Getting ‘Sticky’ Before Committing

Before committing names and dates of a new person on a family tree there are many ways to make our notes as we test relationships. We’ve probably all tried pencilling and rubbing out on large sheets for draft trees and quickly discovered that we’ve rubbed holes through the paper!

Some villages and towns have a few too many possible candidates to be the great, great grandparent I’m looking for, or I can’t immediately connect certain family groups. I can’t add them to my tree, but I don’t want to ‘lose’ my research about them either. I have learned the hard way and lost potential ancestors despite saving them in a massive number of bookmarked webpages careful organised into folders or Excel sheets.

I like to use sticky or post-it-note on large rolls of paper placed chronologically like in the photo to see visually and quickly the potential people / households in a specific location who may be related to each other and ultimately, me!

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Snippets of research on sticky notes are quick to review, add to or remove!

This is so much easier than progressively adding information and attaching records to your official tree about a person which then later needs removing after finding the individual was from another family nearby, even if related.

I keep a large roll of paper per village, and then create a bit of a map or timeline with the sticky notes. Extra information can be jotted in to assist in seeing patterns and it doesn’t take long before a picture emerges about how these people connect – or don’t! Data on 2 or 3 sticky notes may be combined, set aside, or after further research and careful evaluation be added to my proper tree.

Depending on the type of genealogy information we’re collecting, we need to record it differently but still want to access and adjust it easily. Sticky notes give me a quick and easy way to see and of ‘shift’ individuals, couples, households around as we consider if they belong in our family tree.

What do you do?

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