That got me thinking. Without actually participating in the "do-over", perhaps I can review some of my research and tracking methods.
Back in 2005, I began a spreadsheet to keep track of records I had requested. Prior to that I was keeping track on a copy of the request I placed in a binder. I also track records by adding notes to each person's file in Legacy.
Here’s my spreadsheet.
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
NOTE: Instead of creating a copy of the record request and placing it in a binder, I now scan and save it in Evernote. I can annotate it in Evernote and it’s working very well. My goal is to have only vital records I receive by mail, saved in my binders. I am slowly purging all other copies, such as census records, WW I draft records etc.
Today, I was entering a date for something I received and I began scrolling back through the spreadsheet of records I had requested.
There are 151 names/requested items on my spreadsheet.
Here are the questions that began to run through my mind:
- How many records do I still not have?
- Which records were located and not recorded?
- Should I try sending for any of them again?
- Are those records now online?
This list goes back 10 years. A lot has changed in that time. I am going to review each of these requests and see if I can obtain the records by some means. Or…there is that chance that I have obtained the record and haven’t recorded it. Maybe I found it online and just entered it into my Legacy database and never checked this list? There are 31 records I did not receive. Out of 151 records that’s a failure rate of about 20.5%. Or a success rate of 79.5%
RESULTS OF MY REVIEW31 total records reviewed
9 records are in my database and just weren’t recorded
3 were duplicate requests to different locations
2 have now been found to have a different last name
That leaves me with 17 records still outstanding. Which improves my percentage to a success rate of 88.8%.
This has been a worthwhile exercise and I’ve discovered that I need to do a few things differently.
1. Remember to look on this list frequently to keep track of records that I don’t have, or record them if I’ve located them by a different method.
2. I’ve found that it would be beneficial to record the relationship of who this person is to me, and the date of occurrence of the record I’m requesting. I am going to add those columns to my spreadsheet.
Do you have a list like this?
Are there records you can go back and check for again? Have you?
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
VITAL RECORDS - HOW TO REQUEST THEM & KEEP TRACK OF THOSE REQUESTS
BIRTH RECORDS WITH INCORRECT NAMES - What would you think?
MICHIGAN DEATH RECORDS ONLINE - Where can you find them?
Copyright © 2010-2015 Diane Gould Hall
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