The topic for the next Carnival of Genealogy, with entries due March 1, is gotta-have, can’t-do-without technology. Select one piece of hardware (besides your computer): For me, it would be my printer/scanner/copier. I bought it a couple of years ago at Best Buy for $100, and it has been a little workhorse, believe me! It is the gateway to the Internet Era of Genealogy! One piece of software (besides your internet browser): Paint Shop Pro 7 Anniversary Edition. When I download images or documents from the Web, they usually need to be resized or “trimmed” a bit to save hard drive space. Others may need to be enlarged to show details. Photos and documents that I scan and place in my database usually need a bit of adjustment, too. Dr. Kennedy’s NARA file needed quite a bit of work to get it ready to go to my footnote.com gallery. I also create some of my own graphics for my websites, such as those for this blog. Paint Shop Pro can do just about anything I ask of it! One web site/blog (besides your own) that is indispensable to you: That’s a toughy, as I have several favorites. Probably my top choice would be Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. Everything genealogy! ‘Nuff said!
I have been working diligently on the biography story page of Dr. Nathan Blunt Kennedy at footnote.com. I have been uploading documents in support of the story, and in doing so have reexamined many of those documents. And, I have discovered a few new clues along the way. It certainly pays to check out your “old” data periodically! His story is not yet finished, so I will still continue with this project until its completion. But, occasionally I have found that I need to stop my research, reevaluate where I am and what I want to accomplish, and get re-focused. It is very easy for me to get sidetracked. I need a “lesson plan” of sorts, a tool whereby I break down the overall goal of my research into smaller, more manageable sub-goals. The Plan:
Reexamine my Bluebonnet Country Genealogy FTM database. Start with my generation and work backwards, with each generation look at my direct line and see what data I have, what I need, what documentation that I already have that needs to be added to the database, and any other “spring cleaning” that needs to be done. For several of my ancestors I have a lot of data that needs to be documented and added to the database, the nitty-gritty stuff. With other ancestors, I have very little data. Those people need a lot more research to be done.
Start with the first “non-living” generation, which basically will be my grandparents, and begin the mountainous task of uploading important documents and images to my footnote.com gallery for safekeeping.
Add more story pages to footnote.com. I have several other ancestors in mind for this project: Crist Hayes Carrico and Miles Francis Stanley to begin with. Both led quite interesting lives that ended at opposite ends of the “lived-happily-ever-after” tale.
I have recently met many “cousins” online through this blog and my RootsWeb site. Their information needs to be added to the database, and I need to devise some type of system to keep up with my new “cousins”.
I also have a lot of info to add to my “known” family, such as the obituary from my uncle Ladd Clark from September 2007.
Last of all, but perhaps most important, I really need to learn to discipline myself concerning my research. It is so incredibly easy for me to get sidetracked and wander off, to lose the focus of my work. I can spend an entire morning (as I did yesterday!) on a side path, such as looking for a widget for this blog that displays birthday reminders for my ancestors. Ex: Feb 18th would have been my grandfather’s 98th birthday. I think it would be really neat to have a reminder of each person’s birthday, no matter how old they would be…as you can plainly see, I can wander off in a heartbeat!
Maybe also, just a bit of spring cleaning of my desk and physical genealogy filing system. It’s in pretty good shape, as I did a major clean-up, clean-out and reorganization last year. But a bit of tidying up might get me more into the solid researching mode.
Ok, now I have a plan! Next step: get started. But first, some housework…
I recently ordered a book from Amazon.com: “Bloody Banners and Barfoot Boys: A History of the 27th Alabama Infantry, CSA”. As my 2nd great-grandfather was a physician during the Civil War with this unit, I have been doing as much research as I can into the 27th Alabama. While Dr. Kennedy is not mentioned specifically in the book, I am still quite pleased with this find.
“Bloody Banners” details the history of the 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment, from its conception 24 December 1861 in Florence, Alabama, through three years of fighting and incredible hardships in 8 different states, until its surrender to Federal forces in North Carolina in April of 1865. Along the way, the 27th Alabama was involved in the Battles of Fort Donaldson in Febuary 1862, Kennesaw Mountain in June 1864, Atlanta in July 1864, Franklin, Tennessee in Novemeber 1864, and Bentonville, North Carolina in March 1865, as well as numerous smaller skirmishes. This book was based partly on the war diary of J. P. Cannon, a common foot soldier with the 27th. His diary gives minute details that might never be found in a history book. A retreat through Kentucky in October 1862: “as our three days’ rations consisted of five biscuits and a small piece of bacon…”
A fascinating read that certainly gives context to this period of my ancestor’s life.