Family historians never have enough time in research facilities. It's especially difficult to have only a few hours or a single day in a mecca such as the library at Salt Lake City or the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
In their haste to gather as much information as possible, some researchers realize when they get home that some of their precious time was squandered. The material so eagerly gathered has less value because it wasn't carefully copied and collated.
Here are some tips to avoid that disappointment:
When copying from books
1. Copy the title and publication pages first.
2. Look closely at each page as it comes out of the copier. Make sure the important last lines or last words of each line weren't cut off.
3. Staple together the title and publication pages and all the individual pages from a single book before moving on to the next book.
When copying original documents or microfilm
1. After copying one document - before going on to the next - write all the critical information on the face of the document copy. This should include information such as the volume and page number of a county deed book. If the deed book is the original, being copied at the county's clerk of court office, note that. If the copy is from microfilm being held at a state archives, note that. If a deed or other record is five pages, repeat this information on each of the five pages. I also find it helpful to write "1 of 5," "2 of 5," etc. on each page so I can quickly reassemble them if they come apart.
2. Write this source citation information on the front of the copies - never on the back. When passing along documents, it's important to include the citation information, which can be easily overlooked if the information is on the back.
South Bay meeting
Pasco County residents Pam Treme and Pattie Schultz will provide tips on using search engines to find living people, using a general search engine, and using specific genealogical sites such as Find-A-Grave, Worldcat and Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness at the Nov. 17 South Bay Genealogical Society meeting.
The group meets at SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin. Lunch is served at noon, and the program begins at 1 p.m. Make reservations no later than Nov. 11 by sending $13 to P.O. Box 5202, Sun City Center FL 33571; then call Sally Wepfer at (813) 634-7539 to make a meal selection.
Pasco Society meeting
Debra Fleming, an instructor at the University of South Florida Lifelong Learning Center, will be the featured speaker at the Nov. 14 meeting of the Paso County Genealogical Society. "Why is Religion Relevant to My Research?" will explain why ancestors' religious beliefs may shed light on migration patterns, daily life and their personal associations.
The group meets at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, 9016 Fort King Road, Dade City.
Save the date
Dick Eastman, whose popular Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter keeps researchers up to speed, will be the featured speaker at the Pinellas Genealogical Society seminar on Feb. 13. His topics will include "Genealogy Searches on Google," "Where is Genealogy Software Headed?" and "The Organized Genealogist."
For details, go to http://www.roots web.ancestry.com/~flpgs and click on Special Events.
In the Oct. 18, Heritage Hunting, I shared the good news that people with Hillsborough County public library cards can access the Footnote.com database remotely, for free, from their home computers.
Uh-oh, not so fast!
Several readers quickly let me know their attempts to connect didn't work. Library officials tell me that Footnote is having serious technical problems with remote access. Both the library system and the vendor are working on the problem. Keep checking the library Web site and I'll report here when the problem gets fixed.