Friday, January 16, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 2: Final Assessement of Our Tasks for Week Two:

Task One: I have transcribed my Self-Interview in a word-processor document stored in my computer with my Genealogy Do-Over “homework.” (I have also given a copy of this to my husband and asked him to provide a similar set of information for his life.)

Task Two: I have begun to do similar narratives for my mother’s families and my father’s families. This will take longer to complete than the Self-Interview did; I now have enough of this entered into the computer to work with the upcoming homework during the remaining weeks of Genealogy Do-Over. I will continue to work on this document until I have recorded these memories.

(I also have two related tasks not directly related to our “homework assignments” but to skills I feel sure are necessary to me in order to become efficient in working in genealogy — more of a “real genealogist”: I need to become more skillful in my use of Evernote and I need to become more skillful in my use of Evidentia. From the discussions within the Facebook group many of my fellow Do-Over comrades relate to these needs.)

So this is where I am as we approach the beginning of Week Three, with the exception of the final task for Week Two

Task Three: Research Goals:
I’m not sure I can stay in step with Thomas here. (But one of the GREAT things about Genealogy Do-Over is that we’re encouraged to shape our plans to fit our personal traits!)

My revised and evolving narrative Research Logs appear to be tied into a research plan and research goals which are to developed, followed, and evaluated for each individual I enter into my tree. I think these need to be tied to a still-to-be-developed To-Do list (perhaps in a database?) If I keep the To-Do list, the tree in my software, and the research logs together while I work, my specific goals should become more systematic and my research should stay organized. As I pursue my research, I will continue to mine sources I have found in my last seven years of research, evaluating them, evaluating the areas that lack data, and preparing proof statements. Proof statements are a level of research that I hanen’t yet reached.

I DO have a general plan as to how I will “climb”my tree: Starting with myself in the initial position, I will research, verify and “prove" the sources and data for me, my first husband, and my current husband. For each person in this generation (my generation) I will include available information on the siblings, spouses, and children of each basic individual. I will be very thorough about the three main people — the starting persons of three separate lines. For the siblings, children, and spouses I will be less exhaustive in my searches but I plan to gather enough information to fill in a reasonable family history for each line in my tree.

When this generation is “finished" to my satisfaction, I will proceed to the next older generation. I’ll treat this next generation the same way: exhaustive research on the direct-line parents and spouses, less thorough but still reasonably complete research on the siblings, spouses, and children. A genealogy chart (tree) gets larger with each generation. In order to keep track of my generations, and to be sure I am adhering to the direct line, I will follow the Dollarhide numbers which I have already assigned to the people in my tree.

In my system, I am Dollarhide 5.0, so my father is 10.0 and my mother is 11.0. My current husband is Dollahide 4.0, his father is 8.0 and his mother is 9.0 and my first husband is Dollarhide 6.0, his father is 12.0 and is mother is 13.0. (Yes, in the direct line, Dollarhide and Ahnentafel numbers are the same.) The exhaustive research is done for the people with the Dollarhide/Ahnentafel numbers. In each generation there are related numbers to indicate the generation and the relationship of an individual to the individuals of the direct line; individuals with these related numbers will be given the thorough, but less exhaustive research I have described for my generation.

In following this pattern, I plan to "ignore" any descendants of the people in that generation, except for a simple listing of their names and birth and death dates as available. This leaves pointers to the “shiny objets” but keeps me focused on the direct line.

The siblings, children, spouses, and in-laws of each generation are some of the “friends, associates, and neighbors”of that generation. They can help widen the search when your studies are blocked.

If you are working with co-operative trees online, these people help you determine if the connection between your tree and another tree is a viable connection. If the R. P. Jones suggested for your tree has children very different from the names in your tree, he probably isn’t "your" R. P. Jones.

And, finally, those names will answer every new-comer’s question, “What will I do when I finish my genealogy?“ OK! —you experienced genalogists, when you have finished laughing! — THESE names are the bright, shiny objects that keep luring us away from our objectives. By listing them this way, we will never lose sight of them but we can push them aside while we follow our main trail.

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