I don’t know how it happened. Yesterday I barely touched my family history and this evening I haven’t even opened my copy of Family Historian or my family history folders.
Am I suffering from genealogy burn out?
Last night I found myself idly flicking through my files, clicking on individuals in Family Historian, almost at random. I could see plenty of work to be done, and I did add a few details, but I just couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm to actually do any serious work. Even the GEERING family have lost their appeal.
Tonight was even worse, I didn’t even make the effort to do any research. Now I am starting to feel guilty, perhaps I should stay up late and force myself to do some research or some organising, but it is getting late and I should be going to bed.
It wasn’t that there was anything else that was more interesting to divert my attention today (it’s only an election after all!). I did listen to an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4, Between Ourselves which was about the life and work of two Coroners, which in a way was family history related, although in a modern context.
I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t do some research tomorrow, so I think I will have to chain myself to the computer and force myself to climb back up my tree and start swinging through the branches until someone catches my eye. Hang on, I think I can hear my ancestors calling now…
I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that I have been finding it harder and harder to blog. It is not that I don’t have the time, it is just that the ideas don’t seem to come so easy and writing posts is more of an effort.
Perhaps after six months of daily posting the novelty and excitement of being a genealogy blogger is wearing off, or maybe it is just fatigue. However, it struck me today that there could be another reason. It occurred to me that this blogging “slump” has coincided with my switch from mainly researching to mainly organising.
Theoretically I can see that my creativity might be greater whilst I am actually researching and my brain is firing on all cylinders, rather than during the mundane tasks of sorting, scanning and filing, but could this actually be the reason?
I think I need to hurry up and get this filing sorted out, just in case my brain seizes up altogether!
Organising fatigue is starting to set in, I feel I have made great progress in sorting out my folders, but I need a break and want to get back to some proper research this weekend.
Sorting out my paper files hasn’t been without it’s problems, although on the whole it has been a lot easier than I expected. One problem occurred when I wanted to save a page from a website as a pdf so that I could throw out the paper copy. I checked the website, but it had changed, the information I wanted was no longer there, and the URL I had wasn’t working either. So for now it looks like I shall have the keep the paper copy. A perfect example of the fact that the internet doesn’t stay the same. I haven’t tried the Wayback Machine to see if there is a copy of the site still there.
I have just one big folder to go, and it is the biggest folder, the TROWER surname folder. After that I just have to sort through the odds and ends that I have lying around and the papers I have put to one side so that I can devote more time to them.
I have been looking at my family tree deciding what to do next. At first I was looking at Family Historian and the women who appeared at the top of the list of names because they have no surname (I have eleven of them at the moment), I really ought to find the maiden names for these women, especially as some of them are direct ancestors.
Then I sorted the records window by the date updated column, and scrolled to the bottom of the list where I would find those individuals who I hadn’t worked on for a long time. The earliest one was Herbert SEYMOUR, husband of my 2x great aunt Edith Ellen TROWER. I hadn’t done any work on him since the 14th October 2006. It is definitely time I added so more information on him, as I have very little on there at the moment.
There are three other individuals that I haven’t worked on since 2006, and a lot from the beginning of 2007 (mostly recent MITCHELL relations such as great aunts and uncles). So there is plenty of scope for research there, especially when you consider how much has changed online since the end of 2006.
Whatever I chose to research over the weekend you can be sure I won’t be printing off any more paper if I can help it!
I haven’t spent all day working on my family tree but it certainly feels like it. I also did some housework and went walking for a couple of hours, but I am definitely suffering from family history fatigue now.
I have added most of my 3x great grandparents to my family tree now. I am missing just two now (the parents of Emily GREEN) and I still have two 3x great grandmothers whose maiden names I cannot find. So I think I have done pretty well.
I am calling it a night now, I feel physically and mentally drained, and hopefully tomorrow a refreshed pair of eyes will be able to see something I have missed today.
Although I have added the names, there is still a lot more detail to be added, most of the information has come from census returns and the GRO indexes, but for example I haven’t got death dates for most of the individuals and not all the census entries had been added.
So I still have much more work to do before I have a tree fit for printing, but at least I have made a good start. My 4x great grandparents now number 20 out of 64, so still a long way to go there. In total today (and last night) I have added 59 individuals, no wonder I am feeling exhausted!