As my health is starting to improve, I’m getting the urge to get back into my research, but when I think about digging in again, I get overwhelmed. My medication effects my memory as well and I don’t want to “waste” time re-searching for documents or other information. So I’m trying to think of a “project” that won’t require a ton of original research.

I’ve decided to try to work on an organization project which I already have the information for, I just need to get it all into a better format. I have 3 men in my databased from about the same time period named Andrew J. Stephens. Two of these men are father and son. I have yet to determine if/how the 3rd Andrew may be related to the other two men, but he was the 2nd husband of my GG-Grandmother. The pension file for Andrew J. Stephens indicates that his paperwork and military information was confused with the other Andrew, so this has not been a dilemma to me alone.

I know that at one time, I had many documents taped to a wall in a spare bedroom as I tried to figure out which document went with which man. I had pension documents, tax records, land records and pictures of tombstones that were confusing to match up.

So I’d like to re-print everything and put together a “Binder of Andrews”. I will re-print documents for this binder so that I’m not removing documents from their regular folders. I’ll have a section for each Andrew and as I feel up to it, I’ll type out a detailed timeline for each man – something I’m sure I have for “my” Andrew, but not the other 2 men. I’ll try to create a map showing where each of the 3 men lived within the county based on land records. I’ve written alot on this blog about my Andrew research, so I’ll try to get those posts into a coherent form within the binder. I’ll also use this as an opportunity to try some new software to annotate on a document before printing.

I’m not expecting to make any huge breakthroughs with this project – but I wouldn’t turn it down! I mainly want to get back into the “swing” of research without feeling like I’m muddling things up. I don’t want to feel any time pressures and I want to have something tangible to help keep me motivated to keep working.  One thing I’ve discovered in the last month is that if you don’t have some type of goal to work toward, the natural tendency is to do nothing at all. And while I know that there is great value for me right now to do nothing but rest, I can see how this could become an excuse to get started tomorrow…or the day after that…or the day after that….