Know Your Tools
Most of the older more seasoned researchers know that a researchers desk or corner only appears to be:
A file cabinet
A set of CD's or Notebooks
It actually looks like an office type of environment.
However, in reality...
It is very much like the tool shop out in the garage. Just like in that tool shop- those tools do you little good if you don't know what they are capable of or just how to use them.
Oh, sure-- the initial response to receiving a router and special scrolling tool would be excitement, but after you realize that you don't know exactly how to operate them to make them work to your benefit- that excitement would soon wan.
It is the same with genealogical research.
You have the different documents that really excite and get the blood going for every researcher. Or you obtain that first "Last Will and Testament".
But do you really realize what you hold in your hand?
Do you comprehend the depth of information that can be found in one particular article?
How many of you know that you can obtain-
FOURTEEN DIFFERENT PIECES OF INFORMATION
FROM JUST ONE SIMPLE OBITUARY ?
From where I am standing that is a pretty good scoop of data from just one document.
In the end, you could theoretically possess a birth, marriage & death certificate and obituary on every single last person in your genealogy database. However, if you don't realize just what information can be gleaned from them, then they are no more then a piece of paper.
On the other hand, knowing what information is contained in each document can save you money in the long run.
How is that?
Many of these documents, especially pensions and wills cost money to obtain copies of. Knowing what data is contained in them helps you to order and pay for the correct one. Why waste your money ordering something that when you receive it, doesn't even have a space for the information you ordered it for?
Below you will find links to some of the most used and basic pieces of genealogical data. Those links will take you to pages explaining just what can be found in those documents.
http://www.sweetowen.net/birthcert.html -- Birth Certificates
http://www.sweetowen.net/deathcert.html -- Death Certificates
http://www.sweetowen.net/marriageapp.html -- Marriages Applications
http://www.sweetowen.net/obituaries.html -- Obituaries
http://www.sweetowen.net/wilab.html -- Wills and Abstracts
http://www.sweetowen.net/mortsch.html -- Mortality Schedules
http://www.sweetowen.net/landland.html -- Land Records
http://www.sweetowen.net/censusinfo.html -- Census Records
http://www.sweetowen.net/newclip.html -- News Clippings
http://www.sweetowen.net/pensionfile.html -- Pension Files