I used to think source citations were optional. What an idiot.
One of my former theories about how to do things was this. I decided that anyone put into my database without a ‘proper’ source – birth, death or marriage certificate, military record, census record, etc, should have no source at all. Surely not a ‘descendants of’ chart from some other collector who probably got it from some other collector. I still like that idea because it keeps me from getting complacent with my research.
Of course, the downside was that I had no idea where to go back to to see how the other person was doing with their research. Or what to tell someone else who might ask. So it was a dumb idea really. After I tossed it I had to go back and find everyone again.
And then I found I hadn’t been consistent with my non-sources approach. A lot of the problem was nothing but laziness and hurried-ness. My closer relatives who I know so well I didn’t think they needed sources. Parents of spouses of relatives that got lost in the rush.
I haven’t had very far to go to find most of them. Most everything’s already in documents on my computer. This is where Copernic Desktop Search came in handy. First I made a list of people with no sources as described at Legacy Search. Then I started through the list one by one. Typed a name into the Copernic search box and up came a list of files containing what I wanted.
There’s the odd thing I haven’t been able to find that way. But I also went through my entire source list and found repository addresses for most of them. In most cases I could take a guess where the person’s name came from, click on the URL and be back where I got it from within seconds.
There’s something to do in a spare weekend– find repository addresses for all of your sources.
Whichever way you do this, there’s an upside. In the grand scheme of things, there’s a limited number of people looking for the same people you are so you’re likely to come across them again.