Researching your family history

My genealogy workflow

When I started my genealogy do-over in January, I quickly found a rhythm.  First thing in the morning, I backup all the research I did the previous day to my portable hard drive and OneDrive, and move the files to my genealogy do-over folder.  I then add these files to my Excel spreadsheet which has an index of my previous and current research.

Once I’ve backup and indexed the research, I then enter the research into Legacy family tree.  At this stage, I’m only entering the birth, baptism, death, burial and marriage information, and any census or immigration records I’ve found.

Once I’ve finished with yesterday’s research, it’s now time to start today’s research.  This is the checklist I use to keep track of what I have already found for each person, and what I still need to find. Once I have finished working through the list for each person, I delete them from the list.

research checklist

I have the column for the Ryerson Index, but I then use the entries I find in the Ryerson Index to find the actual notices in the Herald Sun Tributes, or any from between 1955 and 1990 for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, I use the Google News Archive Search.  Any notices prior to 1955 I should already have when I searched on Trove, but I double check in case I’ve missed them.  I have found that the Ryerson Index does sometimes pick up notices I hadn’t found on Trove.

When I find a WW1 service record on the National Archives of Australia website, I then search for the WW1 Embarkation and Nominal Rolls on the Australian War Memorial Website, and any from WW2, I then search the DVA’s Nominal Rolls.  If the person was killed in either war, I then search the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

As I find out where someone was buried from funeral notices or obituaries, or from a Find a Grave or BillionGraves memorial, I make a note of the name of the cemetery, so that I can check if there are any other records available online.  For example, in the above list I have an entry from Brighton Cemetery.  I already know that there are no additional records available online yet for this cemetery.  I also know that records for Bunurong Memorial Park are on the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust website. On the other hand, I’m not sure about Amherst Cemetery, so I would google the cemetery, to see if there are any other records available.  Why do I check for additional records? Because the memorials on BillionGraves and Find a Grave generally include the information from the headstone, so they might have a date of death, but they don’t have the date of burial.  The records from the cemetery do have the date of burial.  Sometimes the cemetery records have dates of birth and death as well, while the memorial on Find a Grave and BillionGraves only includes the year, because that was all that was on the headstone.