Tag Archives: to-do

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 39

26 Sep

Oh dear… the weeks seem to be flying by quite quickly now, I really must go back to my New Year’s Resolutions and have a laugh at what I thought I was going to achieve this year and see if there is any chance that I might complete some of them.

It has been quite a good week, with a good mix of family history activities. I deliberately sat down and added some more people to my database, and it felt really good. There were two distinct families, the KINGHORNs in Carlisle, Cumberland and the HEMSLEYs in Sussex. I seem to be getting drawn towards Carlisle again, at the back of my mind I still have the idea of visiting Carlisle and doing some research (once their new archive centre is open).

I managed to get quite a bit of organising, not of my family history (which I like to think is quite well organised already) but of all the other stuff in my life and in particular the stuff perched on my computer desk. It is a great weight off my mind, it gives me a bit more space and a bit less to worry about, plus a bit more money (I discovered a cheque that I had forgotten all about).

I have also spent some time looking at my to-do list. It is quite interesting to see how my focus has shifted over the months, and there are several things on the list that I could probably spend some time on now, and some that need to be more focused, but that is generally how it works. I think I will be doing a bit more of a thorough overhaul in the coming week, I am sure there will be a few things that I have forgotten to knock off.

I have a couple of other projects that seem to be nearing the stage where I actually need to start doing things rather than just scribbling notes and thinking about. Now is the time for action, or it should be but I will probably find some way to procrastinate for a few more weeks.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 38

19 Sep

I need to stop thinking about family history in terms of only adding things to my database. If I was to measure my family history activity in terms of just adding things to my database then I would have achieved nothing (or almost nothing) last week.

Instead if was to measure it in terms of what I have written about family history, the websites I have read, the files I have downloaded and the maps I have examined, then I would find I have had quite a productive week. That doesn’t include all the time spent just thinking about genealogy and adding things to my to-do list.

I had originally been planning to spend last Saturday at an archive, but the urge for a lazy weekend got the better of me, plus the lure of the second-hand bookshop meant I spent the day with my wife in Worthing, West Sussex doing very little. Sometimes family history does need to take a back seat!

Much of my work seems to have been focused on places rather than people at the moment, I spent a lot of my time looking at maps last week, both old and new, and the problem is that it is very hard to include them in my family history database.

I have also spent a fair amount of time thinking about this blog, it does seem to be taking up most to my family history time each week, so it is only right that I should consider it’s role. I won’t be giving up blogging anytime soon, if anything my blogging output will hopefully increase over the next few months.

I do feel that I need to getting back to looking specifically at people this week, I still have to pull together some material on Thomas KINGHORN’s mail coach accident, but this time next week I would like to be able to say that I had actually been adding more people and more details to my family tree.

I still need to get more organised if I am going to be able to spend more time on family history and blogging. I like to think that my family history is pretty well organised, but the rest of my life is in need of some attention, especially the pile of stuff on my computer desk which threatens to bury me every time I sit down to do some work.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 36

5 Sep

Last week was quite a good week for genealogy. I have been finding plenty of things to keep me occupied. There has been very little structure or logic, just picking off records or individuals as the mood takes me. This is certainly not a very efficient way of work (sometimes meaning I am going over old ground again) but it seems to be working for me at the moment.

I must be careful not to fall into the trap of doing nothing whilst waiting for things to arrive. I have orders out for copies of wills and a marriage licence allegation, and the danger is that I will use the fact that I am waiting for them to arrive as an excuse not to do any work.

I have discovered a batch of Framfield marriages which I had transferred to my spreadsheet, but I have not added all the details to my database. Most of these are HEMSLEYs and I have several marriages where the HEMSLEY is not on my database. There were lots of HEMSLEYs in Framfield, Sussex and I would imagine that all of them are relations, it is just that they haven’t been connected yet. That is one job for this week, connect them all up, in particular the ancestors and descendants of Trayton HEMSLEY.

I need to get down to some scanning this week, mostly postcards, but a few other family history bits and pieces. I am going to have to think of a way of getting more postcards on this blog, also I am still thinking about creating a database of my postcards, partly for my own reference and partly to enable them to be shared easier. This is the problem with going to the Picture Postcard Show, it fills me with all sorts of ideas, which I don’t have the time to carry out.

I might also restart the research I was doing on one of the local postcard photographers. I also want to start compiling a guide for dating British postcards, mainly for my own reference because I have yet to find a comprehensive guide to the many features of postcards that allow the approximate date to be worked out.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 35

29 Aug

I am feeling much better about my genealogy this week, I did actually sit down and get on with some family history last week. The previous week had been severely lacking in family history, but last week I actually got down to completing some of the task I had set myself.

The BATEMAN certificates have been processed and I now have some more work to do next time I am in Brighton and the East Sussex Record Office. I hadn’t intended to start any detailed work on the English side of the BATEMAN family, but they seem to have taken over from the Australian side at the moment.

I wrote about ordering copies of four wills, this represents a short-term investment of time and money, because it is going to take a few weeks for them to arrive, and once they do it is going to give me some work to do that I can complete relatively easily from home, but will probably open up many more avenues of research.

I am not sure what I will be working on this week, at the moment there doesn’t appear any clear plan in place, I just work on what appeals to me at the time. I have the opportunity in three weeks time to visit an archive, so I need to start work on deciding which one to visit and what research to do (yes, it will take me three weeks to decide).

I seem to have been a bit distracted this week on a couple of other projects, not family history as such, but certainly history related, no doubt I will get around to writing about them eventually. I seem to be building up a long list of things to write about, but I don’t know when I will find the time to actually write them.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 30

25 Jul

You will no doubt be getting tired of hearing the fact that I have struggled to do any genealogy this week, but that is the case again this week.

I hate to go on about the fact, but I have probably spent more time worrying about how I am going to find time for family history than actually doing any. The good news is that I am starting to get into a routine and I can actually see a way in which I am going to be able integrate research into my daily routine.

I think being organised is going to be the critical factor, that and mobile working. The basic problem is that it takes me about two hours to get to work, however much of that time is spent just waiting. I need to utilise this time better to get more done, whether it is actually family history research, blogging or something else that needs taking care of.

I did a little bit more work on on the BATEMANs of Australia using the new BMD indexes on Ancestry.com.au, but would still like to find out more, so I need to use the dates I have found and see if I can find marriage details or an obituary for any of them in the National Library of Australia newspaper collections.

The rest of this week will be spent trying to fit in any family history research that is possible, probably just filling in gaps and creating more to-do items for when I next get to an archive.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 27

4 Jul

After the last few weeks I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my enthusiasm for family history, but I am pleased to say I have regained it at last. I feel like things have started moving in the right direction again.

It helped that I visited a couple of ancestral churches on my last section of the South Downs Way, but really I think it was down to forcing myself to actually sit down and do some research. I made progress on a couple of the projects that I had set myself last week, although I didn’t do any more on the Australian BATEMAN family.

Best of all I have a bundle of papers (mostly HEMSLEY marriages) that need sorting out, which should keep me busy for a couple of weeks, sorting out who is who and entering all the details into my database. I have also started a couple more projects, which was inevitable really, but I need to try not to get too bogged down, trying to juggle too many projects at the same time.

This week I am going make a start on that bundle of papers, and see where that leads me. Also I need to try and find out more about Arthur Leonard JESSOP, was there any connection with my grandfather?

I have been feeling the urge to write more about Sussex, the county I call home. For example, I have seen so many things on my recent walk along the South Downs Way that are worthy of more detailed descriptions. I don’t think I am going to be able to keep it genealogy related, so this may mean starting another blog. I really want to make a decision this week.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 26

27 Jun

Time for another confession, I really struggled last week to actually do any genealogy. I blame two things for this:

  1. The warm summer evenings, perfect for walking or sitting in the garden doing nothing.
  2. I can’t decide what to do next.

I need to stop beating myself up for not doing any family history, but I really feel that I should be doing some research, but haven’t been able to pinpoint what I want to do.

I did a bit of work around the MITCHELLs and Exton, Hampshire but I just couldn’t get enthused about it, which disappoints me. I fear all that time organising files and folders has spoilt my appetite for research.

I do have plan though for kick-starting my research, and that is in part because of the Capital Ring walk on Saturday. I have given myself a challenge, to find out why my grandfather was at school in the London Borough of Greenwich between 1917 and 1924, and when did he come back to Sussex after he finished school.

I will explain more about this challenge later, but for now I think I have settled on three projects to concentrate on, which is more than enough for the time being, and allows me some flexibility to take on other bits and pieces as they turn up.

The three projects are:

  1. Finish off my research into the GEERINGs of Hailsham, Sussex.
  2. Investigate and write about the life of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN of Victoria, Australia.
  3. Find out why my grandfather Charles Percy GASSON was in Greenwich, London.
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