It’s May 1 and Month 5 topics for the Genealogy Do-Over have just been posted. Oh no! I am only about halfway through Month 2! However, I did work ahead. This is where my pessimism—the glass half-empty rather than half full—kicks in. I feel so overwhelmed! Stop! Take a deep breath! Slow down!
Get out my Genealogy Do-Over notebook. Check goals. Were the goals realistic? Too many goals? Think positive – what have I done since January? List goals that have been met:
- Color coded paper files. Identified color scheme for direct lines, collateral families, and possibly related families. Placed documents for direct lines in appropriate color files according to plan. (month 1 goal – completed month 4)
- Reviewed documents for 60+ families, 14-18 families for each set of parents. Filled in research checklists & biographical outlines for direct ancestors and their spouses. Completed family group sheets for many siblings of direct ancestors. (see #1).
- Identified, in writing, research practices to be improved. (month 1)
- Created folders for myself, husband and each parent. Located & filed BMD certificates. (month 2)
- Created family group sheets for my brother & sister, husband’s sister, our parents. (months 2 & 3)
Insight – creating group sheets for self, siblings & parents. This seems like such a ‘I should have had a V-8’ moment! I have documents. I enter information in my RootsMagic program on a regular basis. But, the documents were not well organized. And, sources? Inconsistent.
- Adopted research log format (focus of Month 4). Started 11 research logs. This topic is subject of a later blog post.
- Bought items to help with organization, note taking and source citation. (months 1, 2, 4, 5).
- Ordered selected documents based on review (see #2). Priority: 1 generation at a time!
- Maternal grandmother – birth, death, marriage. Birth certificate received on 14 April 2017. See Month 2, Part 1 for details.
- Maternal grandfather – birth certificate already in file. Ordered death certificate.
- Obtained BMD certificates for husband’s grandparents in 2013 during genealogy field trip to Texas.
- Started a blog (suggested month 1; done month 4).
To be done:
- Fill in research log for self, husband, parents, parents-in-law. If time permits, research logs for grandparents (if needed, defer to next month).
- Set up notebooks for originals of documents. Includes dividers.
- Scan documents sent by 2nd cousin. Place originals in notebook.
- Order vital records, as needed & available, for grandparents & great-grandparents.
- Conduct interviews: self, husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister (from Month 3).
- Identify specific proof points needing source for grandparents. Create master list for quick reference. When done, do same for great-grandparents.
Ongoing goals/ non priority items:
- Place documents for collateral families and possibly related families in appropriate color files. Include family group sheet, research checklist, individual worksheet and biographical outline. Start with brother-in-law, then nephew.
- Digital files: Rename media using standardized format. Link media to events and facts.
- Digital files: Cite sources using standard, accepted format. Focus for Month 5.
Now that it’s all on paper, I can see progress! This brings me back to my reason for participating in the Genealogy Do-Over program. Slow down! Take your time! Change what hasn’t worked! Learn something new!
 Elizabeth Shown Mills. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Third editon. (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2015).
 Kerry Scott. How to use Evernote for Genealogy (Cincinnati, OH: Family Tree Books, 2015).
 Family Tree Magazine. Essential Family Tree Forms Library CD (New York City: F & W Media, 2014).