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TWENTY TOP TIPS
FOR FAMILY HISTORIANS
 

1. Do write things down in record offices etc. do it in a form of hand
writing that can be read when you get home.

2. Do write things down in note books not on scraps of paper which after a
three day research trip to a far away record office can blow across the
carpark when the car door opens and disappear forever.

3. Do write name address and phone number in note book so when you loose it
there is a chance it will get returned.

4. Do assume that you have made mistakes due to old age, hangover or
dyslexia.

5. Do assume that the original record may be wrong due to the clerk having
old age, hangover or dyslexia.

6. Do record in full any document references and where you were when they
were recorded along with date.

7. Don't believe anyone who sends you data unless they and you can verify
the source.

8. Don't believe the Internet.

9. Don't believe indices.

10. Do buy an extra bookcase and filing cabinet before all available
worktops in the house are overwhelmed with paper as 2. above. on the
assumption that it isn't lost or blown away before getting to the worktop.

11. Do Back up computer data on a regular basis.

12. Don't back up latest database that is corrupted on top of last good
backup.

12. Don't allow anyone with the same surname especially children to
"upgrade" the computer hardware or software.

13. Don't assume that hard disks last forever.

14. Do when visiting a record office with a spouse/partner assume that they
may spend the day duplicating what you are doing.

15. Do when visiting a record office with a spouse/partner sit as far apart
as possible; this minimises fights although  increases the chances of 14.
above.

16. Do when visiting a new record office with a spouse/partner for the first
time sort out the route in advance and assume navigation will be done by
you; this generally relates to 15. above.

17. Do when visiting a record office with a spouse/partner assume that they
may be researching something totally unrelated that you are unaware of.

18. Do when booking a motel on a motorway remember (a.) which hotel chain it
is in and (b.) which motorway it is on; see 15 above.

19. Do when booking bed and breakfast remember (a.) which town it is in and
the address. (b.) the phone number. (c.) if you used a guide book for
several booking in the past the marks on the pages all look the same; see
15. above.

20 Don't give up, it is good fun and the above 19 points are part of it.!
 
With thanks to Howard and Dawn Laver
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

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