I have the feeling that I am achieving very little with my family history at the moment, and I am not really sure why. It could be because a large part of my time is spent looking for work, but I think there is another reason.
I am feeling rather unorganised at the moment. I don’t seem to have a clear idea of what I want to do with my genealogy, well that is not exactly true, I know what I want to achieve and know what I need to do to achieve it. The problem seems to be knowing where to start first.
It seems that everything I do creates more and more potential work for me, I knew a detailed look at the 1911 census would raise more questions, but the recently arrived birth, marriage and death certificates have also provided more questions than answers.
This week I need to sit down and get myself organised. I need to decide what are my main priorities and what I need to do to get as many loose ends tied up as possible, even if that just means recording what I want to do next and creating a big to do list.
- I need to try and stop researching for a week and just focus on what I already have.
- Create a simple to-do list and record everything I need or want to do for all my ancestors who are currently shouting for my attention.
- Start working on my digital files, making sure everything is organised and entered into my Family Historian software.
- Decide what my priorities are for my research and make sure nothing else is going to get in my way from achieving them.
Unless anyone releases any new databases online I should be able to avoid the distractions this week. The only other thing that might get in the way is a copy of the will of Mercy TROWER, that might arrive this week.
Time to rejoice and celebrate! My stuff to sort folder has finally been sorted. Hurrah!
This mean that all my notes are now on computer in one form or another and subsequently being backed up.
Also all my original documents, such as birth, marriage and death certificates, which I am not throwing away have been scanned and are being safely backed up to.
It was back on the August 2009 that I first decided that I needed to get my filing sorted out. Nearly four months later I have finished sorting the paper side of things.
Now I need to start on my hard drive. A directory of folders on my hard drive is nowhere near as daunting as a physical folder of paper, and to be honest there is no rush to my digital folders organised.
They are not going to get lost or destroyed (famous last words) and they are not going to get in the way because they don’t take up too much space.
There are however two things I would like to do now in terms of organising:
- I need to come up with some standardisation for my file and folder names, and stick to it.
- Go through my Reference Material folder and see if there is anything I actually need to keep in there. I suspect not.
Not much actual research done last week, but I did clear a lot from my stuff to sort folder by scanning pages rather than actually going through them and deciding what to do with them. I didn’t get a lot done on the presentation of my chart for my Christmas Tree Project, so that will be carried over to this coming week as well.
- Priority is to get as much research done as possible on my Christmas Tree Project, mostly in East Sussex and Kent, just filling in missing details for my ancestors.
- Prepare for a trip to the London Family History Centre. This Saturday will be my last chance to get up there before Christmas and whilst I don’t particularly relish the idea of head up to London a couple of weeks before Christmas I need to make the most of the opportunity.
- Work on the presentation of my chart. Create the headshot photos and work on the text scheme for the ancestor boxes.
- Get rid of my stuff to sort folder. I think this week I will actually be able to finish sorting out my paperwork. I have only a few pages left, and most of that is scanning, so I think I will have it finished this week.
- I should get a birth certificate this week for one of the younger children of Thomas and Rebecca BATEMAN (my 4x great-grandparents). This should give me Rebecca’s maiden name which I think is TOWNSEND, but need to be sure.
Apart from family history I need to start thinking seriously about Christmas, I might start writing cards this week, which if I do will be a record for me, usually it is a lot later than this (just in time for the last posting date).
I made a big dent in my filing today, my stuff to sort folder is looking a lot thinner tonight. I have to confess though, I cheated.
I took advantage of the scanner at work, and whizzed through forty or fifty A4 pages of notes and various other prints. The beauty of this scanner (actually it is a photocopier, scanner, fax and printer) is that it is quick, has a document feeder and best of all converts the images into a PDF file. The drawback is that it is not a very high resolution and only scans in black and white, but it is good enough for handwriting or print.
So now I have a stuff to sort folder on my PC as well, but it will be much easier to work through on the PC, and takes up less space than the paper folder.
I think I am going to make an effort to get the physical folder emptied by the end of the week. There is not a lot left, and I need to get it out of the way so that I have space to put my new PC on the desk, plus I am sure you are sick to death of hearing about my stuff to sort folder.
As I haven’t got much family history done this week I have decided that today is going to be a genealogy day. I have a couple of other jobs to do about the house, but apart from that I am going to get on with my Christmas Tree Project and a bit of filing.
It feels so good to be sitting down in front of my computer and to be able to devote a serious amount of time to family history.
It feels so self-indulgent. No travelling, no Christmas shopping, just genealogy and perhaps a few blog posts. Bliss!