Westward Into Nebraska 32:1 (August 2007) has an article called, “The Best Darn Genealogy Data Mining and Storage Method on the Planet.” The basic idea is that of Robert Ragan, who runs the AmberSkyline.com website. His idea: if you’ve got a word processor with a “Find” function on your computer, plus access to the Internet, you’re in business. What do you do? Simple- first make a “Surnames” folder in your “My Documents” area. Then create one file in “Surnames” for each of the major surnames you research- but keep it simple, since you’ll actually want as few surname files as possible.
What next? Go to a search engine and type in “Smith genealogy”- assuming Smith is the surname of interest (and use the quotes). Then, start checking sites and cut and paste pages of interest into your Smith file. Don’t forget to cut and paste the URL for that site immediately after that material in your file- you’ll probably also want to add the date that site was consulted. Do this again and again, since this file can continue to grow as long as your computer has unused memory available. Two hundred pages? No problem! One thousand pages? No problem! Copyright issues? None- this is your work file, strictly for research purposes and only available on your home computer!
How do you find stuff you’ve cut and pasted into this gi-normous file? With “Find”, of course. It’s under “Edit” in your top menu in WORD. How fast is “Find”? Really fast! Now, all the material you find in this way won’t pertain to your Smiths, of course- but some will. And the part that does pertain will always be easy to find!
Westward Into Nebraska is the very fine publication of the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society.