After I had created my State Lists documents, I was able to use them on a genealogy road-trip almost immediately, and found them to be extraordinarily helpful. So helpful, in fact, that I accumulated a great deal more information than I doubtless would have if I had only been going at it with the computer program alone, a thing I had frequently done in the past.
The best part about it is that they are truly fluid documents.
When I came home with my new-found information, I not only updated the computer program database, but also the State Lists.
In between trips, as I garner more information either on-line or in libraries, I continue to update the information.
If I discover one ancestor wasn’t born in Kentucky after all, but rather Tennessee, I simply delete him or her from one state list and add him or her onto the correct one.
Then I print them out to take on the next road-trip.
Of course, I don’t take all the sheets with me…just the ones for the states I plan to visit.
I have a small accordion portfolio (letter-sized) that holds the sheets very nicely, along with any copies or print-outs I pick up while traveling.
This keeps everything amazingly organized!
Then, the night before I arrive in a particular area of a specific state, I pull the sheet for that state, and pull up the computer program on the laptop. I review everything, make notes in a notebook on what I hope to find, and I’m set for the day! This keeps me from getting confused, while also allowing me to focus on the important members of the family for that day. If I think sibling and cousin info will be helpful in locating relatives’ information, I jot that down, as well.
Then, that afternoon after leaving the area or state, I put all the information behind the state sheet, and place it back in the accordion file. If I have time, and things are relaxed, I can add information to the computer program as each day passes. If not, I save it to do at home.
After arriving home, unpacking, etc., I put everything in the computer program, update the state sheets, file the paperwork in the family files, and I’m done!