Monday, April 14, 2008

The To Do Chart

I'm going to talk a little about our charts. That is what we specialize in, so that is my most unique expertise. Hopefully it will help your research.

Not only do we do virtually any kind of chart that you want to dream up, we have dreamed up a few ourselves. We have developed charts that are what we would want for our own research, and that maybe might help yours.

My newest personal favorite is our "To Do" chart. To start with, this chart is exclusively available as a New FamilySearch chart--which means that if you have a log in for New FamilySearch, you can enter your username and password for NFS on our website along with the ID number of the person you want to start this chart with, and the chart will show up in your mail. Easy. That is what we are all about. We can actually do any of our charts from your New FamilySearch data, just that easy, but this is a special one. You can see it on the right here.

We designed this chart to deal with the issues of cleaning up and verifying the data in New FamilySearch. It gives you a clear plan of attack, and makes you feel like you are accomplishing something as you move systematically through the database and check things off. Hopefully we will shortly be able to offer this chart from a genealogy computer file or from other databases because it is really built to help you systematically go through any file that you haven't researched yourself.

Each person on the chart has a box like this:

Each of the symbols above the check boxes denotes something that needs to be done: are the vital statistics there, have you checked the sources, have you entered your information and sources on this person into the database, are there merge issues, do you know who both parents are, etc.

The chart goes out 6 generations, and depending on the information on your family in the New FamilySearch database, it can be up to about 6 feet tall. When I participated in Tim Cross's lecture at the Logan conference, I said, "This is our new to-do chart" and let a six foot sample chart drop to the floor. Everyone laughed because I was suggesting that your to-do list for New FamilySearch would be huge--six feet long. Well, #1, they were only laughing if they hadn't been in to the database to clean up overworked lines like mine. (I call my family's lines the "burned over district" but that is another post). But #2, the reason this chart is so big is because we have given you lots of space to take notes on and analyize with. It is perfect for the back of a study door. Or I would love to see it used at a family reunion to divide up the work and keep track of who is doing what. Thanks to Tim Cross for giving us another opportunity to talk about our work with New FamilySearch. We really appreciate his help.
Tim and I in Logan. And thanks Mike Booth for the picture.

If you are already on New FamilySearch, you can order the charts now from It is functional but we are still working on it, so if you have any troubles, give us a call. We'll continue working on it as New FamilySearch updates and rolls out. At that point, we'll move it to the front of the website.

The reception was good in Logan. We had alot of people who were excited to have a "map" to navigate that database. Hopefully it will help. I know I'll be using it myself. And we would love to have your feedback on how we can improve it too.

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