Sunday, April 11, 2010

Have Brick Wall Will Travel

When Lisa mentioned creating a "Research Notebook" in her Follow Friday post, I was very curious to learn more about it.  Hopefully she will share her experiences creating and using it!

I am not sure if you would call this a "Research Notebook", but what I have done with my most challenging brick wall, Emma Anna Murphy, is create a folder dedicated to her.

It includes:

  • Notes and my family tree on CD
  • Customer copies of Family History Library microfilm order forms, so I can keep track of what I've researched
  • A chart to help me organize the inconsistent information on the place(s) of birth of Emma and her parents
  • A "Character Sketch"
  • The location of Emma and Erastus Shaw's home in Middleborough, Massachusetts
  • A family group sheet
  • A research checklist
  • Each census in which I have found Emma Anna (Annie) (Murphy) (Reagan) Shaw (1900-1930)
  • Directory entries for Shaw, E. B., Mrs., both as a resident and business proprietor:

Most of the time, I bring my laptop with me when I am working on my research, but it is nice to be able to just grab this file and go!

Copyright (c) 2010 Wendy L. Hawksley


  1. This is neat - I keep something like this in a binder on my biggest brick wall, my great-grandmother Lizzie Smith Brinlee. It has every bit of information on her that I have, all the leads and clues, and even has separate pages dedicated to all the "candidate Smith families" (who are divided into four categories based on how well they "fit" as her family). Here's hoping our persistence pays off!

  2. wow, with the guidance of my more organized fellows, I might get my mass of stickies, backs of old envelopes, napkins and miscellaneous hodgepodge under control. Thanks for not only telling about it, but posting pictures.

    Although I do have to report, that once I figure out my brick walls, I then put all the information in my binders --- very nicely. Just a mess beforehand.

  3. Wendy, I am so impressed. Loved all your photos and how you explained everything. I'm kind of like Joan. You leave me speechless.

  4. Wendy:

    I LOVE it! The cover is beautiful, just like a scrapbook! I agree with Joan, by following these ideas I might just get my act together! I'm going to follow your lead and put one of these together for my brickwall -- my husband's grandfather, John Ellam.

  5. This is great! I am never anywhere near this organized!

  6. Wendy! What an awesome idea!!! I am totally stealing this idea from you and making me a couple for my brickwalls. THANK YOU for posting on this! :-)

  7. Apple directed me to this post and I'm so glad she did. What a great idea and method. I have folders, but not for specific brick wall individuals. I will give this a try.

  8. I certainly hope this is useful to you! :-D