Between work and Daylight Saving Time kicking my butt this week, I’ve not really been able to do much in the way of my Do-Over except keep plugging away at adding documentation to my tree. I’m still working on my maternal grandparents, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to move past them. I have so much information (and more keeps magically appearing), which normally would be a good problem to have, but I’m getting antsy to add more people to my tree so I can start looking at these manila envelopes FULL of information I’ve gotten from various repositories. You see, I’ve promised myself that I’m not going to touch those until the individuals referenced within them have found a place in my tree. Needless to say, my willpower is weakening. The dark side may be taking over.
But I know that in order for my tree to be the best it can be, I need to forego the temptation. And I will. For now.
In the meantime, this weeks Do-Over objectives were:
Objective: Review DNA Testing Options
This is an area where I need some real time to learn everything I need to know about DNA: testing, results, etc. I’ve attended a couple of beginner DNA classes – one by Judy Russell that was a-ma-zing – and I get the basics. I think. I’ve also had testing done by 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. I have not yet tested with AncestryDNA, and that has been a personal decision that may change depending on what I learn from my research into the subject.
I currently have DNA results for my maternal uncle – the only male descendant of my grandfather, who was adopted. I’ve done y-DNA and autosomal DNA testing for him. I also had my mother’s mtDNA tested. That has been slow-going simply because I’m really not sure what to do with the results once I have them. My dad has been in and out of the hospital lately, so I’m still waiting for his samples to be returned to the lab for testing. I’m having his y-DNA tested to determine once and for all whether my paternal line has a Native American/First Nations connection.
One day I will have time to sit down and actually read about DNA. Until then … has anyone come up with a device that I can just plug in and download knowledge while I sleep?
Objective: Organize Research Materials – Digital
Since NASA won’t let me use their server farm to store my genealogy media, I have to be careful with duplicates. Which means I need to make sure I’m naming my files properly.
I already planned out my digital file-naming convention when I designed my document process during the pre-Do-Over. So far it’s working well for me (the entire process itself is slow, but effective). To recap, I’ve gone with a naming convention that enables me to sort the files by name and automagically see a timeline for my subject. For example my grandmother’s digital file looks like this:
The “correspondence” folder is where I keep correspondence about my grandmother (requests for records, etc.), and the “miscellaneous” folder is keeping all the other things – prayer cards, undated or unidentified photos, etc. – that aren’t necessarily part of my grandmother’s timeline per se, but were important enough for her to keep.
Because I keep my files in Dropbox, I have a timeline of my grandmother’s life at a glance, even if I’m at a computer that doesn’t have RootsMagic installed (including my phone). I will name ALL of my grandmother’s files using the name she was given at birth – even though her name may be different within the document itself. Any spelling differences or name changes (like when she got married) will be evidence in the transcription of the documents. The only exception to this rule is my grandfather. I am using the name he was given when he was adopted … at least until I identify his birth parents. But even then, I will probably keep his name the way it is and use his birth name as an alias.
After working so hard getting these files exactly the way I want them … you bet I back them up! Twice! First, even though they are kept in the cloud, Dropbox isn’t considered a backup. So I use the backup feature in Windows to back everything up to a portable external hard drive once a month (one that I can grab and run if there’s a fire or some other disaster), and then I also use Backblaze to back everything (including the external drive) up to the cloud, which is a process that constantly runs in the background.
Yes, it sounds like a bunch of overlap, but after the years of work I’ve put in, I want to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere!
Next week’s topics: (1) Review Social Media Options, and (2) Build a Research Network. Are you ready?
Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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