Thursday, January 8, 2015

How I Spent Week One of the Genealogy Do Over

As Week One comes to a close I feel I made some pretty good headway in plan and organization. The tasks for the week were:

  1. Setting previous research aside 
  2. Preparing to research 
  3. Establishing base practices and guidelines
I began the week by creating smaller "bites" of my maternal branch since this is the side that really needs a do over. For me it worked very well. I can now see what I need to do in a smaller, more contained unit. My main tree is still intact and set aside, mistakes and all, for the time being.

I spent the week deleting all undocumented 'ancestors'.  The ones I enthusiastically attached from other peoples Public Trees without a shred of documentation.  I then went through my grandmother's Big Box of Research. I sorted her written work into folders to look at later. In my tree program I made notes on the ancestors still remaining that the info was obtained from her work. I have not begun to verify this yet.

I have set up 2 notebooks (I still like to write things out), one for each parent of my mother's. I may add tabs to the sides to break down the surnames further. I plan to use these books to track my work. To document where I have looked, where I want to look, promising leads, dead ends, etc. To cite sources, no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time. (Who hasn't said "Oh! I'll remember that!"). And to take my time to examine every nook and cranny of a piece of information before I move on. It was my hasty excitement that got me into this mess in the first place!!

I think I'm ready. Bring on Week Two!


  1. My remembery has been broken since I contracted chronic (and permanent) pregnancy brain ... 20 something years ago ... so I totally get it. "A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind." Words to live by. (And post-it notes)

    Good work!

    1. Thanks Jenny! Yes, I can almost always find it if I write it down. If I store it in the computer somewhere all bets are off! (that is a challenge for another year)

  2. Oh Jenny! Chronic pregnancy brain! Can I borrow that one? Mine are 21, 16 and 16 and I am right there with you some days!

    Anne - great post! I was not sure I was even doing a Do Over until today so mine is short on meat this week and will most likely double up between this and next for the next week one. I love the notebook idea. I've used journals over the (30+) years but they always seem to end journaling everything! My desk is scattered with post it notes at the moment. Some are reminders and some are because I do not like to write on records or in books!

    Love the layout too of your blog. Definitely adding to my Blogs I Follow Page!

    Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman
    Genealogical Gems

    1. Thank you Jeanne! I'm glad to know there ares still some of us "Old Schoolers" who still like paper and pencil! (and Post-Its - got 'em all over my desk too!)