And a do-over.
Genealogy Do-Over Week 1 — 2-8 January 2015
Topic 1: Setting Previous Research Aside
After a 10 year break in research, I was forced into a do-over of sorts when I had to reenter all my previous research into updated software. I am not completely done with that as I am ignoring my mother’s line for the time being. I have taken up more research since I restarted but when I come across something like this: Fanny Lulu: Back from the dead (someone’s incorrect research that I grafted into my tree), I have to stop and think: If I am not going to do this slowly, methodically, and correctly, what’s the point of doing it at all?
What follows is the draft of a post I wrote in July 2014 but never posted to my blog. I wrote this after I decided to start with a brand-new, properly-sourced tree in Roots Magic.
I’ve been a little quiet on my blog lately. I have been mulling some things over. I had to take a step back and really think about what I was doing with my old and new family history research.
First and foremost, I wanted to apply the Genealogical Proof Standard [GPS] to the work I had already done and continue that practice with the new work I am doing. Secondly, I want to have most of my family research documents stored digitally. I have my old research that I need to input into my updated genealogy software. I want to take the documents and photos from my old research and put them on my computer and store copies in the cloud. And I want to add the digital files to OneNote to help me analyze what has been done and what still needs to be done.
I mentioned before that I used to have all my documents in sheet protectors in notebooks. It was simple to retrieve the documents and review them when I had a research dilemma. Putting the digital documents into OneNote notebooks in some semblance of order would take the place of papers and photos filed into physical notebooks. I should point out the documents were originally in notebooks before I thought it would be the epitome of organization to have them all residing in file folders in drawers of a filing cabinet. For my personal research purposes, I just don’t like my documents in folders in a filing cabinet. (Just one of the quirks to my being a very visual person, I guess.) I should also point out that I need there to be some structure in place when adding the digital files to OneNote otherwise it seems to me to be the digital equivalent to the pile of papers on a desk—something you have to search through. I would like to be able to go right to the document without having to run a search for it. The structure of my OneNote Notebooks was something I was in the process of putting together at the beginning of 2014.
Finally, in order to continue to apply the GPS to new research, I wanted to have a system in place where any new research conducted would follow a work flow that automatically adhered to the Genealogical Proof Standard. [We want to apply the GPS in our family history research to establish that a series of events involves the same person and to establish family relationships.] The Genealogical Proof Standard is five steps that should be followed during our research. In brief, they are:
1. Conduct a reasonably exhaustive search
2. Cite your sources (You knew that was going to be here somewhere, didn’t you?)
3. Analyze your findings
4. Resolve conflicting evidence
5. Write your conclusions (It doesn’t have to be a definitive work. Just a paragraph or even a list will do.)
My main problem is that, even though I told myself “no new research”, new documents are coming in faster than I am scrutinizing my old research against the GPS and that systematic work flow I had envisioned isn’t in place yet. So I have been sitting here in a Zen-like state contemplating just how to make this new work flow happen. (Hahaha. No, my contemplation is really not very Zen-like.)