I have been participating in Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over. Basically, we, a large group of genealogists, feel that we may not have researched and saved our genealogy the way we should have. This do-over gives us the opportunity to start over and do it right this time!
I neglected to blog the first four weeks of the do-over, so I will tell you a bit about what I did those weeks:
- I have put aside all of my research. I haven’t thrown anything away, it’s just boxed up and set aside.
- I pulled out all items that fall into one of the following categories: Interviews of people who have passed on, documents and information received while on a research trip and any documents that I have that would cost money to replace. That last one is only if I had already cited my source. That’s important and was a difficult one for me. I found a number of documents unsourced, so I set them aside.
- I decided on a new genealogy program. I am now using Legacy Family Tree Software. So far it’s going well.
- I learned how to use Evernote for genealogy and now have it open all the time.
- I have never been one for spreadsheets, but Thomas has turned me around. I now use spreadsheets for my research log, to-do list and more!
- I conducted a self-interview and am still working on it. There is so much a person can add to their own *story*.
- I have many interviews of family members and others who have sense passed on. I’ve also interviewed others in my family.
- I have sent out forms to family members and am still waiting for most to be returned. :-\
- I have begun researching and now use a research log every single time I research anyone.
- I am working on a project management system.
- I track all searches. Yeah, I know…it seems a little crazy to track every single search, every time I change a search term, but trust me, it has already helped me! I now have a spreadsheet (yay me!) in which I track every search, at every site (off and on-line) and every search term I use there. In my research log I even have a link to the actual search. Now I can go back and see that search and look for any changes or additions.
This is the week we are in right now. I have just begun to work on this, so I’m sure I’ll have progress reports later.
- Build a research toolbox. Thomas says he believes every genealogist should have their own genealogy toolbox, whether it be a website, blog, spreadsheet or whatever form it takes. I couldn’t agree more and I don’t know why I never though of pulling everything together like this. I am currently working on putting my toolbox together right here at Genlady, so stay tuned!
- Citing Sources – this is a big one. I am all for citing sources, I understand the importance…but getting the citation correct is another story. Thank goodness for Evidence Explained: Citing history Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. I can’t recommend this book enough. If you only buy one book to aid you in your research, let it be this one, by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
If you would like to join us (it’s never too late!) hop on over to Thomas’ site Genealogy Do-Over.
Have a wonderful week!