brick-wall ancestor, and boy oh boy, did it ever put things in prosepective. You have probably just saved me from a nervous breakdown, so thanks again!

  8. Susie, I’m so glad this was helpful for you! (For the record, Prozac and Valium are also very helpful). I have had quite an eye-opening experience going back and doing my research logs. It’s really helping narrow down my to-do list as well.

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