The March 2011 ProGen Study Group was on chapter 15, “Research Procedures” in Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians (affiliate link) edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
The assignment was to develop a Locality Guide. There’s several counties here in Texas that I have the most experience with but I decided before I did a county-level locality guide, I needed to get everything organized in terms of Texas records. I had a collection of dated locality guides published previously and, as everyone is aware through prime time television, many records are accessible online now. So I took on the momentous task of compiling a Texas guide with the plan to later have the county guides speak to just the differences.
I ended up with nineteen pages of URLs and books and repositories and record losses. And I have about three pages of handwritten notes for updates. The way cool thing about this project is that our study group mentor (a Certified GenealogistSM mentors each of the study groups) asked me if she could send mine to a Certified GenealogistSM specializing in Texas. So I had some edits come via a review by a professional!
The discussion for this month centered around preparing for a repository visit, portables scanners, finding aids, pre-work, etc. So if it’s time for you to get organized and work through the jumble of bookmarks you may have, I will testify that is worth the time. But once it’s done – keep it up to date. After all that work, you’re going to want to ever have to do a massive overhaul. Start first with the FamilySearch wiki and the Ancestry.com wiki like the one for Texas (which is essentially a reprint of the Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd edition, edited by Alice Eichholz) to see what may be out there for your area.