Friday, February 19, 2016

Genealogy Do-Over 2016: The Go-Over

Last year I jumped in with both feet and fully embraced the Do-Over. I signed up, and showed up on Day One, bright-eyed and eager to fix the big gaping mess I had created in my race to "win" genealogy. I started off strong and made some good headway.

I also did a great deal of weeping and a fair amount of gnashing of teeth.

I finally hoisted the white flag of surrender somewhere around Cycle 3 - Week 7. Each round of the Do-Over got me further along, but there was so much everyday life minutiae getting in my way that I just gave up. The pace was too frantic, my life too hectic.

I dabbled, secretly, in the Cave when time permitted. I lurked in the shadows of the Facebook Do-Over Group. I followed a few BSO's down their rabbit holes. I realized that I HATE spreadsheets .... and that's OK. The one I created will most assuredly go unused, collecting cyber-dust. I love my notebooks and more importantly I will USE my notebooks.

Along about mid December I made a bold decision to "rip the band-aid off" and just prune the living bejezus out of the wildly out of control tree I had been avoiding since around 2009. The decision probably was made post Wine O'Clock, like most good brash decisions, but I ran with it - fueled by the claret courage of Merlot.

Do not be alarmed!!

I made a full backup copy first. (I hadn't that much "courage")

Once I got started - man did it feel good! I felt like a ninja assassin, hunting down unattached names and family groups that had no business in my tree to begin with. I went "hunting" nightly for almost 5 weeks (yes, it was that out of control - and truth be told I felt a little like Katniss). I trimmed that tree down to a third of it's original size! I came out the other side with a thing of beauty. Much like pruning a rose bush to encourage growth, just like I did to my ancient lilac bush last year.

I bought the Genealogy Do-Over Workbook in preparation of jumping in again in 2016, and actually finishing this time! As I began to skim the contents I was delighted to read of the Go-Over. Yes! The Go-Over! Brilliant - exactly what I needed. Now that my tree is slim and my sources good my next course of action is a good going over.


Month One is nearly finished up. My files got organized last year and the documents I have been downloading as I pruned are almost all categorized and labeled. I still need to make a 'research areas and improvements' list, but I have a fairly good handle on things.

All in all I am feeling pretty darn confident that I will see this through to the conclusion this time around.

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