Sunday, May 02, 2010

A task of military precision

I've now gathered as many medal roll index cards as I can find for the Wing men who served in WW1 (as listed on the WW1 page, obviously there will be more as-yet-unidentified men). This means that for most of those men I now have at least two separate documents or records of their military service - on my computer there's 10 subdirectories for the different sources I've used.

I need to spend some time revisiting those documents and cross-checking the information contained in them. In some cases there will be additions or corrections to the information on the WW1 page. I'm not planning to extend the information online at this stage though - it's intended to be more of an index, listing basic information about these men's service and the documents I'm aware of that exist for them, so that you have the necessary information to research further as required. Extended profiles of at least one of those men may well appear here on the blog though, so that you can see the kinds of things you might find in those records.

I'm toying with implementing a formal structure to this cross-checking process by picking up some of the ideas from Mark Tucker's Research Documents, in particular the research analysis document. How many of us document the process and resulting "facts" of our research in such a comprehensive way? I found these templates really valuable when looking for the burial of one of my COLES ancestors, and captured within them a lot of useful information about potential burial locations, who holds the burial records, and how easy (or not) it is for me to access those records from NZ - when I next decide to look at it, I'll know exactly what I've ruled out and where to go to see how the necessary digitisation projects are progressing. I think the Research Analysis document, with a little customisation, will be ideal to consolidate each serviceman's records.

The genealogical in-tray (should I call it the GIT for short? it has a certain ring to it, no?) has now officially reached overflow proportions, and this military task will take up some time. If only I didn't keep dreaming up new projects for myself!


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