Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Get it in notes

Elsie was a stickler for citing her sources. Long before our genealogy programs had source citation fields to prompt better record keeping, good researchers put everything about an ancestor in the"notes" option of their chosen genealogy management program.

For background, here's the info directly from Elsie's PAF (Personal Ancestral File) database, that I successfully transferred yesterday from her computer to mine. I used RootsMagic to generate this narrative report, so we can see Elsie in context with her parents who emigrated from England to the United States in their youth. Note the use of tags recommended by PAF many years ago, ie. "BIRTH:" "!BAPTISM". Even without accompanying scanned images of source documents, another genealogist can most likely find them from Elsie's citations.

Elsie Barks in her WWII
Red Cross uniform.
1.  Elsie Barks was born on 5 Jun 1918 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island. She was christened on 4 Jun 1944 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island. BIRTH: Certificate of Birth, City Register, Providence, R.I.  !BAPTISM: Calvary Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island. MARRIAGE: The Congregational Church of Middlebury, Vermont. Witnessed by:  Ruth Ferson and Reginald Ferson.

Second Generation ~ Elsie's parents
2.  Robert Arthur BARKS was born on 16 Feb 1884 in Hyson Green, Nottingham, England. He died on 28 Feb 1966 at the age of 82 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island. He was buried on 3 Mar 1966 in North Kingstown, Kent, Rhode Island, Quidnesset Cem.. SOURCE CITATION: Naturalization Paper. BIRTH-CHRISTENING: Birth Certificate (torn) Somerset House, London, England. DEATH: Robert died at the Roger Williams General Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island after surgery. IMMIGRATION: Came to America on the ship "Canada". Sailed from Liverpool, England and arrived at Boston, Massachusetts with his mother, four brothers and one sister on November 25, 1897.  He was 11 years old. NATURALIZATION: Certificate of Naturalization Duplicate of Original No.OL-27,743.  Application No. 1-B-19094. Naturalized by the United States District Court, at Providence, Rhode Island, on October 28, 1905. Note: This duplicate certificate was obtained by Robert Barks 23 Sept 1943 when he applied for employment at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, Quonset, Rhode Island. RDF0006. The original Naturalization Paper is in poor condition - torn and taped. It will be noted that there was an error in spelling his name as BAKS instead of BARKS. 

Nellie LESTER and Robert Arthur BARKS were married in Nov 1906 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island.

3.  Nellie LESTER was born on 20 Mar 1886 in Shepshed, Leicester, England. She died on 22 Jun 1962 at the age of 76 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island. She was buried on 25 Jun 1962 in North Kingston, Kent, Rhode Island, Quidnesset Cem. BIRTH-CHRISTENING:  Certified Copy of Entry of Birth, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England CD 875954;  Twentieth March 1886; Chapel St., Sheepshed (Shepshed), Leicestershire, England. DEATH: Nellie died at her home in Warwick.  Cause of death Heart Attack. IMMIGRATION-MARRIAGE: She came to America in 1905, when she was 19 years old to visit her sister, Edith (Lester) Holmes. She met and married Robert Barks and never returned home to England.

Elsie did research the old-fashioned way -- viewing microfilm and sending away for certified copies of certificates. There were no online scanned image websites when Elsie compiled this information on her parents. There was no FindMyPast.com with information on the England side of her ancestral charts. Though she had a scanner, the latter years of her life were kept busy caring for her aging husband and a disabled brother who required nursing home care. There was simply no time to scan each source document and attach to the ancestor in question.

Elsie followed the protocol of town, county and country as data entry order, placing the name of her parent's cemetery AFTER as follows:

  • She was buried on 25 Jun 1962 in North Kingston, Kent, Rhode Island, Quidnesset Cem

If Elsie were to advise us today, she'd say "GET IT IN NOTES" so that other researchers can see what you've collected, and maybe even discover where you've made a mistake or two.

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