I have been taking a bit of a break from Finding Minnie and Patrick Vaughan whilst I get a bit of family history housekeeping done. Now it is the turn of Patrick Vaughan to be on the receiving end of that housekeeping.
If I am ever going to move forward with my research on Patrick and Kate Vaughan then I really need to get all the material that I already have into some sort of order.
I have gathered quite a lot of information from Ireland, Scotland and Canada like passenger lists, census returns, marriages and baptisms, but I haven’t actually input them into my family tree yet.
This week I am going to concentrate on Patrick Vaughan get everything sorted and updated. That means:
- Setting up dedicated sub-folders for digital image downloads
- Making sure all the digital images are correctly named and in the correct sub-folders
- Making sure all the information is entered into my family tree
As well as needing to make sure I have solid foundations to move forward I also want to be able to tell the story of Patrick’s life before he married my 2x great-aunt, hopefully system generated reports will provide the framework for this.
This week I am going to set myself the goal of updating my to-do list. I have written about the short-comings of my to-do list and what I would like to do with it, but never actually got around to doing anything about it.
So what do I actually want to do to the list this week?
- Make sure there is nothing on the list that has already been done
- Make sure there are no duplicates on the list
- Make sure everything on the list is still relevant and needed
- Make sure everything has some indication of where it is to be carried out
- Make sure everything has enough detail to enable it to be carried out
Then if I have time I would like to start working through and seeing if there are any that I can quickly complete, there is a lot of stuff that needs an archive, but some material may well be online since I originally added them to the list.
I don’t really want to be adding any more items to my list just yet (there are already 165 items on the list) but I suspect one or two more will be added along the way and some existing entries may well need to expanded.
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.
Last year wasn’t particularly ground breaking in terms of my family history. It is hard to bring to mind any major discoveries, I’m sure there were a few mysteries solved and gaps filled in but nothing memorable stands out.
This year I don’t expect a lot to change, time is still going to be a limiting factor and I suspect money will become more of an issue this year as well, so in general it needs to be a case of making the most of the resources I have already available to me.
I do want to get out to more archives and record offices this year and in light of the previous paragraph, I need to be making the most of these opportunities by making sure I am more organised about what I want to achieve.
I don’t actually see myself growing my family tree to any great extent this year, but rather adding to what I already have. Specifically I have become more interested in recent generations (my grandparents and great-grandparents) and feel I should be learning more about these generations whilst those that knew them are still around.
There is always plenty of housekeeping to be done on my family history, generally I consider my database to be in pretty good order, but there is always something that needs doing (like attaching photos to my family tree) and one big task this year will be to update all my 1911 census images with the unredacted versions and note any disabilities that come to light on my database.
There should hopefully be a couple of new collections coming out this year from Ancestry and Findmypast which will prove interesting and helpful for my research and should give me something to look forward to. Talking of things to look forward to there is of course Who Do You Think You Are Live in a couple of months, which I really ought to be preparing for now.
I didn’t achieve as much walking as I would have liked in 2011, although I did manage to complete most of the shorter walks that I had hoped to do.
I did walk the South Downs Way again last year, although not in one go as I had intended but instead over several months and accompanied by my wife. This year I aim to walk it all in one go (over the course of a week) and I will probably be doing it on my own this time.
I have to admit that my most enjoyable walks last year were those where I was on my own. I have never been one for walking in groups and can’t see that changing any time soon, but you never know.
Apart from the western end of the South Downs Way I think all of last year’s walks were in Sussex, and this year I still want to focus mostly on Sussex as there are still plenty of places I have yet to visit within my own metaphorical “backyard”.
I realised towards the end of the year that trying to complete longer named routes like the North Downs Way and the High Weald Landscape Trail is just not practical and doesn’t make the most of my limited time. Sticking slavishly to a route that entails multiple bus and train journeys is just not economical in terms of time and money.
Instead I intend to focus on shorter more convenient routes (with the exception of the South Downs Way) mostly of my own making that suit public transport connections available to the non-driver like me. I have lots of ideas floating around my head and I need to start planning so that when the weather improves and days start getting longer I can start taking advantage of them.
Wandering on West Beach, Littlehampton, West Sussex (31st December 2011)