Thursday, June 1, 2017

Where Did Month Five Go?

Unless you are looking for me in posts within the Facebook group, you have heard nothing from me in May. And, other than those posts, I have done nothing with the Do-Over/Go-Over in that month.


And — I'm so happy; I'm so proud of what DID happen in May.

If you are following this journey, you know that early this year I realized that I must clean house and have my genealogy materials ready for my heirs (my two older children) in order that they have reasonable records and documentation whenever they take over the genealogy job.

So I set out to choose a second database to accompany my original one and I set about to organize my data, organize my sources and my source citations, and also generally clean up my electronic organization of all this work.

Absolutely NO research is happening right now. Also no deep analysis of what I have already achieved. Just making sure that whatever information I have on "person (Dollarhide number 72.0)" is easily available. And that whatever known holes in that data are clearly documented also.

In general, I have gathered my information generation by generation (i.e, me and my siblings; spouse(s) and siblings; parents and siblings; and so on). But for this organization I am concentrating on the direct lines for me and for both spouses. (All are in one tree.) This gives a clear framework to which I will add the collateral lines.

Since I had never used my second database before this year, it began with just 3 people; my 10-year-companion database has over 3500. Although I could look up dates of documents to find out, I don't think anyone cares (especially me) so I don't know how many people were in the new database on May first, but it wasn't very many. At least 30 of those 64 people were added in May, and I believe that it was more likely 40 of them.

I have found my method (which is no longer being reworked from scratch — even though there are refinements). I have found intuitive-to-me ways to handle data (such as census reports and marriage dates) that belong to both partners in a marriage, so that I don't need to consult the source materials twice for each person. In the process I am revisiting FamilySearch, Ancestry, and so on to fill in missing source documentation and I am also eliminating source documentation that has been found and stored on more that one occasion in the past. Each of those 64 people have clean records, with source documents noted, and citations and storage locations attached to each person. Each of those 64 people has a person sheet (individual summary) generated from each database and filed in the appropriate files. I have proof-read and edited these individual summaries. Neither report exists with the original wording (I have always done this), and both reports are almost identical in the way the same facts are reported.

I am so thrilled! This is a happy dance nearly as joyful as breaking down a brick wall.

I  haven't examined what the June goals are (although I have printed them out and added them to my notebook); but I expect that I will put those goals on hold until all members in the direct lines have reached the place where I add the notation that this is the earliest ancestor I have researched.

Then I will return to my generation, and add all the collateral generations. I expect that somewhere in that process, where my information is thin on the ground, I will feel ready to resume my active research (I'm full of ideas and to-do notes for that, but organization is the main goal and research is currently a rabbit hole full of BSOs). I don't know how fast the work on the direct line will be (naturally, most of the 3500+ people are collaterals), but as long as I can move this efficiently, I am a very happy genealogist.

Today, "Frustrated Sue" aka the "Frustrated Genealogist" is considerably less frustrated than she has been!