Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Catching Up With The Genealogy Do- Over Challenge

   The Genealogy Do- Over challenge by Thomas MacEntee is nearing the end of week two. Since I was out of town for most of week 1, I am running a little behind.
   I have spent the last few days reading Do- Over posts and ideas on line and on the Genealogy Do- Over Face Book page. There have been some wonderful examples of organization,forms and ideas on how to start over or make- over your research.
  A genealogy make- over is what I am aiming for in the next few weeks. 

Week 1 Topics:
  •  Setting Previous Research Aside
    My decision is to take one family at time and review all my files and information as if I was looking at each person for the first time. I am not going to start a new data base simply because I have so many people in mine and do not want to have to add everyone again. The goal will be to check every piece of information in my data base, files and notebooks. To make sure I have analyzed and cited each document, correctly named all files and fixed any mistakes in my Legacy Family Tree data base.

  • Preparing to Research
  Having Research Plans and Logs in place beforehand is the key to successful research. Looking at all the ideas available, I have decided to tweak and use forms that I can add and maintain on Evernote.  

  • Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines
 Over the years, I have tried to stick to a routine but as with all things, I wasn't always consistent. This week I have taken a step back and looked at my work flow. Ideas from others have helped me to restructure the way I will be doing things. From researching, enter data , downloading and scanning pictures and documents as well as keeping those research forms updated, I have put together a work flow that I feel will work better for me.  Writing down the new work flow plan and referring to it daily until it is a habit is the goal.
   The other important focus will be making sure I follow the principles of the Genealogical Proof Standard. Whether I am doing personal research or for someone else, I want my work to be the best it can be.

Week 2 Topics:
  •   Setting Research Goals
     Making a commitment to use a Research Plan and Log is my biggest goal. I have used them fairly consistently when on a research trip to an archives or library, but I admit that I haven't been as good at using them when doing on line research. I have been guilty of searching the same data base a time or two because I didn't write down where ,when and what I was looking for. 
  • Conducting Self Interview
    My information data page on Legacy is blank except for birth and marriage dates. Adding more biographical information for future generations will be something that I will be working on. Using the events and notes sections I will enter important highlights of my life and things that I want future generations to know.

  • Conducting Family Interviews
     I am grateful to have tape recorded interviews of both of my Grandmothers before they died. I have also recorded interviews of both of my parents. And where are these interviews? Still on the recording devices that I used.  Both Grandmother's interviews have been transferred from cassette tape to audio files on my computer but I want to transcribe them as well as the ones from my parents. For Christmas I received the Dragon Speech Recognition program. My goal is to use this to transcribe all my family interviews.  
    There are others that I need to interview as well. My brother, Aunts and Uncles and Cousins can share their family memories to add to the story.
   There are many interview question ideas that can be found on line. Here is an example from The Armchair Genealogist.  

    With these ideas from the last two weeks, I am well on my way to  a genealogy make-over!
    Are you taking the Genealogy Do-Over Challenge? Share your ideas! I would love to hear them. 

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people!
Thanks so much for stopping by.



  1. Excellent job addressing the topics in the first two weeks Cheri! Using that research log when doing online research (as opposed to archive or library research) has always been something I struggle with as well. Good to know I'm not alone.

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has recordings that are just sitting there, needing to be transcribed. Not sure when I'll find the time to actually DO it, but it's on my list. (Also the need to focus on faithful usage of research plans/logs). Looking forward to more updates! Keep up the good work, Cheri!

    1. I am so hoping that I can get better organized and get more done in a more efficient way! Glad to know we all struggle with it! Thanks so much for your great ideas. They have helped me come up with my plan! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and commenting!