Monday, January 26, 2009
Now that you know a little of how I got started in genealogy, you may be wondering why I've started this blog. As mentioned in a previous post, with my recent 2-month break from genealogy due to interests in my iPod Nano and Netflix subscription, I am hoping this blog will help me re-think my approach to my genealogy studies and help sort out my priorities. I decided to take a short break from genealogy because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, so I joined Netflix in November, just before Thanksgiving. I probably would have gone back to genealogy sooner, but my maternal grandmother passed away on December 15, and then I got sick on December 18. I remained sick throughout the first 2 weeks of the new year. And on top of all of that, my wonderful fiance, Cade, bought me an iPod Nano for Christmas. Funnily enough, the main reason I wanted an iPod Nano was to download genealogy podcasts and listen to them while exercising, but now I've got 1500 songs and only 3 podcasts. Go figure. Also, funnily enough, I have not started exercising. Go figure again. Anyhow, the main reason I was feeling overhwelmed back in November was because while I enjoy genealogy, it does require analysis of details and organization of findings. As an accountant, I do a great deal of that all day long, so sometimes I need the occasional music or movie break, hence the iPod and Netflix. I was also feeling overwhelmed because for years, especially when I was younger (like 12-22 years old), I did not cite sources nor did I organize my papers very well. I just had all my papers (vital records, census records, website printouts) in 2 large shopping bags, since I didn't have a kitchen table or desk. About five years ago, I bought a two-drawer filing cabinet and finally decided to create folders for each surname and place my papers in those folders. However, in the last year or so, I've decided to take on a different filing system, which I will discuss more in a later post. I also switched from Family Tree Maker (FTM) to Legacy Family Tree. In the process, I opted not to just copy over my FTM database due to the lack of sources and such in my FTM database. I decided that my new database in Legacy would be a more "perfect" one. I've been re-entering information on my maternal grandfather's side of the family for the last year or so, adding the proper sources and research notes. Of course, nothing is perfect the first time around, and I've been going back through my Legacy database now that I have all known ancestors for my maternal grandfather entered and have been adding various pieces of information to individuals and sources in that database. With the publishing of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills, I've also been going back through my Legacy database and double checking my sources for consistency, accuracy, and completeness. When I first began using Legacy in September 2007, it used a basic source system, but has since converted to a SourceWriter system, which contains templates based on Evidence Explained styles. So, I've had to convert quite a few sources within Legacy to the new system in order to keep source citations of the same type consistent. I'm still not finished with that yet. So, whew! Hopefully, you now have a better idea of why I'm so overwhelmed with my genealogy project.