Thursday, January 20, 2011

Building a Research Toolbox - Open Thread Thursday

From Geneabloggers:
This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

"Do you maintain a Research Toolbox? A group of links to genealogy research websites that you frequently use? A Research Toolbox could be as simple as an unorganized list of bookmarks or favorites in your web browser. Or it could be a website that you publish much like Cyndi’s List but for your own use or for a specific area of genealogy.

Tell us a) what’s in your Research Toolbox, b) what is the most unusual resource in your Research Toolbox, and c) how you keep it organized."

My research toolbox is an assortment of links of vital records sites, online books, maps, cemetery information, and blog posts on topics I want to remember.

I'm not sure I have many unusual resources. I think they're fairly standard as far as genealogical research goes. But if I had to pick one... I'd say either the Hamilton County Ohio Probate Court online archive of records, or my list of GEDCOM tags.

Why these? The Hamliton County, Ohio site is only unusual in that it's the only Ohio link I have in my family at this point. My 3rd great grandparents, Joseph Harrison Collins and Martha Ann Judkins are listed in the marriage register for 1849. The marriage records are arranged alphabetically by both last name and first name, which amuses me. For example, all the last names starting with "J" are together, then subsorted by first names starting with "A", then "B", etc. The other thing I like about this site, is not only are the records online, but a number were recreated after fire and water damage.

My other unusual resource is a list of GEDCOM tags. As a librarian whose origins are in cataloging, I like understanding how data is being imported, exported, and displayed in my genealogy software. I don't do nearly enough exploring with this as I'd like, but I've got the links in case I get inspired some snowy weekend.

I use the Delicious social bookmarking site to keep my links organized. Delicious allows me not only to make a list of bookmarks stored in the cloud that I can access anywhere, but to write notes explaining why it's useful (or other evaluative information). I can also assign tags (keywords) to the links to keep them organized. I can then sort my tags into groups (location, record type, family name, etc.) and keep a nice menu handy.

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