This is a follow-up to a previous question Finding online parish records for churches in Werdau, Saxony, Germany. One of the answers said that a search of the town's records yield better results. At least one of the collections listed in that answer is available only at the Family History Library; the others (if available) would have to be ordered and sent to my local FHC.
Before I do so, I would like to work up a research plan (see Are there checklists or templates made for visiting the Family History Library in Salt Lake City?), so I can stay organized while I search these records.
For example -- for the town I'm interested in, the Family History Library Catalog has the following entries:
- The Melderegister 1875–1917 or Resident population register consists of 21 separate films, many of which are in the vault, so if I were to take a trip to the FHL, they would have to be ordered in advance.
- Heimatsangelegenheiten, Ausländerausweisung, Ehen im Ausland, etc. 1835-1937 has 12 rolls
- The Bürgerbücher, Steuerregister, Arbeiter, etc. 1664-1938 are a bit more manageable (four rolls).
- Heimatscheine Werdau und Umgebung : 1835-1875 (Index to certificates of origin for Werdau and vicinity, including name, birth date, place of origin, date moved, occupation, etc.) is on CD-ROM and can be used at the FHL in Salt Lake City.
From J. Mark Lowe's webinar “Ready-Set-Plan! Developing a One-Step Research Plan,” I understand the basic process of breaking down the research process into individual questions and steps. Lowe's goal is to have a set of tasks so specified that you can hand them off to a helper to execute (not unlike writing a good question for G&FH.SE).
What I'm struggling with is the problem of how I can make a checklist for myself when I haven't seen the records yet, and don't have a list of what information is likely to be found in them. I can make up a list of people's names I want to look for in the database, and a list of surname variants, but each new discovery will generate more To Dos.
What is a good strategy for working through a set of microfilms like this? How do you make an exhaustive search and minimize the chance you will need to re-order the same film again and again?
The entry for Werdau in the online Meyers Gazeteer is: Werdau 2) Werdau, Zwickau, Zwickau, Sachsen. I also need to look for records held in the other jurisdictions.
Update to address a point made in the comments: I have taken (and recommend) the classes given by webinars from the Family History Library's International Team on reading Old German Script. Recordings of those classes are available in the Learning Center.