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Challenging times: Processing Framfield burial records

16 Apr

Last week’s challenge was quite helpful in giving my family history a little bit of focus. The danger however is that I am going to get carried away with doing new exciting stuff, and ignore what I am really ought to be doing.

So this week I am going to attempt to process all the Framfield burial records that I gathered at the East Sussex Record Office last month. I have two pages of burials transcribed from the Framfield burial registers, totalling around forty entries in total.

These are from the period 1890 to 1983 and mainly cover the Hemsley family, but there are also a few Drivers, a couple of Trowers, and a handful of others including one Gasson (probably very distantly related).

The “processing” is in parts, firstly copying these entries on to my parish register transcription spreadsheet, so that I can get rid of the paper copy. The second part is taking each entry and entering it in my family tree if possible.

This second part is likely to be the time-consuming part as I know that some of these people won’t be in my family tree and it will be tempting to try to add them in just so that I can “use” the information I have. I am going to try to avoid adding any new people as much as possible, that is a task for another day.

I have already decided that a future job will be to go through my transcription and make sure I can distinguish which entries have been used, then some when down the line I can work on those that haven’t been used.

There is a third part, which is not quite so onerous, that is to make sure I update my to-do list by removing any of the burial records that I have found from the list and noting those that I wasn’t able to find.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Sunday 15th April 2012

15 Apr

There were really only two things that I worked on this week, completing the challenge that I set myself last week and working on processing all the information that I collected last month at the East Sussex Record Office. I didn’t specifically do anything about updating my to-do list or on Finding Minnie.

East Sussex Record Office information

I did a little work on some Brighton marriages that I collected at East Sussex Record Office, but got side-tracked with one of the Trower marriages. Unfortunately the groom Abraham Trower wasn’t in my family tree, so I decided that I ought to add him, but that meant I also had to add his father as well (and his many siblings) and this took much longer than I had intended, in fact I still haven’t finished this.

This Brighton branch of the Trower family is something I have neglected, although in typical fashion I do have some more information already but haven’t added it my database yet. I think this is an important branch of the family and although I am not quite in the position to start a one-name study I do think that I need to put in some more work on this branch.

Challenging times: Updating facts without sources

I am pleased to say that I have successfully completed the challenge I set myself on Monday to make sure that all the facts in my database have at least one source attached (several have more than one). I am glad I that I have got that out of the way, although to be honest it wasn’t really that difficult, but it did involve actually making decisions on how I was going to record things, something that I have put off for too long.

Part of this involved re-visiting some of my US relatives and assessing what further work I need to do. What I really need to do at this stage is work through all the information that I have gathered over the years and make sure it is all recorded in my database. I have gathered lots of bits of information over the years (like census images and newspaper extracts) but have not actually done anything with them yet.

Future Challenges

Re-visiting some random parts of my family tree has given me many ideas for things that still need to be done. I am conscious that I am not getting out to record offices often enough, but I don’t feel quite so bad now because I realise that there is still much to be done with the information I already have and that I still have a lot of information that I haven’t processed yet.

So I think any futures challenges need to be related to processing what I already have, there is much to do in that respect on so many parts of my family tree, but really it ought to initially be focused on Patrick Vaughan and Finding Minnie but I think I need to go through all my files and folders and making sure everything is up to date.

I probably need to make sure I have my to-do list updated as well because I know the process of going through my files will generate new to-do items and I need a solid foundation on which to build upon.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Challenging times: Updating facts without sources

9 Apr

On top of everything else I ought to be doing with my family history this week I have decided to set myself a new challenge.

A couple of months ago I used a query on Family Historian which shows all the facts in my database without sources, this brought up a list of entries, around 25 in number, which I didn’t think was too bad for a database of 1700+ individuals. In the intervening weeks I have nibbled away at the list so that yesterday the list was down to twenty.

Yesterday evening I decided it was time to tackle the remaining twenty entries, so this week I am going to attempt to clear the list. Last night I cleared another five entries so it is now down to fifteen.

Most of these entries on the list shouldn’t cause too much of a problem (I could probably do it in an evening), most of them are where I have either got carried away and forgotten to add a source or I have merely added a temporary fact, such as a birth year and place from the census, with the intention of putting in a more detailed entry later but never got round to it.

There are a few foreign entries which need a bit more thinking about because I lack the experience of citing those sources, however I never said that the source citations had to be perfect, just functional.

Hopefully by this time next week I will have this little list cleared and if it proves to be a helpful motivational exercise I might see if I can find a similar challenge for next week.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Saturday 7th April 2012

7 Apr

I really need to find a more catchy name for these regular posts…

To be honest I haven’t done a great deal of family history this week, the main reason was because I spent some time planning a short-break (with a family history connection) for later in the year, on top of that the family history that I did do was not really what I had planned either.

As unlikely as it may seem the 1940 US census has also provided another distraction, not the actual census itself mind you, but the free 1940s-era collection on Ancestry.co.uk (750 million records from 139 different collections free until 11.59 BST on the 10th April 2012).

I am sure I am not alone in having the odd relative here and there that ended up in the US, in my case there are two that stand out, the Allcorns and the Eades (both connected through my Trower ancestors). So I took the opportunity to capture a few more images and bits of data, and will try to gather a few more bits and pieces before the offer runs out.

I already have a fair bit of data on these two families sitting in folders on my hard drive (some of this dating back to November 2007), but I haven’t really done anything about processing the information. I must get this information sorted and add some items to my to-do list for when opportunities like this spring up.

Talking of my to-do list, I haven’t really done any work on updating it this week, but I have done a little bit more work on processing the data from my visit to the East Sussex Record Office, but still have much to do on that front.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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So, what is wrong with my to-do list?

26 Mar

I’ve shown you a section of my to-do list, I told you how it should work, and now it is time to explain why it doesn’t work.

When I was preparing to visit the East Sussex Record Office last week I realised that my to-do list wasn’t doing its job properly. I identified several issues with it that concerned me.

  1. Not enough information – some entries lacked the background information needed to complete them
  2. New items not added – I was surprised to find there was nothing about Finding Minnie on my to-do list
  3. Completed items not removed – As I went through the list I could see several items that had already been completed
  4. Entries with no “where” indication – Many entries on the list had no indication of where they were to be completed
  5. No record of partially completed tasks – Some entires had no indication of which sources I have searched

In short my to-do list was incomplete and of course there is only one person to blame. Me.

I really need to take better care of my to-do list if it is going to actually help me do my family history. I suppose it has been too easy to just add things onto the list without really thinking about what I actually need to do to complete them.

I have tried to keep my to-do list as simple as possible, so that it doesn’t take up too much time. There is no point in having a to-do list that takes more time maintain than it does to actually carry out the tasks upon it. Perhaps it is still not simple enough, but I can’t see how I can make it much simpler.

Perhaps it is becoming too big. Perhaps I need to split it into smaller more manageable chunks, but that does defeat the object of having everything in one place where I can easily lay my hands on it.

For now the format of my to-do list is not going to change, however I am going to have to re-visit each and every entry and make sure that it is still needed and that it has all the information that is needed to carry it out.

In the future I promise I will do my best to look after my to-do list better, to nurture it, to feed it with all the information it needs and hopefully not let it get out of hand.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
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