It wasn’t a bad week for genealogy last week. I didn’t achieve a great deal, but I don’t feel bad about not doing much last week because my expectations were quite low.
I know at this rate I am not going to achieve a great deal with my family history, unless I start getting more organised and not just with my family history but with so many other aspects of my life.
Anyway back to genealogy. Almost all of my research was in relation to the BATEMANs of Australia, writing about the family has pushed me to find out more so I can fill in some details. It has been a really useful exercise, as more avenues of research present themselves as I review the evidence I have already (whether I will have the resources to explore them all is another matter).
The other piece of research was looking into the latest batch of Chelsea Pensioners records released by Findmypast. I knew there should be at least one relevant record in this latest batch, Francis Howlett GEERING (the son of my 5x great-uncle). His record was in there and it was quite an interesting record, which you will no doubt read about soon.
This week is going to be much the same. I am going to continue telling the story of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN, so I will be continuing to work on that family, but I need to extend my research beyond the BMD indexes on Ancestry.com.au and the digitised newspapers on the National Libraries of Australia website.
Specifically I want to try and pin down locations where the family lived, using family documents and electoral rolls. I am hoping this will enable me to dig down another level and explore some local family history websites, rather than just national or state level websites.
Anything else I achieve this week is going to be a bonus!
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.
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.
Time for another confession, I really struggled last week to actually do any genealogy. I blame two things for this:
- The warm summer evenings, perfect for walking or sitting in the garden doing nothing.
- 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:
- Finish off my research into the GEERINGs of Hailsham, Sussex.
- Investigate and write about the life of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN of Victoria, Australia.
- Find out why my grandfather Charles Percy GASSON was in Greenwich, London.
My organising is done, for the time being at least. There will be plenty more organising to do in the future, and that is the challenge, to keep this state of affairs in the future. I still have to go through and create a template for all my file and folder names, but that shouldn’t take long.
Last week the GASSON and GEERING surname folders were sorted out, and I started doing some preparation for GEERING research. I feel a little in limbo now, I have my entire family history at my fingertips, my research could head in any direction I want, but I am not sure where to go next.
The GEERINGs are a definite, but before I get back to Hailsham and the druggists, I have a couple of service records to sort out, downloaded during the recent findmypast.co.uk free for all. After sorting these out I need to get to the East Sussex Record Office and check some records before I decide if there is anything else I can do.
I need to do a quick bit of research about the MITCHELLs of Exton, Hampshire, I need to make sure I have all the place names and dates ready for when I visit Exton as part of my South Downs Way walk.
This week I need to decide what to do next, do I throw all my resources and concentration into one big project or do I just fill in gaps in my research covering as many different branches as possible. Perhaps I should concentrate on one particular area, or time period. I don’t really know, so this week I will see which way my research takes me.
Although most of last week was spent sorting out files and folders, I did manage to do quite a bit of new research as well. This is just what I needed, starting the transition from organising to researching.
Hopefully next week will see the bulk of my organising done. Of course it will never be completely done, as new material will be turning up all the time in need of processing and filing, but at least I have everything in place and a system that should make it easier in future to know where to filing things, and where to find them when I need them.
Most of the research was about the branch of BATEMAN family that grew up in Australia. The pursuit of the descendants of my 2x great-uncle William Joseph Henry BATEMAN is something I will be taking on in the forthcoming weeks. As part of this I want to try and write some posts about what I already know about the family.
In terms of organising, the GASSON surname folder is virtually sorted and that only leaves the GEERING folder to go. It is my intention to get both of those folders completed this week, and by the following week I want to have gone through all the surname folders and make sure everything is as it should be and I will produce a template that will enable me at a glance to see where new information fits into the system.
The amount of new BATEMAN research meant I didn’t get chance to start going through my database and start defining some goals, I would like to try and start that this week, although I don’t expect to complete it. I do however need to decide which projects I am going to be working on next.
One of those projects might involve the WRIGHT/SHORNDEN family of Alton, Hampshire. Having visited Alton last weekend I would like to find out more about their time in Alton. One long term goal is to find out how they came to be in Hampshire in the first place, when they were previously in Kent.
The Australian branch of the BATEMAN family seem to have found their way to the forefront of my family history and are demanding my attention.
A couple of days ago there was the postcard of the ship that my 2x great-grandmother Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN sailed to Australia on, I am trying to finish sorting out the BATEMAN surname folder and one of my goals for this year was to explore the Australian branch of the family further.
These last couple of days I have been doing some digging around online and have accumulated even more information to process and sort out. Now I have reached a stage where I need to decide what to do next? I am at the point of having to invest proper time and money before going much further.
Do I have the time to learn about a completely new country? Which sort of record types are available? Who holds what? What is online and what is not? There are some great websites I have already discovered, but I need to explore them further. Do I have the time and is now the right time to do it?
The answer is that I do want to do it, but first of all I need to get all my organising done. The more I think about it, the more this project seems like a good idea. It is a perfect compliment to some of my other more local projects, because I am sure it is going to be pretty much all done remotely, whereas something like my GEERING research is going to be mainly in local archives.
So my first step is to post a summary of what I already know on this blog, just in case their are any cousins already researching the family from the other side of the world. Then I need to check online trees to see if anyone else has posted any matching data. That should give me time to get my data sorted, define what I want to achieve, and learn where I need to be looking to achieve it.