So there I was at the start of what is an on-going amazing adventure, I had joined ANESFHS and I had received copies of my niece's research. As each of us stores their research in different ways, my first job was to take what Jacqui had sent me and change it into a format I was happy with and to start creating a basic tree to allow the volunteers to help me.
On my next trip to the research centre I duly produced my handwritten basic tree and research started in earnest. First I was given a guided tour of the centre and shown how to use the various resources. As the basic tree already led back to pre 1855, I was taught how to use the IGI to find out if somebody exists, the MicroFiche machine to look up the OPR indices and finally the MicroFilm reader to view the actual Parish Records. I didn't actually find anybody new at that time but I was shown the records for some of my family events.
I was introduced to the computer resources and such delights as Ancestry.com, Scotland's People and the collections of data about the north East of Scotland created by the Society and unique to them. Unfortunately for me my family comes from outwith the North East of Scotland so these items are of no use to me - or are they!
Here's my starting point Parental Tree Maternal Tree
These are the basic trees I made up from the information I got from my niece. Of course there were also other siblings of the various families that don't show up on a simple tree and I therefore had the names and some data on 140 odd relations.
The next stage was to start adding to this information. But where to start? The first thing I realised was that I was going to have a lot of information to organise so being a computer geek, I naturally looked around for a software program to help me in my task. Looking around there are many different programs so a great deal of experimentation took place. Finally I decided that there is no one program that fitted my requirements and I now use several different programs to achieve what I want. After that build up I'm not going to recommend what software you should buy as it's very much a personal choice but to help you have a look at Cindi's List.
The main thing is to get organised, after all why are you doing this, I know it's fun but bear a couple things in mind, first if you want help you need to be able to clearly explain and illustrate what you have already got and what you want to achieve and secondly when you are gone, can somebody else make sense of your data.
Anyway, having decided how I was going to store my data it was time to get started in earnest.