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FAQ – Week of February 16th

Dear GenLady,

I have a copy of a document but no way of knowing where it came from. How do I find this out so that I can document my source?

Signed, I can’t believe I didn’t keep track of my sources!


Dear Didn’t Keep Track,

You are singing the sorrowful song of many a genealogists! We have stacks of papers with nothing showing where we received them, when they were copied or if there is any way of getting the same document again.Ask yourself the following questions:.

1. How long have I had this document? Can I narrow down the time frame?

2. What repositories was I using most at the time I believe I copied this paper?

3. What does the paper look like? A marriage bond? A death certificate? In many cases this alone is enough to figure out where to receive another copy and document it properly.

4. If all else fails, take your document to the library and speak to a librarian in your genealogy department. Many have the knowledge necessary to help you.

Thank you for writing to me!

If you would like to send an FAQ to GenLady send it to

Getting Organized

Back in December I told you that I was going through the Genealogy Do-over again and was going to keep an eye on the FINALLY Get Organized! 2016 Weekly Checklists.

I’ve stuck with both (though they aren’t complimentary, so doing both at the same time is very difficult. With a little modification it’s going well.) and am pretty proud of myself.

I suggest that everyone, from the beginner genealogist to the seasoned professional, should try these programs. In the short amount of time I have been working these programs, I have organized more of my work than I have in all the years I’ve been researching. My “Floyd/Murphy” binder is clean, fresh and full of information, as are my Cooper, Matherly and Brown binders. My computer genealogy files are organized by surname, then by type and each are named like this: John_1925_death.jpg (or whatever the appropriate extension is).

I have even cleared out my desk *completely*…the only things going back are those I am actually using. Pens, notepads, label maker, etc…and only as I use it. After a week or two I’ll take everything that I haven’t put back and find it a new home somewhere else or get rid of it.
Let me know what you think of these two different, but equally rewarding, projects.

Have a wonderful, ancestor filled week!

Happy Hunting!