Friday, April 10, 2015

Unraveling Another Family Collection

For the past two weeks my focus has been on unraveling another family collection. The researcher was a woman who had a great love for her family history and also an interest in joining lineage societies. In the process of her work they were able to join DAR through a third great grandfather.  Others joined SAR through the direct line second great grandfather, but later it was proven that there had been an error in identifying him. He was born in 1792 in Ireland and the family came to America in 1793. There was also a Civil War soldier from the family, the brother of a second great grandfather.

The researcher's daughter, who hired me to clean up the research paperwork, had continued research on the family for several years. Due to health concerns she requested that the several crates and small file boxes of materials be organized into a useable format. The following is the first report on the work involved.

The first part of this project was to organize the material gathered by the researcher and her mother. This consisted of the following:

Two white crates with notebooks and assorted materials. (No longer hold any records.)
Six filing boxes for the following family records.

Box 1: McLaughlin Research – three research notebooks
Notebook McLaughlin Lineage
Notebook McLaughlin, Kennison, Stevens, Cox Pedigrees, Lineage Worksheets
Notebook McLaughlin States Born, Lived Died
Books to Buy – McLaughlin Named in Books
Notes on Washington State Research
Emails With Lots of Info From a relative in Washington

Box 2: Sons of American Revolution
Notebook on Military Research
Extra Folders

Box 3: Ralph McLaughlin and Family/ Lyman McLaughlin and Elizabeth Jane – four notebooks
Notebook Lineage
Notebook Ralph McLaughlin
Notebook of Dorothy McLaughlin Byers
Notebook Jack McLaughlin, Ralph McLaughlin, Betty McLaughlin Troska
Family Picture - unidentified

Box 4: Lyman/Simeon – four notebooks
Notebook Simeon B. McLaughlin
Notebook Winifred (Fred), Martha, Mildred and Herbert McLaughlin
Notebook Lyman McLaughlin
Notebook Kansas Research

Box 5: Cyrus H. McLaughlin/Anna E. Ames and Enos McLaughlin/Mary Jane Smail – three notebooks
Notebook Cyrus H. McLaughlin and Anna Elizabeth Ames
Notebook Enos McLaughlin and Mary Jane Smail (Should be Mary Jane Bush)
Notebook William McLaughlin and others by that name

Box 6: Patrick, James and John – two notebooks
Notebook Patrick McLaughlin and Elizabeth Smail
Notebook John McLaughlin and Agnes Nancy McLaughlin

This was rather intensive work as there were many copies of items inter-mixed among the notebooks. In the process of organizing the seventeen notebooks and loose papers, a database was created to record the significant data of the families. The results include 856 people and 333 marriages. . This took over forty hours of time over a two-week time period. Much of this work is not sourced, so once the project of organizing the information found in this collection is finished,  the next step is to begin documenting and sourcing what was found. 

As we exchanged these materials with the researcher, she brought three more tubs of notebooks, material in file folders and loose papers. My main comment was that this is something that would only be done once by me. Keeping some form of order to the results of years of research is critical if she wants to pass it on to the next generation. 

How well organized is the research work on your family history? Will it be a collection that your family will eventually have to deal with? Leaving behind hours and years of work done, out of a keen interest in our families, it will have to be organized if there is any hope of others wanting to preserve it. Look for an article by me about another collection and how the family worked at preserving it in the upcoming issue of the APG Quarterly. 

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