Monday, January 12, 2015

Here we are already in week 2 of this Do-Over process.  Much has been accomplished, and my soul-searching for organizational solutions has paid off….  I think…. We’ll see…. It’s not pretty yet, but I’m feeling more in control. If you are interested in the progress made this week, it's at the end of this post.

What have I learned?  Why is it important to be doing this?
  1. Since my primary motivation is to leave some sort of "product" for my children and my cousins and their families, I want the information to be accurate and I want to have easy-to-find documentation to support that information.  I want to share stories that "put flesh on the bones" of our ancestors.  I also want to document my own life so that my children will know me in the "first person". There are best ways to do all of these things.
  2. An organization and file-naming system that someone else can make sense of is critical if I want to have any hope that my work will be kept into the next generation. 
  3. I really love thinking about, talking about, and solving problems related to my family's genealogy. The Facebook Genealogy Do-Over group is inspiring, raises my level of enthusiasm, and provides a community for doing all of the above. A community of like-minded people makes the journey even more fun.
  4. Backup! Backup! Backup!
  5. Entering data ONCE, CORRECTLY is preferable to doing things over and over again, losing files, finding the same resource over and over, and otherwise being inefficient in my research.
  6. Using some of the new tools, like Evidentia,  will help improve the quality of my analysis and help provide good leads to further research.
Now for the progress report:

  • ·         I talked my sister Nancy into joining the group and working on the Do-Over with me.  Since we share the genealogy folder on Dropbox, and I was messing with our files and our old filing system, I was glad to get her to join me on this quest.  With two heads together, we’ve made some decisions about filing and naming conventions.  Nancy will start a new tree on Legacy and I’ll work on our joint tree.  We’ve each picked someone to research when the time comes and we’ve each gathered what we know right now and any documents we might have that would be important.
  • ·         I’ve consolidated all the genealogy files into Dropbox’s
    holding file for the time being.
      I had thought I was being careful to use only Dropbox for our storage, but I found files in several unexpected places. Winnowing out the duplicates has started and will have to continue as we go through this process.
  • ·        
    I’ve improved my use of Evernote, thanks to ThomasMacEntee’s Hack Genealogy course on Evernote Basics.  That prompted a cleanout, tagging and file renaming of Evernote.  I’ve decided to use Evernote for resources, but not for genealogy records because I want to keep all these in one location and Dropbox is that location for multiple reasons.
  • ·         My AHA! for this week came as a result of purchasing Thomas MacEntee’s Hack Genealogy course called “Get Your GenealogyGroove Back”.  Besides showing how he uses his Genealogy Research Log Excel spreadsheet, he shared his Project Management Excel spreadsheet. I’ve put that into practice now and I’m losing that panicked feeling I had because I’m doing genealogy instead of my other projects. At least now I know what I'm NOT getting done.....
  • ·         I’m working on the week 2 assignments which make me chuckle each time I work on them.  Mr. MacEntee exhorts us to “start with yourself”.  I suppose it’s about time.  I’ve spent many years chasing ancestors and bemoaning the fact that there aren’t stories, diaries, letters or other documents to “put flesh on their bones”.  But I’ve never written down my own memoir.  As I’ve started, the words just come pouring out and I’ve been surprised that, in the context of capturing the places and events of my youth, addresses, names and details jump onto the page.  If someone had asked me about these, I never could have pulled them from my head. 
  • ·         Besides writing, I’m starting family group sheets for myself and my parents.  I can’t go back any farther since I don’t know dates by heart for any others.  These sheets will provide the fodder for setting my RESEARCH GOALS.
  • ·         We’ve been discussing interviews and have been tasked to interview family members.  We have only one parent left (my husband’s mother) and I have a Sullivan uncle and aunt.  Other than that the generation before us is gone.  So I need to make plans to interview these three.  But in the meantime, I’ve left a post on our cousins Facebook page suggesting some form of shared memories activity. Perhaps an old photo, perhaps an interview prompt.   We’ll see what response I get.    

Back to work!      


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