"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
22 July 2004

Library of Virginia

Many individuals write asking about Confederate research resources. Recently, I found the Index to the magazine Confederate Veteran is on-line at the Library of Virginia.

The URL is: http://www.lva.lib.va.us/index.htm then click on WHAT WE HAVE, then click MILITARY RECORDS & RESOURCES, then drop down the page to Index to Confederate Veteran Magazine.

After you have checked-out the Index to Confederate Veteran Magazine, go back and click away at all of the other military resources and databases ranging from Colonial America to World War II.

If you have Virginia families, the Library of Virginia is a great on-line resource to spend lots of time researching. I also visited the Newspapers section and found loads of information. The great thing about some of the newspaper indexes is that they index every name in the newspapers, not just Virginia so you find lots of odd articles that were picked-up by other newspapers. Remember you never know what you'll find or where you'll find it!

Tickle Yourself, not Elmo

Are the bricks in your brickwalls getting higher? Whether you are trying to find great-granddad's grave or Mama Sue's date of birth, persistence is the key. Make it a point to follow up by creating a "tickler file" can track your progress. These are also known as "research logs."

Start with one thing you want to accomplish, i.e., great-granddad's grave location. Make a list of where the family was living. Get out a map and chart where they lived and the locations of every known cemetery in the area. Check with at least one living relative on each descendant's line, to ask what he or she might know. This is where trickling comes into play. No, I don't mean like you did to your kid brother or sister or Elmo!

You need to know when you contacted the person and their response. Put this in your family tree notes for great-granddad so that 5-years from now you'll not return and ask the same question to the same group of family members. List each cemetery and track down a list, in book form or on-line and keep a list in your family tree notes for great-granddad.

The best suggestion I can make is maintain consistency and be methodical. Just don't do the cemeteries where you "know where family members are buried." Think outside the box and check every cemetery within 10 or 15-mile radius. Why? Well, I found one family member who was visiting kin and he is buried there and "not with the rest of the family" and only by checking the location where everyone of his children was living did I find him, of course, he was buried off by himself with no other family members in that cemetery.

Yes, I have a tickle file or a more commonly know as my "To Do Pile" with lots of notes. Yes, I too have to keep on top of my research to keep it organized so I can remember what I've done so I'm not repeating my research and doing it twice.

I have found the electronic calendar in MS Outlook to be a great tool to help me remember to follow-up and chart my contacts to make sure I've heard back from someone I've written or e-mailed. Gee, it doesn't seem like it was 6-weeks ago I contacted her and I haven't heard back!

You can do it too and you'll be amazed at what a little organization will do to help you. Just put one problem down on paper and begin brainstorming on what to do, set deadlines, set tickles to follow-up, and see what happens!

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 29 Sept 2004 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604