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{{Infobox NIFGS|June 2012|{{Methodology, parts 1-6}}|Louise St Denis, Brenda Dougall Merriman and Dr. Penelope Christensen}}  
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{{Infobox NIFGS|June 2013|{{African American Ancestors}}|Michael Hait, CG}}  
  
=== Organizing Your Information ===
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=== The Great Migration ===
  
It is most important to decide as early as possible how you are going to organize your accumulation of genealogical material. You will need to make decisions about how and where you are going to organize ''Facts (Data)'' as well as your supporting ''Documentation''.  
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The late nineteenth century saw the enactment of severe, racist laws throughout the United States, known as “Jim Crow.” However, these laws were generally worse in the southern states than in the northern states. Furthermore, railroads offered a means for travel from the South northward. Economic opportunities at the growing number of factories in the urban North provided a destination. This combination of factors led to a mass movement of African Americans from throughout the South into large northern urban centers like Chicago, Detroit, and Harlem in New York City. This movement primarily occurred between the two World Wars, or about 1915 through 1940, but continued through about 1970. It is known as the Great Migration. To understand the scope of the Great Migration, consider the populations of Mississippi and Michigan during the early twentieth century:
  
Whatever system is used must be capable of expansion since you are involved with a growing collection of materials. It must be simple to use and be consistent throughout your work. Spending time thinking and planning how you are going to organize ''before'' you begin is far easier on the nerves and leads to greater productivity.  
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*Between 1910 and 1920, the total black population of Mississippi dropped from 1,009,487 to 935,184. By contrast, the total white population between these two years rose from 786,111 to 853,962.<br>
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*Between 1910 and 1920, the total black population of Michigan rose from 17,115 to 60,082. Between 1920 and 1930, the total black population of Michigan grew to 169,453. This is a nearly ten-fold increase between 1910 and 1930, the opening years of the Great Migration.
  
Organization implies thinking out a system that will work for you, and planning the actual spaces to file ''facts (data)'' and the ''four types of genealogical information'' (oral, written, visual and artefacts.) We’ll deal with each of these in turn. Remember that the most efficient system for you will be planned around how you want to retrieve items from it. In other words, how you want to access it determines how best to set it up.  
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The Great Migration affects genealogy research, insofar as many northern families will find their origins in the South. In many cases, the family remembers where they came from in the South. However, if this information has been lost to previous generations, there are ways to discover the place of origin. The federal census is the most useful tool, as you can often find the family on enumerations in the South prior to migration. You can also find places of birth on vital records, later census records, draft registration records, and other records. Use these records to discover the places of origin and families of those who moved to the North. For more information on the Great Migration, check out the [http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/545.html Encyclopedia of Chicago - Great Migration], the [http://www.inmotionaame.org/home.cfm Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - In Motion: The African American Migration Experience], and the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Migration_(African_American) Great Migration Wikipedia].  
  
Computers and Card Indexes will store ''facts'' but not documents or other evidence, although scanning now allows more options. Certainly computers and cards can store citations for the sources. Both can be used to manipulate information, but card indexes are very limited in this respect, whereas computers are the ultimate luxury system. File Folders and Binders will store ''facts'' and ''information on paper (documentation)'', but will not sort and manipulate the data.
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<br>
  
Nowadays most genealogists prefer a combination of:
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<br>___________________________________________________________________________<br>
  
*A computer for storage and manipulation of facts (data). <br>
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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course {{African American Ancestors}} offered by [http://www.genealogicalstudies.com The National Institute for Genealogical Studies]. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at [mailto:wiki@genealogicalstudies.com wiki@genealogicalstudies.com]
*Either file folders or binders for keeping a hard copy from the computer together with the documentation.<br>
 
*Other appropriate storage facilities for oral and visual media and artefacts.
 
  
'''Warning''': With family history one tends to get diverted into other fascinating areas such as local history, or particular trades or professions associated with one’s ancestors. If you develop interests in such subjects then you should set up separate filing systems for them, by subject. You would then choose storage and organization systems appropriate to that collection. For example, you may have all your ancestors in file folders, but find it convenient to have an indexed binder for your collection of documents on ships, or shoemaking, or ancestral villages. ''Do not try to combine subject material into ‘people’ files or binders''. Mixed systems do not work!
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We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.<br>
  
=== Organization of Facts (Data)  ===
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{{Category:African Americans}}
 
 
==== Computers  ====
 
 
 
Computers are designed to store, process and communicate information (Hawgood 1995) and this is precisely what you will be doing—storing, processing and communicating information about people, their family connections and the events in their lives. To find the latest information on available genealogy programmes and their capabilities consult:
 
 
 
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_genealogy_software Wikipedia] - Comparison of Genealogy Software <br>
 
*[http://www.thoughtfulcreations.com/genbox/comparison.htm GenBox Family History] - Genealogy Software Features Comparison Chart <br>
 
*[http://rwilson.us/comparison.htm Comparing Windows] Genealogy Software Programs
 
*[http://www.gensoftreviews.com/ GenSoftReviews]
 
*[http://www.cyndislist.com/software Cyndi’s List] - Software and Computers
 
*[http://www.genealogysupplies.com/ S and N Genealogy Supplies] <br>
 
*[http://www.twrcomputing.co.uk/ TWR Computing] Has details of the UK software ''Family Historian ''
 
*Software: [http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/other/Software/LINUX-GENEALOGY.html LINUX-GENEALOGY] Mailing List
 
 
 
==== Card Indexes  ====
 
 
 
Formerly, many genealogists used 3" x 5" or 4" x 6" card indexes for storing data about individuals. With a standard notation system on each card and arranged alphabetically by surname, then first name, then by date of birth this was a wonderfully simple system. A sample of such a card is illustrated here.
 
 
 
'''Index Card Notation System '''
 
 
 
{| width="600" border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"
 
|-
 
| NAME_________________________________RIN or ID #____________
 
<br> FATHER _____________________ MOTHER _____________________
 
 
 
b.______ date________________place__________________________
 
 
 
c.______ date________________place__________________________
 
 
 
d.______ date________________place__________________________
 
 
 
bur._____ date________________place__________________________
 
 
 
m.______ date________________place__________________________
 
 
 
<br> SPOUSE_______________________________
 
 
 
CHILDREN:  
 
 
 
___ name_______________date of birth___________place_____________
 
 
 
___ name_______________date of birth___________place_____________
 
 
 
___ name_______________date of birth___________place_____________
 
 
 
___ name_______________date of birth___________place_____________
 
 
 
___ name_______________date of birth___________place_____________
 
 
 
[On Reverse—Census, Probate and other notes.] <br>
 
 
 
|}
 
 
 
<br>Card indexes suffer from a few drawbacks when compared with other methods, for example:
 
 
 
*The amount of storable data is limited by the size of the card.<br>
 
*Relationships are not easy to see at a glance beyond parents and children.<br>
 
*One cannot store the documentation along with the data.<br>
 
*Cards have to be rewritten when too messy with additions and alterations.
 
*Storage space is a problem with a large study as one long drawer only holds about 750 cards. I didn’t fancy starting my 35,000 JUPP study this way.
 
*If you tip the box over you are lost!
 
 
 
However, card files still have their uses in special projects, especially if you don’t have a computer. If you want to keep an inventory of all of the houses that your folks have lived in, or ships they have served on, or a bibliography file or list of heirlooms, and so on, a card file can be just right for your purpose. Most genealogists nowadays prefer to use a computer for storing and managing their data, and one of the next two methods for storing their documentation.
 
 
 
==== File Folders  ====
 
 
 
File folders can be combined with storage of documentation if you are not using a computer, or if computerized, at least a Family Group Record computer printout should be placed at the front of each couple’s file. Hard copies of all your data and documentation can be stored together, making it simple to review each person’s data. It is somewhat simpler to find the right family in files than in binders, but they are not as good to transport and display.
 
 
 
==== Indexed Binders  ====
 
 
 
Indexed binders can be combined with storage of documentation if you are not using a computer, or if computerized, at least a Family Group Record computer printout should be placed at the front of each couple’s section. Printed copies of all your data and documentation can be stored together, making it simple to review each person’s data. Binders are easier to transport and show to your family than file folders, but perhaps a little less convenient to find a particular family.
 
 
 
=== Organization of Oral Information  ===
 
 
 
Tapes should have labels and detailed lists of contents. Do this as soon as you make them or you will forget the details! You could keep all your transcripts in one file, or put them in the file for the person with whom you talked. Consistency is important: treat each in the same manner, then you will know where to look for any one item. Each fact gleaned from the interview should then be added to the appropriate person’s file, with a notation as to its source. For example if, when talking to Aunt Edna, you found out that Uncle George was married in 1928, then put that fact in Uncle George’s file as, “In 1986 Aunt Edna BROWN told me that her brother George STEVENS was married in 1928.”
 
 
 
<br> _________________________________________________________________<br>
 
 
 
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses {{Methodology, parts 1-6}} offered by [http://www.genealogicalstudies.com The National Institute for Genealogical Studies]. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at [mailto:wiki@genealogicalstudies.com wiki@genealogicalstudies.com] <br>
 
 
 
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.
 
 
 
[[Category:Research_Analysis]] [[Category:Research_Process]]
 

Latest revision as of 16:29, 18 November 2014

 
National Institute for Genealogical StudiesNational Institute for Genealogical Studies.gif

The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2013. It is an excerpt from their course Research: African American Ancestors  by Michael Hait, CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

The Great Migration

The late nineteenth century saw the enactment of severe, racist laws throughout the United States, known as “Jim Crow.” However, these laws were generally worse in the southern states than in the northern states. Furthermore, railroads offered a means for travel from the South northward. Economic opportunities at the growing number of factories in the urban North provided a destination. This combination of factors led to a mass movement of African Americans from throughout the South into large northern urban centers like Chicago, Detroit, and Harlem in New York City. This movement primarily occurred between the two World Wars, or about 1915 through 1940, but continued through about 1970. It is known as the Great Migration. To understand the scope of the Great Migration, consider the populations of Mississippi and Michigan during the early twentieth century:

  • Between 1910 and 1920, the total black population of Mississippi dropped from 1,009,487 to 935,184. By contrast, the total white population between these two years rose from 786,111 to 853,962.
  • Between 1910 and 1920, the total black population of Michigan rose from 17,115 to 60,082. Between 1920 and 1930, the total black population of Michigan grew to 169,453. This is a nearly ten-fold increase between 1910 and 1930, the opening years of the Great Migration.

The Great Migration affects genealogy research, insofar as many northern families will find their origins in the South. In many cases, the family remembers where they came from in the South. However, if this information has been lost to previous generations, there are ways to discover the place of origin. The federal census is the most useful tool, as you can often find the family on enumerations in the South prior to migration. You can also find places of birth on vital records, later census records, draft registration records, and other records. Use these records to discover the places of origin and families of those who moved to the North. For more information on the Great Migration, check out the Encyclopedia of Chicago - Great Migration, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - In Motion: The African American Migration Experience, and the Great Migration Wikipedia.



___________________________________________________________________________

Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: African American Ancestors offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.

Category:African Americans