Module Ten: Putting It All Together
Working with Other Resources
In this module
you will review your findings, and consider
possibilities for future research.
"If you don't know your family's history, then you don't know anything. You are like a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree."
Creating a Research Report
When you are doing genealogical research, it is easy to focus on individual facts, such as birth or death dates, and never put the information together to create a whole.
The best way to understand your findings is to experience "full immersion genealogy". Create a report about one family in one location, using the dates and places that you have found. Add in information about the parish - what was it like? What were the local industries? Was this location hard hit by the potato famine, or did they survive well?
As you put the facts together, you will begin to see things that you did not see before. You may start to have questions that did not occur to you in looking at the single facts. Add pictures that illustrate the local area. Include scanned copies of the original documents that you found, so that others can evaluate the accuracy of your research. Including original source documentation builds confidence in your research. If you make any assumptions, add an explanation about why you made that assumption.
Select one individual or one family for the report. Put down the basic facts - birth, marriage, death, and the places associated with them. Now add the other information that you have discovered. Include the information from the source documents, either as an abstract, or as a scanned copy.
Add information about the locations for your report. If your ancestor came from Ballingarry parish, include information about the parish. What were the local industries? How many people lived in the parish? Include pictures that you may find.
Be sure to document your
sources properly and completely. As a part of the report,
include information about searches you conducted where you
were not successful. This information will help you and
others in not duplicating unsuccessful searches. Your
report should be created in such a way that someone could
duplicate your research, with the same findings. If you
make any assumptions, explain the facts that led you to
When you have finished creating your research report, you might want to consider making it available online. This can be a valuable way to share information with distant family members.
Read more about publishing your family history online.
You could also blog your family history. Read more about publishing your family history on a blog.
In the course you have learned the basics of Irish genealogical research. You have also been introduced to more advanced topics in Module Nine. Use your basic research skills to continue looking for your ancestors. If you are not successful in finding a particular ancestor, then perform the same searches for their sibling.
More and more records are becoming available online. Continue checking from time to time to see if additional information has become available.
Make a visit to your local
family history library. There are over 4,500 family
history libraries, including the main library in Salt Lake
City. There is no charge for the use of the library. There
is a small rental fee if you order microfilm shipped from
the main library. To find a family history library near
you, check FamilySearch. As
you continue your research, you may want to experience a
trip to the Salt Lake City Family History Library. It is
an experience not to be missed!
For additional information on Irish genealogy, check:
• Genealogy Projects in Ireland; http://irelandgenealogyprojects.rootsweb.ancestry.com
• Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, John Grenham, available from amazon.com.
• Discovering Your Irish Ancestors, Dwight A. Radford and Kyle J. Betit/2003.
• The Surnames of Ireland, Edward MacLysaght, 1978, Irish Academic Press, 3 Serpentine Ave, Dublin 4, available from amazon.com.
• A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, Brian Mitchell, 1986, available from amazon.com.
• Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland, James R. Reilly, available at amazon.co.uk.
• Searching for Scotch-Irish Roots in Scottish Records, 1600-1750, available from amazon.com.
It is also a useful technique to commission professional genealogical research for records that are not available to you. The Irish Family History Foundation has information about commissioning research from the local heritage centres. This research can be a useful supplement to your own research.
Good luck in your search!