Tag Archives: database

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 5)

31 Jan

Last week was again spent sorting through more digital files, it seems to be taking a lot longer than I had originally anticipated.

All the information from my last visit to the West Sussex Record Office is now on spreadsheets, and most of it is entered onto my database, I just have the Framfield burials to enter into Family Historian, but that is going to be a major job so I haven’t started on that.

Working through my hard drive is taking a long time, mainly because I keep getting side-tracked into other areas I wasn’t planning to. I have been working on this for several weeks know and am still only on the As and Bs in my surname list.

I have started digging a bit deeper on the BATEMAN surname, hopefully in preparation for a visit to Gloucestershire Record Office to fill in some gaps, I will probably spend some more time on the BATEMANs this week

So this week will be much the same as last week, no substantial new research, just working with what I already have.

  • Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames.
  • Create a research plan for Mercy TROWER. Consisting of a summary of what I already know, decide what I want to find out and what steps I need to take to achieve it.
  • As it is a new month tomorrow I shall probably order another set of birth, marriage and death certificates, so I need to decide which individuals I want to find out more about.
  • Continue work on the BATEMAN family, trying to identify what happened to the siblings of Henry BATEMAN my 2x great-grandfather, from Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 4)

24 Jan

Last week was spent engaged in sorting and organising digital files, and I must admit it has been quite rewarding. I did say I wasn’t going to do any new research, but of course that was impossible for me to achieve.

I have found the process of going through my files very helpful, I have so much information that I haven’t added to my database, some recent (like the 1911 census) and some which had been languishing on my hard drive for months.

As I entered the data it was hard not to try and fill in more details, so some more online searching was done (more 1911 census and recent GRO BMD indexes). Anything that couldn’t be answered quickly was put in a text file, which is quickly growing into a basic to-do list.

This week will probably be much the same as last week, no substantial new research, just working with what I already have.

  • Add all the information that I acquired at the West Sussex Record Office on Saturday to my spreadsheet and database.
  • Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames.
  • Create a research plan for Mercy TROWER. Consisting of a summary of what I already know, decide what I want to find out and what steps I need to take to achieve it.

2010 to do list – create a proper to-do list

30 Dec

Between now and the new year I will be writing about some of the things I want to achieve with my family history in 2010.

I have attempted in the past to create an all encompassing to-do list, most of these attempts have either been far too simplistic or far too complicated.

The simple ones don’t hold enough detail, so for example they don’t make it easy for me to find all the things I have to find at a particular archive. The complex ones just take too long to update, so they generally don’t get updated often enough. What I need is something that is going to capture everything, quickly and easily.

I did have the idea of borrowing some ideas from David Allen’s Getting Things Done, where I would set a goal for each individual in my database, and deciding what the next step would be on the road to achieving that, and where I would need to be to carry out that step.

I thought this may be too complicated to track, but I did wonder if I might actually be able to create custom tags in my database which would hold the information within Family Historian itself. With a few reports I might be able to create a report of what to do at various archives or for a specific family name. It may however be simpler to keep this data in a separate spreadsheet, which could be filtered in many different ways.

At the moment I have gone back to a simple text file to capture everything (rather than risk losing the thing I have to do), which is much more portable than a spreadsheet or database, but not so easy to search. It is clearly something I am going to have to think about carefully before implementing any major changes.

2010 to do list – spring clean my database

28 Dec

Between now and the new year I will be writing about some of the things I want to achieve with my family history in 2010.

I did go through my database (Family Historian) earlier this year and clear up some loose ends, but as a result of the rush to get my family tree chart printed I have messed things up again.

It is not really messed up, just that I have a lot of loose ends that need further research which I didn’t have time to do.

Wives with no maiden names: Currently there are 21 women whose maiden names I do not know. A fair few of these are my 5x great-grandmothers, so it would be really good to find them. Along the same lines I also have a husband with no first name.

Orphans: I have a number of individuals and families who are not connected to the rest of my family tree, or rather where the connection is not known. These are mostly grandchildren of one of my ancestors, but the parents of the child is not known. There are a couple of families that are almost certainly related, they come from the same village and have the same surname as my ancestors, but again their exact connection is not known.

Missing parents: I have several individuals where the identity of one of the parents is not known. In many cases this is due to illegitimacy, and the identity may never be known, but in some cases it is just because one or other of the parents died early and doesn’t appear on a census return.

Living individuals: Now would be a good time to run through my database and make sure that all my ancestors and relations that are living are flagged as such, so their data is not shared.

Sanity checks: It would also be a good time to perform some sanity checks on my data, such as: age at marriage, age at death, duplicate children of the same name, correct gender based on first name. Of course there will be anomalies in the data, but once highlighted they can be checked on an individual basis.

Birth and death dates: As if that is not enough to keep me busy for the whole of 2010, I would also like to make sure everyone in my database has a birth date (estimated if needed) and any individual that is not marked as living should have a death date (again estimated if needed).

United Kingdom & Ireland Historical Postcards on Ancestry.co.uk at last

8 Dec

According to Ancestry’s Genealogy Databases Posted or Updated Recently page, the United Kingdom & Ireland Historical Postcards were added to the site on the 30th October 2009. However today is the first day that I have been able to get any search results.

I have been trying on and off since the beginning of November, searching for the keyword London, which I was sure would get some hits, and finally today it did. I can only assume there was some sort of technical glitch that was stopping them being available sooner, as I don’t think there has been an official announcement yet.

Once I knew there was something there I switched to searching for places in Sussex, there are quite a few images of Brighton and Worthing, but I was unable to find any smaller places, although I am sure there probably are a few more rural locations.

The image quality of the cards I have looked at seems very good, and the backs of the cards have also been included (which are sometimes more interesting than the picture on the  front).

As a postcard collector I would have to say that it is not quite the same as holding the original postcard in your hand, although I will certainly be exploring this database further.

This database was part of the Ancestry World Archives Project which is rapidly expanding the available databases on the site, through the hard work of volunteer transcribers.

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