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30 January 2009

Is Your Reasoning In Your Notes?

Did you do any thinking to reach that genealogical conclusion about a parentage or a date? Did you analyze several documents to reach a decision about what they meant? If so, is that chain of thought somewhere in your database? Human memories are particularly frail and writing it out somewhere increases the chance your logic and thought process gets preserved.

And remember that you could later realize you were wrong. It is hard to see an error in your line of thought if it was never written down anywhere.


  1. I do include my "chain of thought" notes in the notes section of my Reunion program; it makes for some "interesting" reading when the report is generated: "So-and-so may have been this person's son - no, wrong person; has a different father..." Sounds really ditsy, but at least it keeps me from repeating research and making the same mistakes.

  2. Another great tip! Yes, I've been in the moment of "what in the world was my thinking there?" and then had to go through the entire file to determine why on earth I thought what I did. Great tip and I'm with Greta - even if you sound a bit ditsy, at least someone can follow along with your thought process later. Thanks!