How to use genealogy research sites. How to use Legacy.
Here’s a 2-for-1.
First, like many of us, I’ve done a lot of research in what could only be called a ‘disorganized’ fashion. If something starts playing on my mind I’ll jump on the Internet and start looking. Chances are I’ll be side-tracked all over the place and come out a few hours later with all kinds of things that never would have occurred to me to look for. It’s a fun way to while away a winter’s day. Why anyone writes blogs or researches dead people online in the summer time, I don’t know.
Since I’m not swimming in extra money, subscription databases come and go. If I pay for something, I think I should spend at least 20 hours a day in there to get my money’s worth. And then I get all stressed out because it’s too much pressure. Obviously.
Here’s something better that’s akin to a plan. Use the To-Do list in Legacy as you’re working. Say you need a 1920 census for someone, put that in the ‘Task Needing to be Done’ box. Put ‘$Online’ in the location box. If you know the specific database you’re going to, put that instead. Pick a Category.
Keep working away in your usual chaotic fashion repeating this process. When your ‘$Online’ list hits critical mass, print it out (paperless PDF) and pay for a month somewhere. Ancestry.com has a one-month subscription after your 14-day free trial. While you’re in there, check out their Learning Center for how to use the site. WorldVitalRecords also has a one-month subscription and a page listing all their databases. And so on with any other databases you’re interested in.
When you click the Print button on your To-Do list, Legacy can filter it any way you want it so you can have an organized list right in front of you and make the most of your time. A few months later, when you’ve saved up your pennies, you can do it again.
The rest of the time I just flounder around. No method at all. Well, maybe a teeny bit of method. If I’m going to look at a Death Index that covers a range of years, I’ll search Legacy first for a list of people who died in that state in those years. That sort of thing. The obvious.