I am continuing my quest to get organized. I have gone through some documentation I found on the Internet in reference to the Modrell Family and created Family Group Sheets for everyone. I also have a copy of the Scott/Mayes book that descendants have compiled. The only issue with both sets of information, is that I don't know where the documentation came from since most of the information provided does not contain sources for the information. I will be compiling those Family Group Sheets for the Scott/Mayes families as well. Once finished, I will be able to find holes in the information I have from both sides of my family and continue my search to find the necessary documents that back up the information provided, and will then be able to provide sourced and documented evidence since much the information is from unknown (to me) sources.
Family Group Sheets help me to see the big picture since the parents and children are listed as well as birth, marriage and death dates, and room for place information on each event and a 2nd page for miscellaneous notes (such as Census information, all source documentation for information provided on 1st page, name of hospital/nursing home for birth or death information, etc). Family Group Sheets are truly a great source of information. If you have any missing areas, you see at a glance which documents you need to find to complete the information for each family group. There should be a sheet for each person as both a child and parent (if they are a parent) or spouse or partner (if living with another individual). The form I have is in a Word Document so I can change form fields if needed when I have a "Partner" situation instead of "Husband/Wife" or "Spouse/Spouse" for same sex marriages instead of "Husband/Wife". It can be customized for whatever situation I come across.
I have saved the form I use to Google Docs and by clicking this link you can see the form I am speaking of. I can't remember where I got this form, but I found it somewhere on the Internet. There are a lot of forms out there and you can google Family Group Sheet and add Word Document or Excel Document for those forms that are fillable on the computer. Ancestry.com and Family Tree Magazine also have many free documents which can be downloaded and used by anyone.
Another set of very helpful forms that can be found on the Internet are the Census Forms that date back to the first census in 1790 with readable column headings so you know what information was asked. When I provide census images and information on my blog, I will provide the information for each column, but that information won't mean anything if you don't know what the headings are (which reflect back to the questions asked by the census taker).
I also need to put tab dividers in my binder to divide each family surname in an effort to make it easier to place information I find. Then, I will need to create a Table Of Contents for each section so I don't duplicate the documentation I have (which has happened many times before with my complete and total disorganization). The key will be to remember to update the Table Of Contents when I find new documentation to add to a specific person or family.
I will be back to providing family information in blog posts shortly. Thank you for being patient during my respite from "searching for ancestors"!