the 2015 educational initiative at GeneaBloggers – where you do get to go home again . . .
and start over with your genealogy research.
But first… WHERE HAVE I BEEN and what have I been doing…?
I have been monitoring the Genealogy Do-Over topics, week by week, though not always completing each week’s assignment.
In a nutshell (large nutshell!), this is where I am:
Setting Previous Research Aside Preparing to Research Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines Setting Research Goals Conducting Self Interview Conducting Family Interviews(I finally interviewed my Dad and Aunt Kathy, with some interesting findings…*) Tracking Research Conducting Research Managing Projects and Tasks Tracking Searches Building a Research Toolbox Citing Sources Evaluating Evidence Reviewing Online Education Options Reviewing Genealogy Database Software Digitizing Photos and Documents(I’m now saving scanned photos and documents in .tff format, at 600 dpi. My scanner will do OCR, barely (plain, simple text), but I have also used Free Online OCR, seems to work better. Or, there’s always Transcript.) Conducting Collateral Research(As my Dad and my Aunt Kathy are the only survivors of that generation, I have been talking to them about some of my Mom’s history.)
- Reviewing Offline Education Options (On the back-burner for now. I work 6 days/week, so I’m happy with webinars and other online education options. :) )
- Conducting Cluster Research- (I haven’t really gotten to that point in my do-over yet. I’ve completed the “preliminary” (will it ever be “final”?) research on me, my parents, one deceased brother and a deceased teenage cousin, so I actually have a lot of info with no major mysteries to solve.)
Organizing Research Materials – Documents and Photos
- Reviewing DNA Testing Options (This is one area of genealogy that I freely admit that I know nothing of. Not. Any. Thing. I need to do some serious studying on this subject!)
Organizing Research Materials-Digital(While I scan as much as possible and upload those images to OneDrive and save other copies of the originals to an external hard, I also take extra-good care of any original photos and documents that I have. I place all in archive-quality, acid-free storage. Hopefully, they will survive as long as possible. I adapted Diana Ritchie’s naming scheme earlier in this project and it is working quite well. And as for metadata, what a great idea to “hide” the source citation within the metadata! It would never have occurred to me…)
So this is my research/documentation “method of madness” today:
- I started with myself, then moved to both parents. Here I halted my backward progress and picked up some deceased family members from recent years (my brother and my cousin.) I still have an another cousin who died last year to research, then I move on to my grandparents. Right or wrong, I’m focusing on deceased ancestors at this time, with the exception of my Dad. I guess I’ll research my surviving sibling and other living cousins when the time comes…
- I return to the scene of the crime, my old genealogy database folders, and copy/rename all relevant photos and documents to my new database folders
- I also go through my genealogy filing cabinet, evaluate what I have for the person being researched and then move the relevant items to a new file folder. The new folders then go together into a separate drawer of the filing cabinet
- I then enter and create citations in my RootsMagic database for each fact supported by these “old” images
- When that has been completed, I begin a new internet search to find any more relevant data
- When I feel like I have found all I can online from home, I make a trip my local library to check Ancestry.com
- Finally, after I have completed “reasonably exhaustive search” for online data, I return to my current RootsMagic database, analyze what I have and don’t have, and then add to my shopping list for my next trip to the downtown Fort Worth library, which has a great genealogy department. Or start sending emails and letters, depending on what I still need.
- A couple of local places that I’ve never visited are the local Family History Library and the Fort Worth branch of the National Archives. I know, pretty sad. Just gotta make the time and go!
So that’s where I’m at with the 2015 Genealogy Do-Over project. Getting there, getting there…
* I’ve been doing genealogy since 2003 and just found out some basic yet important facts about my parents. But that will be for a later post… ;)