Family history research assistance

A field researcher spent 12 years gathering information up and down the American Midwest on family histories. He visited county clerks, newspaper offices, and grave sites. He corresponded with family members and other researchers. He worked with and at local historical society centers. He gathered census information, obituaries, local news stories, family tales, portraits, and photographs of grave sites. Much of his work was on paper. He was passionate about the field work, but not so much about the office work of analyzing and organizing files beyond a basic effort.

We assisted this researcher in several ways.

We scanned his paper files, two drawers' worth in a file cabinet. The scans gave him digital document backups of his work, making it easier for him to share or pass that work onward.

We set up a project in our company's collaboration server. We taught him how to use the content management system to write illustrated and hyperlinked biographies of the individuals in the histories. This organizing of his information would help him work together with other researchers on the same topics.

We performed online searches of genealogical databases, newspaper archives, and general index engines for individual instances in his research effort.

We also helped in the field research itself. We visited grave sites to take pictures and obtain GPS coordinates, write headstone transcriptions, and make rubbings of hard-to-read headstones.