Thursday, January 22, 2015

"With Some Help from My Friends"

Narrative Log — Take 4

“Dedication:" Thanks to Lynn Dosch for her very helpful critiques about the logs I showed in my first two blogs on this topic. Thanks to Thomas MacEntee for his posted spreadsheets, which I raided for the fields that were part of phase three — And also for bringing us all together and educating us so well! And thanks to Linda D. Newman who shared her Research log with sample.

Well, yes — I borrowed the Dedication from novels, but I promise you that this blog won’t be quite that long.

It’s been about three weeks since I posted my first blog about my attempts to use a narrative style research log. We’ve been so busy in the Genealogy Do-Over community that that three weeks seems to have been a long time. However, when you stop to think that I have been trying to find a Research Log style that fits the way I think since I first started to work at genealogy eight years ago, three weeks is a remarkably short time. I believe that I have now found a format that fits me and is also efficient.

After I blogged about my revised narrative style log which I had started to use and which I had included in my Do-Over section filing system,  I blogged about how I converted Thomas’ spreadsheet into database format. But as I worked with those databases I found that I had too many pieces, even though I could skip quickly from one piece to another by using the buttons.

I began to place some of the fields into my narrative-style Research Log. That was working fairly well;  I made a template of my format, which I filed in my working area. I could make a copy of that template, and build my next research log from that.  Efficient, but I STILL had too many pieces. Then Linda D. Newman posted her worksheet, complete with an example. I changed my template and began to transfer my individual logs to the new format. It has worked very well for the two days that I began to use this new format.

I now have three pieces:
1. A database that names the individuals who populate my family tree in my Reunion software.  For each individual, this database attaches the Source numbers for each source that I use to substantiate my data for that person. It also contains  a field which lists the number of proof points I am considering for that person. This field serves as a quick way to check my progress for an individual. A √ following the proof point number tells that  I have started to work on that point. I will either mark a point completed or I will delete it when I feel that I have done all I can do. (I have three additional fields available for future use. Perhaps one of them will track the Evaluation process?)
2. A database which is my To Do list. This contains a series of entries, attached to a individual, which will usually appear  in the order in which the items occur to me. Since it’s a database, I have many ways to sort this for a quick review of the various tasks. I anticipate that this To Do list will soon look overwhelming. There are so many “bright shiny items" out there; consider this as a “Wish to Do list” rather than as a task list. The task list for each individual is in the worksheet: the combined research plan and research log.
3. And the final item is that narrative-style  worksheet. I started this form yesterday (January 21, 2015), and this sheet has grown to 8 word-processor pages (maybe it IS a novel!). 

The rest of this blog will show the worksheet I am using to enter data from my self-interview. The 10 proof points that begin the sheet were developed from the things I wrote in that narrative. The following sections of the sheet all refer to the Proof Points listed at the head of the sheet. 

{Items in curly brackets, such as this, offer clarification of my intent.} For purposes of privacy you will find several sections filled with xxxx instead of specific data. And for purposes of brevity, you will find several sections which have lines of 
to indicate that only a portion of that segment of the worksheet is included in this blog.

(Header: Strickler, Carolin Sue; 1927-09-09) {09 month; 09 day})

Proof Points: 1. What is the birth date of Sue Strickler?
2. Who are the parents of Sue Strickler?
3. Did Sue Strickler have siblings? Names?
4. Did Sue Strickler marry? Name of spouse(s)?
5. Did Sue Strickler have children? Names
6. Verify name change — spelling of first given name
7. Verify education: school names, certificates,  extra courses
8. Verify church affiliation
9. Verify residences
10. Employment
Known Facts: 1. Born September 9, 1927 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Clayton, St. Louis County, Missouri.
2. Parents were Robert Ellsworth Strickler and Adelle Dorrance
3. Siblings were unnamed male baby and xxxxxx
4. First husband: Joseph Walter Watson
Second husband: xxx
5. Three children: xxx
6. Birth certificate “Carolin”; all other documents “Carolyn.” I began to spell this (largely unused) first name “Carolyn" at the age of 12 in the eighth grade. People kept misreading Carolin as Caroline; using the “y" instead of the “i" kept the pronunciation straight. I never asked for legal action.
7. Elementary School: Lindenwood School, Eighth Grade certificate, Board of Education, City of St. Louis; June 1940
8. Cradle Roll at Compton Heights Methodist Church, Compton and Lafayette, St. Louis.
9. Three-building apartment complex, Theresa and Lafayette, St. Louis, Missouri, from birth to June of 1932. We lived in each of the three buildings.
10. Part-time jobs during high school and college (1943, 1945): F. W. Woolworth, mailing department of Pet Milk Company, “long lines” department of Southwestern Bell Telephone

Search Plans: 1. Birth certificates: (Source 2) Revised certificate √ • (Source 1) Original Certificate — physical location unknown •
Baptisms (Initially a negative search—I was not baptized as an infant) • Is there a church record of my young-adult baptism? (on To Do list)
  Census records: (Source 3)1930 √ • (Source 4) 1940 √ •
(Source 6) Strickler Book √ •
2. Parentage information is found in Sources (1), 2, and 6 {Search Plans 1} √ •
Census records for this purpose are described as Sources 3 and 4 {Search Plans 1} √ •
Parentage information is described in Source 6 {Search Plans 1} √ •
3. The baby was not baptized, so this would be a negative search. √ •
… {additional sibling}
There is a death record for the baby.
4. Joseph Walter Watson
Birth certificate?
1930 census
1940 census
Military Records ?
5. lorum ipsum {lorum ipsum is a false latin place holder text frequently used in layouts. In this worksheet, it means I haven’t gotten to this yet.}

Future Action: 1. Continue physical search for Source 1
Run birth information through Evidentia. Are there any gaps in this information?
2. Run parenthood information through Evidentia. Are there any gaps in this information?
3. lorum ipsum

Research Log: Proof Point 1 •

 • Document Description: Original Birth Certificate (Long form) description to come. As of January 4, 2015,I could not find this document online at the Missouri State Archives, Ancestry, or FamilySearch. The originally issued copy is hidden (filed in the notorious “nice safe place”) somewhere inside my house and cannot be accessed. The physical search for my copy is continuing. Repository: lorum ipsum [Source 1]

Citation: … {This is my template material — not yet filled in for this document}

Source 2: Document Description: Birth Certificate for Carolyn Sue Strickler (amended to show the spelling change I initiated at age 12.). Repository: The Department of Health of Missouri. (Privately held copy) 

Citation: The original source citation:
Birth Certification for Carolyn Sue Strickler
Missouri. The Department of Health of Missouri.
State Registrar of Vital Statistics. Privately held by SWM
accessed 10 Sep 1996
(NOT Evidence Explained. At the present time, I plan on keeping this citation format.)

Transcript/Extract: State File number: 124-27-044933 • Date filed: September 20, 1927 • Carolyn Sue Strickler • Female • September 9, 1927 • St. Louis Co. • Adelle Dorrance • 34 • Missouri • Robert E Strickler • 30 • Indiana • Amended --Auth.: Chapter 193 RSMO • Issued by : Boone • September 10, 1996 

Background/Evaluation: ALL my official documents except the original birth certificate are spelled “Carolyn;” this amended birth certificate is the only official record of that change in spelling. The certificate gives as Authorization “CHAPTER 193 RSMO.” I haven’t researched the laws behind this statement.

Storage: In Dropbox: ReunionStuff>Files for Both Versions>!Reunion Pictures>Documents>Birth>StricklerSue 1927 Birth.pdf

Source 3: Document Description: 1930 Census St. Louis (independent city), Missouri population schedule. A digitized copy of this record.

Citation: The original source citation:
1930 U. S. Census, St. Louis (independent city), Missouri population Schedule.
National Archives and Records Administration;
National Archives microfilm publication T626, Roll 1237. Accessed at;
accessed 20 Sep 2011.

Transcript/Extract: Line 33 Strickler, Robert E., Head, M, W, 38, M; Line 34 (Strickler,) Adelle, Wife-H-, F, W, 35 M; Line 35 (Strickler,) Carolin*, Daughter, F, W, 2*.

Background/Evaluation: This census record places Sue Strickler in the household of Robert Strickler (head) along with Adelle, his wife. The enumerator did not have enough room to write out the given names, so Carolin Sue is recorded as Carolinsquiggle.

Storage: As of 5 January, 2015, this document is stored in my Dropbox files: Dropbox>ReunionStuff>Files for Both Versions>!Reunion Pictures>Documents>Census>1930 Census>Source 3 extra>1930–1288–St. Louis!.jpg

Source 4: Document Description: 1940 Census St. Louis (independent city), Missouri population schedule. A Digitized copy of this record.


Source 6: Document Description: Book: “The Stricklers of Pennsylvania” Copyright 1942.

Citation: The original source citation:
Stricklers of Pennsylvania; Chapter VII: Stricklers Not Connected.
Abigail H. Strickler, et al.
The Strickler Family Reunion Association of Pennsylvania, Scottsdale, Pennsylvania, 2942.
Probably a gift from Lulu Strickler, given to our family in 1942.
Private copy of this book in the collection of Sue Watson McCormick.

Transcription/Extract: I don’t believe that this information is necessary. Decision to be made at a later date.

Background/Evaluation: This is a “springboard" source. The book is completely unsourced (which is not unusual for the time period). Various people sent in family information to the Strickler association and members of that association compiled this volume from those entries. My family line is the first family listed in Chapter VIII: “Stricklers Not Connected.” My experience of that chapter, since I first saw the book, has been that it is very accurate in the lineage area. If the book says that "Albert is descended from Benjamin and Catherine” and that he married “Dorothy; three children, Earnest, Daniel, and Fred.” then that information will be correct. But if the book says that “Albert was born in 1900,” that information is as likely to be false as to be true. I found this out, right away; my Aunt Lulu had entered the wrong  dates for the birth of my father and of myself. I don’t remember how we got this book, but I believe that Aunt Lulu bought copies for her brothers and gave them to her siblings. If true, it would mean that I have had the book since 1942.

Storage: As of January 19, 2015, the physical book is stored in an archival box on the metal shelving in our livingroom. Pdf format copies of the relevant Chapter VII pages are stored in my Dropbox files: Dropbox>ReunionStuff>Files for Both Versions>!Reunion Pictures>Documents>Other Documents>“StricklerBookExcerpt."

Document Description: Descendants of Joseph Kimmell,…
… {Like Source 1 above, this is an uncompleted source — still in progress, No source attachments have been made and not source number has been supplied. It is another "springboard" source.}

Research Log: Proof Point 2 • As of 22 January, 2015, no additional research has been conducted for the parentage of Sue Strickler.

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