During Week 2 of the Do-Over, one of our objectives was to set research goals using the to-do lists created after our self-interview and family interviews.  Because I’m an “all-in” participant, I’m essentially starting with nothing – which means (for now) my goals only include items for me and my parents.  I have already processed several documents that I already had (according to my previously-defined document process), and I’m fairly certain that my parents are who they say they are and that I am definitely my daughter’s mother.  I also have original documents showing when I was baptized, when I received my first communion, etc.

What I can’t seem to find are my divorce papers.  I also need to dig deep into the recesses of my brain and try to remember all the places I’ve lived and worked.  I better get a bigger bottle of aspirin.

At this point, my research goals include:

  • Prove I was divorced (I don’t know about anyone else, but to me this is very important)
  • Prove that I attended high school
  • Prove that my father was born
  • Prove that my father has parents
  • Prove that my parents were married
  • Prove that my parents were divorced
  • Prove that I have siblings (both full and half)

Most of the items on this list will be fairly easy, since everyone is still alive.  I’m just now beginning to go through the documentation I have for my maternal grandparents, so that list will become exponentially more difficult in the very near future.

Objective: Track Research

During my Do-Over prep, I created a process by which I have sworn to conduct my research.  This process involves to-do lists (which will be transferred to Evernote from their current place on giant post-it notes inside each individual’s file folder), which will become research plans, which will then be broken down into research logs, where I can track my research progress for each item.

Objective: Conduct Research

Because I’m focusing on entering the information for which I already have documentation, I haven’t begun doing any actual research.  I am being mindful to create source citations as I go, ensuring that the citation is located on the front of the document image as well as in RootsMagic and Evidentia.  I am also adding any additional information regarding each document’s legibility, quality, etc. to aid in future analysis.

What else am I doing?

I have successfully added all the reference books in my personal library to an inventory document in Word.  From here, I will copy and paste the book information into the appropriate locality notebooks in OneNote as they are created.  I’ll probably do a separate blog post about that.  I’m also continuing to add the scanned genealogy magazine articles to the notebooks.

straitjacketI am also looking at archival materials for my maternal grandmother’s collection of artifacts, but I’m really confused about what to get, so I’ll probably seek professional help.  I might also contact an archivist. [insert rimshot]  I’m here all week, folks!

I’m also supposed to be preparing for a trip to Salt Lake City while all this is going on …


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Genealogy Do-Over: Week 3 Progress — 6 Comments

  1. I so enjoy your blog and the information you give us…I have found that you think a lot like me…which might be scary …lol…

  2. I can’t imagine taking on such an enormous undertaking! I’m very impressed with your commitment to re-doing all your research the right way. And I’ll stay too, despite being green with envy! 🙂

  3. I’m amazed you are able to work on this with all that is involved. I took one look at what was involved and ran far away. But now I’m thinking about where all of our birth certificates are. I’m sure mine has been eaten away by mice as my mom threw all that stuff in a drawer and left the drawer in the garage…far away from the house. Anyways, I am endeavoring a similar project with 3 boxes I got from my great-grandmother’s house – items her son took when she died and his son passed on to me. I am not worry about archiving them at this point though, just inventorying and having fun with it all. Once it’s “organized” and “described” then I will set them up in an “archives.” As a trained archivist, I will will give you two pieces of advice – Original Order and Provenance. Provenance (to come from) is easy if all your keepsakes came from one ancestor, but original order (keeping things in the order in which the creator put them in) is harder to maintain and most people fight it. In an upcoming blog post I have posted 2 examples of why this is important, but I’ll share my secrets here with you first: 1) if you find an unlabeled photo, sometimes the photos it is filed with can help identify it and 2) I found a bunch of photos in a small box that were labeled differently from the rest. My great-grandmother labeled photos of herself as “Me.” The photos I found said “Louise.” Other photos said “Me and Louise.” – turns out these photos belonged to my great-great-grandmother! (A different “creator.”)

    • Good tops, Ginger! I haven’t had to deal with “original order” too much. Mainly because everything I’ve received was more thrown toward me than presented to me. 🙂

      I am making sure to include the provenance in my citations though. Just in case there’s any question.

      Meanwhile, I’ll just keep plugging along 🙂

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