Grandmother’s dish towels

Do you remember your grandmother’s dish towels?  The ones with the ‘to-do list’ for the housewife?

Wash on Monday IMG_9024

Iron on Tuesday

Mend on Wednesday

Clean on Thursday

Shop on Friday  IMG_9026

Bake on Saturday

Rest on Sunday

One Monday,  I printed our paternal grandparents’ family group sheet for my brother.  He has limited internet access and wanted print copies of group sheets for grandparents and each of their children.   I printed family group sheets for two of my dad’s five siblings, and group sheets for their children.  I was about one-third of the way done with the project.   The project includes multiple tasks associated with the Genealogy Do-Over ,  specifically tracking and conducting research (Month 4) , citing sources (month 5), and evaluating evidence (Month 6).   Minimal tracking, inconsistent citation of sources, token notes  to locate source records and nominal documentation of my thought processes are among the things that I am trying to improve.

I went to bed about midnight.  As I dozed off to sleep,  I thought about those dish towels.  How does this apply to my work week as a genealogist?  Well, here is a version to ponder.

Monday:  Wash.  Pick one  item (or a basketful) from your family tree.  Look at the facts and sources.  Fill in research log.

Tuesday:   Iron.  Iron out the wrinkles.  What information is inconsistent?  What information is consistent?  Identify the holes and gaps.  Complete research log, including appropriate citations.   Create to-do list.

Wednesday:  Mend.  Search for information to fill in gaps and close holes.  Check analysis again and revise as needed.  Trace the threads of indirect evidence.

Thursday:  Clean.  Clean digital and paper files.  Discard extra copies of documents.  Review documents and analysis again.  What did you miss?  What still needs to be done?

Friday:  Shop.   Shop for items/  information.  Use a new  source.

Saturday:  Bake.  Put item in your mental oven and bake slowly for 24 hours.  Test for doneness at regular intervals.  Remove and set out to cool.

Sunday:  Rest.   Allow item to rest for an indefinite period of time.  Pick up another item and set plan for next week.   Question:  Do genealogists ever really rest???

Did I follow that plan?  Well, sort of. . .

Monday:   Citations in genealogy software program need washing.  Washed and dried 2 loads – for Grandpa (John Ray Posten) & Grandma  (Jennie Amelia Richards) Posten.  Sorted citations for  their 6 children, one of whom is my dad.   Used  templates in program and Evidence Explained book.

Tuesday:  Continuation of Monday.  Added information from LaCoe family history [1] (privately published 2010) about Grandpa & Grandma Posten’s grandchildren.    Individual worksheets  completed  for each of dad’s siblings but not for each of their spouses – filling these in as I go.  Started research logs for each of dad’s 5 siblings.

Wednesday:  Answered emails from DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) prospective members – 1st draft of one application sent to prospective member.   Continuation of Monday and Tuesday for Posten family group sheet project.   Found digital copies of death certificates for dad’s brothers;  digital and paper copies placed in appropriate files;  citations added to  genealogy software program.

Thursday:  Continuation of Monday and Tuesday for Posten family group sheet project.   Followed one BSO – George G. Posten, son of James D. Posten and Meriam Mills and great-grandparents of Grandpa [John Ray] Posten).   Volunteer work at local library.   Checked cloud storage—discovered that files must be saved to the cloud program first, then can be synced to personal computer.  I was hoping  to leave files on personal computer and only use cloud storage as backup.  To-do:  Continue to explore how to use cloud storage programs effectively.

Friday:  Continuation of Monday and Tuesday for Posten family group sheet project.    Where did I put obituary of Joe Carpenter (grandson of  Grandpa  Posten’s sister and  an avid genealogist)?  OK,  his obituary isn’t really relevant for the current project but will be for the next one.    Scanned, filed, and created citations for 4 documents received from another cousin.  Original copies of documents placed in newly created ‘Posten BMD Certificates & Pictures’ notebook.   Office supply store for ink.

Saturday:   Continuation of Monday and Tuesday for Posten family  group sheet project. Followed one BSO – 1st husband  (William Allen) of dad’s sister, Grace; his grandfather was born in Scotland and his grandmother was born in England.  Started research log with complete citations and links; downloaded and copied documents for files.   Bought 3 reams of paper at a garage sale.

Sunday:  Continuation of same.  Estimated time of completion—next week??

[1] Susan A. LaCoe,  Lenay LaCoe Blackwell, and Velma Sue Miller, compilers/ updaters, Commemorative Record of LaCoe Family: Containing Biographical Sketches and Genealogy. Illustrated. 1750-2010, Martha L. LaCoe, compiler of first edition, edition 2010 (Pennsylvania: Privately published, 2010), pp. 45-51.

reflection-swirl-green-color-hi

Analysis of experience:  Who knew that printing family group sheets for 3 generations of a family would take so long?  I thought that I could do this in one, maybe two, afternoons.  I have now spent 20+ hours on this project – not counting the BSO times!  Correcting and verifying citations in genealogy software  program is taking up most of the time.  Doing this now will save time later when I revise the Posten history written in 2012.

Addendum (one week later):  Family group sheets for Grandpa & Grandma Posten,  their 6 children, and multiple grandchildren are printed and ready for mailing to my brother.   Items for 2 people still need to be entered on research logs.  The act of writing down or typing a complete citation for each item forces me to slow down and think about the document – what does the document really say about this person? How does this help my research?  What is next step?   I am proud of myself for not  following several BSOs for distant relatives, such as mother-in-law of 2nd cousin.  For the next generation (my great- grandparents and their children), I want to continue researching  one generation back about spouses of  my great-aunts and uncles.  Files on great-grandparents are complete but files on their children are not.   For now, continue to focus on Posten family.

 

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