|Credit for image: Chinie|
at Fab After Forty
The second goal is prepare to research. What he meant by this was to think about how I researched in the past. Well I would just research any chance I got, after work, the wee hours of the morning, all day on the weekends. He also suggested to make a list it items that I must have available to aid me in me in researching successfully.
The third goal for the first week is to establish base practices and guidelines. He stressed that we spend time going over how we researched in the past, what was and wasn't successful. The come up with step-by-step practices and guidelines on how we will conduct our research from here on out. This includes file naming practices, where/how we are going to store our documents, how we are going to retrieve and analyze the information that is gleamed from these documents, what software we are going to use to build our tree and document all the information on our ancestors. It's a lot to think about. This last goal is probably, at least for me, the one that is going to require the most thought.
Setting Aside Previous Research
After reading the handout for Week 1, I didn't think the first goal would be a hard one to do, nor did I think it would take very long, it was still found it a bit daunting. I mean, putting aside, and ignoring for now, all the previous information I had found on my ancestors. I was wondering how was I going to be able to ignore it, knowing it was in a drawer next to me. I'm the type of person that, in certain circumstances, when someone tells me not to do something, I want to do it anyways.
I had a decision to make. It's like when you want to go swimming in a cold lake. You either walk slowly in to the water, shivering all the way, thinking this is crazy and head back to dry land. Or you can take off running into the water, and just dive in...completely submerging yourself. I decided to just dive in and completely submerge myself in doing a complete make-over of how I conduct my family research.
I took a deep breath and got down to business. The first thing I did was to take all of my spiral notebooks and loose papers and put them in a drawer. I figured out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Well see how that works. One think checked off my To Do List.
Next up was my electronic files. I have everything in a folder labeled Genealogy. In that folder is everything related to my research. I moved this folder into another called Genealogy Do-Over Hold File, and made a new genealogy folder called Genealogy 2015. Within this new genealogy folder, I set up the following subfolders: !Family Tree Maker, !Group Files, Forms, Subfolder Master File, Surnames, and Techniques and Tools. I'll get into these folders in another post.
Now that my electronic and paper files were taken care of, next up was the two databases that I use. I use Family Tree Maker 2014 as my database, and I'm not changing it. I like the software and am quite comfortable with it. I know I'm not using it to it's fullest capabilities, but as I continue on this genealogy journey, I plan on learning about all that it can do. I'm also not deleting my original tree. It is synced with my online tree, and it has a lot of information in it that I can use as clues when I start my research up again. Instead, I started a brand new tree called LusbySporie Family Tree - 2015. I started with myself, then added my parents and both sets of my grandparents.
Next up was my Evidentia database. I kept my previous database and started a new one called Lusby_Sporie 2015. I've had the software for a while now, but I only started to seriously use it when I attempted my own version of a Genealogy Do-Over a few months ago with no success. So it was no hardship to start over with a fresh one since I didn't have a lot of data entered yet.
After that I cleaned out EverNote. I started to use this as a catch-all for my genealogy and to track my research. But no matter what I tried, it just wouldn't work the way my brain does. So instead, I use to to collect various things that I read on genealogy that I think could be helpful in the future. Especially when I'm at work on my tablet. I can clip it to EverNote and follow-up on it once I'm home. For this first step, I went though all the notebooks and notes and decided what to save and what to trash. Got rid of the notebooks and old tagging system. The notes I did keep, I retagged with a new system I set up.
The last thing I did was close all my OneNote Notebooks and moved them over to Genealogy Do-Over Hold File. I really like this software and it works well with my thought processes. I set up a new Notebook with the Master Notebook Pages that will be used, and also set up a new notebook for the first person I will research once I get all my ducks in a row. I plan on using OneNote as my research log.
Well, that is where I am at the moment. My next post will be about preparing to start my research. That will get more into my folder structure and how I plan to use EverNote, OneNote, and Family Tree Maker 2014. This will go in tandem with setting up my base practices and guidelines.
Now it's back to work, catch you all on the flip side.