Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over, Cycle 3, Week 1: Self-Imposed Guidlines

While reading blogs and posts on the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group page I have set up my own self-imposed guidelines to work from.  I've borrowed from Thomas MacEntee (thanks Thomas!) items I thought would work for me.

1.  Research with an open mind.
Take off the blinders. I won't just keep family stories utmost in my mind and think what was shared through the family is the only truth.

2. Track my work and cite my sources.
When I first started with genealogy I was always conscious of citing sources. I would use a research log/journal/calendar (never could figure which was the correct word) sporadically to track my work. I will now use a research log, track all work, even dead ends, cite my sources, and analyze data before it is entered into any software or online tree program.

3.  Ask for Help.
I've learned there are no stupid questions. There is no right way to ask. I'll post a query on Facebook or ask a question during a webinar or email my favorite genealogy rock star.

4.  Make sure I have a Plan.
Write down the steps I'll take before researching. I would always skip this step. I kind of kept an idea of what I wanted to accomplish in my head. With a real written plan I'll be more focused.

5.  Give and be abundant.
Exchange information freely with other researchers. I won't hold data "close" to myself or exchange it in lieu of something else. When I first began on this path, I read stories of people helping others, giving their hard researched data to strangers but never getting anything in return or hearing from those people again. I was very careful not to fall into that trap. I felt "what will I get in return?"  I have since put data I've gathered onto shareable CDs and given them out to family members with and without computers. It's been a pleasure to give the gift of our mutual families.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Cycle 3, Week 1: 3-9 July 2015

I'm joining Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over, Cycle 3.
I didn’t follow Cycle 1, I was a “lurker” during Cycle 2. I found the steps everyone was taking to get their files and research organized intriguing. Organized, what a concept! The Do-Over will last 13 weeks, ending on October 1.

Week one will consist of:
1) Setting Previous Research Aside
2) Preparing to Research
3) Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines

Number one above, might be a tough one for me. I open my genealogy software several times during the week. My sister and brother both live in different states from me. When any question comes up regarding our childhood or need verification on something, they each say, “Call Gayle, she’ll know the answer!”

Number two is something I’ll need to embrace. My usual practice is sit down at my laptop, fire-up the Internet and away I go. I usually have to scramble for a pen/pencil, notebook or opening up a blank Word document to take notes.

Number three I’m actually looking forward to. I do use research journals and keep track of any correspondence I’m writing. I know I need a real Research Plan I can follow and keep me focused.

Okay, I’m rolling up my sleeves, here I go…!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

SCGS 2015 Jamboree – Day 4

Today’s the last day at Jamboree, heading home after my last class. I’ve enjoyed each and every moment of the past four days. I got to see old friends and make new ones too. I’ll be watching my email for a notice of when 2016 Jamboree registration opens!

Here’s the classes I attended today:

8:30 am to 9:30 am – Michael Booth – Personal Historian 2: Bring Life to Your Life Stories

10:00 am to 11:00 am – Crista Cowan – Getting Even More out of Your

1:00 to 2:00 pm – Anita Paul – Who, What, When, Where? Using Journalism Techniques to
       Write Your Story

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm – Dr. Michael Lacopo – Incorporating Social History into Your Genealogical Research

©2015, copyright, Gayle Ficarra Wolcott. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SCGS 2015 Jamboree – Day 3

The Ventura County (California) Genealogical Society, which I’m a member, brought new and used books to sell today at Jamboree. We usually get one small table in the foyer and hope for the best. Yesterday, a SCGS committee member asked if we would like to move into the Exhibit Hall on Saturday. They had an unexpected vacancy and asked us to fill it. We jumped at the opportunity to have four long tables and a prominent place in the Exhibit Hall!

I volunteered to help out with setting up the tables so I had to get to the Exhibit Hall by 7:30 am; the Hall opened at 8:00 sharp. I wrote up books titles on the sales slip, took money, made change, and helped where needed. There were several members helping so I was able to attend several classes throughout the day. Here’s the classes I attended:

10:00 am to 11:00 am – Michael Brophy – Irish Genealogy

2:00 to 3:00 pm – Jean Wilcox Hibben – America: Land of the Farm, Home of the Plow
      My German line were farmers, thought this would be a good class for me. Was not expecting a
      mini singing concert from her.

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm – Mark Olsen – Learn How to Discover New Ancestors Using Magic From MyHeritage
      My family tree is planted at MyHeritage.

5:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Rhonda R McClure – City & Rural Directories; More than Just Names
      I’m going to look for Farmer Directories for my rural ancestors.

A long day today but had fun and spent quality time with friends and helped my society!

©2015, copyright, Gayle Ficarra Wolcott. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 5, 2015

SCGS 2015 Jamboree – Day 2

Since I’m staying at a hotel close to the convention center, I didn’t have to hop out of bed as early as I did yesterday from home. Last night I updated My Schedule on the SCGS Conference App and chose some interesting classes. Here’s what my line up looks like, subject to change.

I have a conflict with some morning classes. I’ve hear all three excellent speakers in the past so it’s going to be tough to choose.

9:45 am to 10:45 am - Thomas MacEntee – Creating a Community Indexing Project
10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Jean Wilcox Hibben – Society Support & Share Open Forum
11:00 am to 12:00 pm - Drew Smith – Crowdsourcing Your Brick Walls

EXHIBIT HALL opens yay!

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm – Michael Brophy – Paddy on the Net: Irish Genealogy Databases
     I don’t have Irish ancestry but I’m helping a friend of mine with her maternal line. Since I haven’t done any Irish research before I’m going to start at the beginning.

2:30 to 3:30 pm – Michael D. Locapo – Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants
     German is my mother’s paternal line.

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Cindi Ingle - Time lines: The Straight Line Between You and Your Ancestor

Another conflict:
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Michael D. Lacopo – Finding and Utilizing German Church Records
Thomas MacEntee – Genealogy Do-Over – A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes
      I’ve been following the Do-Over on Facebook and plan on jumping into the next round when it starts over on July 3.

Well that's it for today. Going to be a long day, but looking forward to it!

©2015, copyright, Gayle Ficarra Wolcott