Notes from the past…

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"How I spent my summer vacation"


“What I Took Away From the 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games

In what ways did my participation in these Games benefit my genealogy research?

To begin with, this was a lot of fun and a great way to inject something new into a long, hot Texas summer. In the past, my research has tended to slack off dramatically in the summertime, as it’s just too hot to do anything! Summer is simply my least favorite time of the year, and that attitude affects just about everything I do. But for the past 17 days (and then some!), I have stayed focused on genealogy.

I have also developed some new habits that hopefully will continue, mainly organizing and backing up my data.

A Flickr Pro account has been available to me at no charge through my AT&T Yahoo DSL service, and I didn’t even realize it until the Games began. (Hint: If you have AT&T Yahoo DSL in your area, you might wanna check it out. I signed up online and pay only $10/mo for DSL!) Now Flickr is a major part of my database and provides a safe, off-site location for my valuable data!

Picasa has also become a valuable tool to edit, describe and tag my images.

Procrastination aside, I finally made it to an office supply store for archival-quality storage medium and watertight containers and have begun to use them.

My organization system, both virtual and real-time, didn’t need to be changed (although I did dress it up a bit :) ), but it is always good to examine alternatives.

In general, the Games has caused my to re-think my entire approach to family history research.

When I first began the hunt, I grabbed every name that I found online and tossed it into my database. But later on, I realized that I have to do it correctly, which means D-O-C-U-M-E-N-T-A-T-I-O-N! If a name doesn’t have real sources (census, BMD, cemetery, etc), that name generally won’t be found in my database.

My post-Games approach now focuses on sources and documentation, organizing and backing up, (of course!) but also:

  • Participating in the genealogical community
  • Sharing what I have

Genealogy is all about family. And family is all about caring and sharing.

I am happy to be a part of this family!

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The Games are over…

…so it’s back to research!

I’ve returned to my Appling’s of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. This morning I found the Civil War Service Records (Confederate) for 4 of William Appling‘s sons at I normally wouldn’t be researching this far laterally from my direct line, but I simply can’t resist anything Civil War! Most of these are the original documents, created from 1861-1865. They are simply fascinating! Maybe someday, I’ll focus my research on my Civil War soldier ancestors…

I also just uploaded all of the Appling documents to my Flickr Photostream, 83 images total. That “Comprehensive Back-up Plan for My Digital Research Files” in action!

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My 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games Final Stats

I’m posting this a day early, so that I don’t forget. Too much other stuff going on right now! :(

(For event details, see my iCompete! site)

  • Event #2, Back Up Your Data!- All 5 tasks completed…PLATINUM MEDAL!
  • Event # 3, Organize Your Research!- Tasks B, D, E completed…GOLD MEDAL!

This has been a lot of fun and a lot of work! But I’m gonna try to keep in shape in the off-season…