How to Write A Whakapapa Research Plan

Once you have all of the basics for a person it then becomes a matter of working out how to find the information that is missing.  This is why it is best to have an individual research plan, else you may find that you miss looking for something, or a couple of years later you look in the same place for the same information and get the same result. It also helps you to focus your research, instead of looking for lots of different information about many people and missing finding all you want to.

Set A Goal
Firstly you need to set a research goal. This could be anything you want to know, for example, when someone was born, where they worked, where they died. If you download the Whakapapa Club Individual Research Plan, you will see that you can have two research goals per individual sheet.  If you are going to do do that, make sure that the  goals are related.

You want to find out when someone died and where they were buried
Put both these goals on the same sheet

You want to find out where someone was born and how many children they have
Put each goal on a different sheet

The reason why you set up the individual research plans like this is so that you can group the plans together even if they are for different people. This way, if you have more than one person that you want to find where they were buried, you can put all of those sheets together when you start to follow the plan.

Working Out a Plan – Where to Look
Now look at the Research Goal you have written and  think about where to look for the information you are looking for.  If they are alive, you could ask them, or if they are no longer here do they have any children that you could ask?  This is your best place to start if there are people alive that you could ask. If there are 2 people you could talk to, write each name on a separate line.

Here are some ideas “Where to Look” for common queries

Births Deaths and Marriages
Church Registers
Maori Land Court Minutes

Working Out a Plan – Location
Once you have an idea of where to look, work out the location. For example, the Urupa may be out of town, but you could check your local library for church registers.  Again, having separate plans means that if you visit the local library you just have to take those sheets with you that have a library location

If you are using our Whakapapa Club Individual Research Plan, in the heading Where to Look, jot down different places you can try an each line, as well as the location. Do not fill in the Date until the day you look, and in the Results column, put the results of your search.

Recording the Results
Once you have your plan worked out you can organise visits to the places that you have listed under location. As you visit each location, make a note of the date on that line and in the Results column make a note of your results. This could be the answer to your research question, or a notes that are not related, or other references or ideas.  If you have not found what you  are looking for, you can always add more ideas under the research goal.