Floating on cloud nine as I announce that my first grand-child was born last Monday, April 15! Introducing Clara Mae!
Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
The new school year is about a week and a half away and as usual, I have an overwhelming desire to have a “fresh start”.
I want to go through my closet and get rid of clothes I never wear and organize my new “school clothes” for the new year.
I want to go through all of my school files and toss and/or reorganize the paper files as well as my digital files.
I want to get out in my gardens and trim and cut my perennials (which are really hurting in the drought!) and split and rearrange them so they will be better off next spring.
AND, I want to go through my family tree database and clean it up! This is BY FAR the more overwhelming project! I’ve always had a hard time keeping my computer database up to date. I really prefer to just keep everything on Ancestry. But I see a real value in my computer database and I just upgraded to FTM 2012 specifically because it will sync with my tree on Ancestry. But it didn’t take me long to see that I’m missing pieces of information that I should have included. So now, the desire to go through each person and check those citations and add digital images and detailed notes is kicking in BIG TIME.
How can I do this in an organized manner that would not require huge chunks of time that I do not have? I can say I’m going to look at 1 person each day, for example, but how do I do that and not lose my place? There are 776 people in this branch of my tree, but they aren’t all equally researched. Should I concentrate on the individuals in my direct ancestor 5 gen chart and go numerically? Begin with my mother, then her father, then mother, then paternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, etc? Or do I modify that and work in family groups? My mother’s parents along with all of their children, then each grandparent group? If I choose that, how far down do I go? For example, I can see working on my grandparents and each of their children, but when do I work on THEIR children and grandchildren? What about the ancestor with 14 children? My mother had an uncle who had 28 children for heaven’s sake!
And what about source citations? I’m happy to have the citations as they are automatically downloaded from Ancestry, but if I want to follow Evidence Explained, should I delete all citations and start from scratch? Or modify each citation as I come to it?
After years of upgrading FTM over and over, I have some pretty strange things in the files. Notes for images that became citations of some sort. Names of children that became AKA’s for some individuals, etc. At one time, when there was only one “Notes” section per person, I had loooooong notes for each individual that were basically a timeline of events in their life. I had a note for EVERY item I could find for the individual – tax records, mentions in court records, etc. as well as questions and ideas to follow up on and those notes are totally gone from the program (but not from my computer). Should I try to put those back in?
I’d LOVE to do a totally from scratch type of thing, but is that realistic? It could be a FANTASTIC opportunity to really evaluate what I have and what I need and update my research plan and put together a “to do” list for each person, but it’s difficult enough to find “normal research” time, so would this become a project that I begin to resent?
Perhaps, I should keep my current file as a “working file” and begin a fresh file that begins from scratch. Am I shooting too high? I tend to start these grand projects which later get shelved when reality hits…
What do you think? Any suggestions?
A couple of week-ends ago, my Mom came to my house for a visit. I thought it would be cool to be able to show her the 1940 census for her family, although she would not be born for a couple of years yet. At the time, Indiana had not been indexed, so I used the One-Step tools on the Ancestry site to find my mother’s maternal grandfather but that’s where my luck ended. When she arrived, we used our detective skills to finally find her family in a near-by county.
Ironically, the announcement came 1 week later that the Indiana index had been completed, which could have made my search much easier. At the same time, it was announced that Kentucky had also been indexed so I did a search for my mother’s paternal grandparents in Kentucky – but no luck.
I thought it would be a pretty simple search! Last name, Smith – which is pretty darn common – but their first names were Oliver and Mintie. How many could there be? Well, apparently, there were NONE.
So today, I had 30 minutes to kill and I decided to see if I could find each of the children of Oliver and Mintie thinking that they probably lived nearby one of them and it worked! They lived next door to their 3rd son. The reason I could not find them was because the names had been indexed as Alian and Misstie.
So I believe I’ve now found all of my direct ancestors that can be found in the 1940 census. I do enjoy reading the employment information and the number of hours each person worked in a week. Because of this, I’ve been doing more research into the WPA as a few of my ancestors listed their employment that way. I’m thinking of creating a spreadsheet of the different occupations of my ancestors through the years – although I believe they are overwhelmingly farmers. But you never know what you’ll find when you begin to look at your information from a different perspective. That just may be on my “to do list” the next time I find a free 30 minutes!
My family genealogy day was VERY nice! It was wonderful to share information – even if it was only with two people. Mom mom had assured me that my aunt would not be interested, but my aunt surprised us both. She was very interested in reading what I brought and looking at old family photos and started telling several stories from when she was young – something she had never done before! In talking about it later, Mom said she thought it was probably because we were such a small group. (And as a side note – we decided on a spur of the moment week-long trip to Florida before school starts, so I’m hoping to hear many more stories from my Mom and aunt next week!)
My cousin was amazed at what I had printed out for her. I think it was probably a little overwhelming, as we never did start at the beginning and work our way through it. Instead, she’d ask a question about a person and I’d jump to that portion of the print out and we’d talk about that – which would bring a new question and another jump! And every time she asked me about a specific person in the tree I loved that I could walk to my computer and print a set of notes for that person as well! Her youngest son is getting ready to go to college to study HISTORY, so she said that he will really enjoy reading what I sent home with her and once he gets settled, would probably love to work together with me to fill out our applications for Daughter/Son of the American Revolution – so that’s something to look forward to!
The visit didn’t “net” (pun intended!) me any new information, but I do feel like I’ve stirred some interest that wasn’t there before! At one point, my mom pulled out the Christmas Poem book that I wrote for her 2 years ago and that stirred even more memories from my aunt and even a tear or two from my Mom. I’m sure we’ll be planning additional time to get together and share more information and I’m thrilled with that! If I’ve inspired a small part of my family to begin thinking about family history, I think that’s a greater thing than collecting more newspaper clippings or documents. (But I sure wouldn’t turn those down!!)
A week and a half ago, I was told that I have cancer.
How could a backache in December turn into cancer by February? After some emotional time with my husband, we sent out the word to friends and family and asked for prayer. The outpouring of love that came back to me through emails and phone calls was so touching to me. The number of people praying for me grew each day and it was an amazing thing to experience. As I’ve said before, I’m pretty shy and have never felt like I have a very large group of friends, but this has shown me otherwise!
Obviously, my husband and I made a vow “through sickness and health” but the degree with which my husband dropped everything to take care of me was phenomenal. He took care of everything from becoming the “information coordinator” and medical secretary to making my meals and helping me get around as the pain medication made me sleepy and light headed. He filled out a million medical forms for me as the shaking in my hands would barely allow me to sign my own name, let alone anything else. I moved from place to place every night trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in and he never complained. My children also showed extreme tenderness and I often found small symbols of love in unexpected places. My daughter even drew a heart for me to find in the lotion covered lid of my face cream. My sons sat with me in the evenings just holding my hand while we watched tv.
But I was to be blessed again when the biopsy came back several days later NEGATIVE for cancer! I don’t know how many people rejoice and celebrate when they hear that they have sarcoidosis, but this family sure did! Since December, I have been “diagnosed” with a compressed nerve, then gallstones, then pancreatitis, then cancer, then sarcoidosis. I even missed 2 days of the 3 day Roots Tech conference because I thought I had food poisoning! (If any of the Kentucky Researchers group I missed having dinner with Friday night are reading this – please accept my apology for missing out!)
When I got over the initial shock of hearing that I had cancer, my thoughts about my genealogy research were “who cares????” I didn’t think I’d ever feel that way, but if I’m being honest, I thought about my filing cabinet of files and thought “what a waste of time and paper!” But by that evening, my thoughts turned more toward thinking about the easiest way to donating the information to the Russell County genealogy society or something. Would they even want it?
That led me to begin thinking about what I’d want future generations to know about me. I’d want them to know how important my relationship with Jesus Christ is as well as my relationships with my family. I’d want them to know how much I enjoy teaching and that I think there’s so much more to it than teaching math procedures. Again, it’s about building relationships and helping others see how to keep priorities straight in life. And this time of sickness has helped me to see my priorities in a new light.
I was surprised to see how quickly my genealogy research priorities changed. Now, I don’t feel quite as compelled to find the next date or name for my chart, but I now have a deeper desire to try to find out more about the lives of my ancestors and what relationships they built during their lives. Exactly how I’m going to do that, I’m not sure, but when I get my strength back, it will be fun trying!