Category Archives: Goals
I met up with old friends Stephanie Pitcher Fishman, Jennifer Alford, Amy Johnson Crow and Shelley Bishop and met new friends Linda McCauley and Cheri Daniels. It was a fantastic experience! I’ll always remember my “first” major conference and the fun I had.
So what is my take away from this event? I learned so very much! Some classes opened my eyes to new research ideas and places to research. Even the lectures I took that covered topics I’m familiar with gave me new tips and ideas. I am always surprised how much easier it is to learn something new when it’s taught in a workshop with visuals. My only negative, if it can be called a negative, is that I learned so much! I didn’t know how I’d be able to retain it all! The excellent syllabus provided and my own notes will certainly help in that category.
A couple of months ago I asked the question: “How often would you like to see the blogs you read updated? Are you disappointed when it’s only once or twice a week?”
The topic generated several answers, some offline discussion and although not scientific, I thought the outcome interesting enough to share it with you.
Everyone that commented said they check several blogs a day and many more over a week’s time. This speaks to the quality of genealogy blogs on the web! There is a lot of educational and insightful writing being posted in the genealogy cyberworld. Readers are anxious to get it. The respondents generally agreed they found most blog posts come on Mondays and Wednesdays. A couple of replies suggested posting on other days of the week. By publishing new blog posts on days other than Monday and Wednesday the genealogy reading public would be able to enjoy fresh reading material throughout the week. Perhaps a good thought to keep in mind.
Yet the single most important idea I came away with
Now that I’m back in my regular routine I skipped through my notes to see what project I was working on. I have a desk top full of various size notes with all sorts of scribbles, but I’ll deal with that later. Right now I wanted to see what my latest, greatest idea was. It was to start a timeline on some ancestors. I wanted to put the really important events in their life together so I could study it and maybe come to some conclusions as to why they did just what they did! You may have read my post a couple of weeks ago on timelines here.
So I started out googling genealogy timelines for macs. My thought was to do a timeline with computer software so I could arrange, rearrange or add events. Neatness was a big consideration too!
It was a tough go looking for timeline templates. After looking at many, which were only for pc’s, and finding just one for my mac (@ $19.95 it was too much for this timeline novice) it occurred to me to check my own genealogy software. I know, I know. Why didn’t I do that first? Beats me! Some days I start at the end or even in the middle!
After opening my Reunion program and searching my online manual . . . Voila! There it is, the who’s and how’s of timelines. It took the afternoon to get the basics down but as you can see, ”Houston, we have a timeline!”
I choose my g-g-grandmother Rebecca Holmes Williams as my first timeline recipient. I feel such a closeness to her and wanted to understand her life a bit better. I wonder why a passel of this family moved from eastern Ohio to western Ohio during the Civil War. Why her husband, my g-g-grandfather didn’t serve in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the war and how she coped losing four sons as infants and toddlers. Rebecca did have three daughters live to be adults yet she buried two of them as well! My g-g-grandmother had to be quite a woman, tough as nails! I know this timeline will help me with all my questions.
I put the family’s vital information above the bar and the extenuating events of their life below it. The distinction between the two will help my see a correlation of events, I hope.
My next step is to do some hard-core research and reading. I need to find the history of Tuscarawas County, floods, droughts, fear of war spilling into their community. More info on the children and as I find something pertinent, add it to my timeline. Hopefully many “events” will also unlock answers!
So meet me back here two weeks from today. We’ll see how my project has progressed and if I’m any further in my research.
How about you? Have you started some timelines? Do you have any tips for me? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Hello fellow bloggers! Remember way back in January when Stephanie over at Corn and Cotton invited us to join her Motivation Monday group? Genea-bloggers were encouraged to outline their monthly goals the first Monday of each month and then take Fridays to update and share their accomplishments. It was the choice of each individual to update weekly or monthly. The purpose of the group still is to encourage each other as we pursue our goals and cheer accomplishments.
Guess what? I pretty much took February off. Now I got stuff done, but it was random. A hit or miss in getting research or organizing stuff done. You know what I mean? No real plan, so some stuff happened but a lot didn’t.
I can see flitting from one thing to another just isn’t going to work. So with some real thought and a true desire to accomplish things in my genealogy research – I have a plan! I work part-time, so I have the luxury of a couple of days a week where I should be compiling loads ancestor data. With my plan I will!
As hard as this is for me to admit, I accomplish so much more in the morning. I’d rather sleep in and roll out of bed about 9ish (wouldn’t we all?) but I’ve come to realize too, my most productive hours are in the a.m. Once 3pm rolls around I’m no good at concentrating, writing, etc. So those tasks that need me to “focus” need to be put in the morning hours and the “lighter thinking” jobs can be left for the afternoon.
*So starting this very morning I’m getting up at 5am daily. I will read/answer my email, exercise, get my bundle of joy off to school, play with twitter, eat, shower and start my workday by 8:30am.
*Then to my desk where I won’t check Facebook, but will do actual work. First putting together a research strategy for the day, that idea came from Tonia’s blog here. Then I’m thinking two hours research without self-induced interruptions. Real research! No sneak peeks of twitter or my email. Just work!
*Next a break for lunch, followed by education. I’ll put aside an hour to watch a webinar, read a couple of chapters in a book, etc.
*Finally before my bundle of joys arrives home from school, I’ll take a half-hour to organize the days research, putting papers away, clearing my desk and having a clean slate for my next off day.
I admit this schedule is just for two days a week but ohh how those days could be profitable if I only put my mind to it and stick to my plan. Wish me luck! I’m gonna need it! My next post will have this month’s specific research topics that will be worked on in the above time slots!
How about you? Do you have a schedule? Tell me how yours works and give me some tips. I’m all ears!
I thought I’d better take a look at my January genealogy goals. I’ve been working on stuff but I wanted to make sure I’m not wandering off too much. You know how that is . . . first you start on the laundry, find something in a pocket, put that item away and see a couple glasses that need to be in the dishwasher, empty dishwasher first and take out clean cake plate to put away in pantry, find a couple soiled dish towels in the pantry that should be put in laundry. Oh yeah, the laundry. You know what I’m sayin . . .
So with organization being close to the top of my list, I plan to take one of my surname binders each month and clean it out and update it. This month I’m choosing the surname – Van Meter. I chose that family because it fits with my second goal and it was a small binder!! This is finished!! Ta-Da!! I have cleaned out the duplicate papers, added a couple research notes, put the surname on the binder spine and added a couple pics! Very happy with the end result! I’m ready to refer to my compiled notes/binder without papers spilling all over the place. Hooray!!Next on my list is to research my first cousin 4x removed, James R Van Meter. James served in the Civil War and was barely 21 yrs old when he died. His parents had both passed away when he enlisted and without a wife and children, his story ends there. I want to change that. It will be hard to document a mere 21 yrs between 1843 and 1864 but I want to do the best I can to preserve James’ short time here. I’ve hit a brick wall here. The info I had on James was passed down through another family researcher several years ago. I believe the info is correct but I can’t document it in any way. I cannot verify James’ father or link him, Asa, as my g-g-g-g uncle. James is in one census (1860) but that’s it! Talk about NOT leaving a paper trail. My next step is to order his Compiled Military Service Record from NARA. I won’t get family info but who knows what other door may open. So my research on James continues. Blogging – I want to be consistent and improve. I may not be consistent – yet – but I’m working in that direction. I’ve launched two, new topics on my blog that require continued work. First is Civil War Saturday, which is a weekly blog post on researching a Civil War veteran. Second I’ve added a GraveYard Rabbit page to my blog, which will help me with my yearly goal to have photos of the headstones of my direct ancestors, taken, printed and in the appropriate binder as far back as possible.
My final goal for this month was to drag the scanner upstairs and hook it up to my laptop. I want to start scanning my black and white family snap shots. The scanner is upstairs and hooked to my laptop. I’ve scanned two, yes a measly, two photos. Maybe I could say I’m half-way on this one?
My thanks go to Stephanie over at Corn and Cotton. It was her idea to join forces with the rest of the gene-community to support each other and our goals. Looking over this list I’m pretty happy with it. A couple detours but I’m pretty much on track. How about you? How are your monthly/yearly goals going so far in this new year? Let me know in the comments! We can root each other on!