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Archive for the ‘Organization’ Category

About two years ago, I decided that I needed to go back through my early research and add source citations to all of my early research. At the same time, I committed to adding citations for new research.

To get started, I moved all of my scanned files from my computer into Evernote then I tagged each of them with the tag “.citation” which showed the ones who needed a source citation added. Today, I finished the project and all of the scanned sources that I have now have source citations. It is an incredible feeling and it has already been worth it.

In addition, I tagged each file with the surname, place, and type of document for each scan. This has been incredibly helpful. It makes it so easy to find almost anything in Evernote.

Next project: Go through things that I have attached to my family tree in Ancestry and make sure that I’ve downloaded a copy and add a source citation.

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It’s Arrived!

A few months ago I decided that I would order Family Tree Maker for Mac and reenter all of my genealogical data. From there, I would also organize all of my genealogy related information that is stored on my computer. I live overseas so it took a bit of time for it to arrive and when it arrived it was cracked. Horrors! Fortunately, the customer service was quick. I emailed them and in less than 24 hours they had sent a second disk out to the address. Unfortunately, I still live overseas and so it took another couple of weeks to arrive.

My very first goal is to print out a list of people that I have on my current software so that I can keep track of who has been added to the new software. This is going to be a task so hopefully I’ll find the time to get it all reentered. I know that I can transfer it using GEN, but you know the phrase: Garbage in, garbage out.

Some of the information I have is just garbage and the easiest way to sort out the unsourced data from the sourced is to start from the beginning and put data points in one at a time.

Wish me luck!

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Vacation Time

GraveyardSo I’m heading off to another island to enjoy a bit of fun in the sun. I’ve been trying to brain storm something that I could do on my vacation without having to bring my computer. So far, I haven’t come up with anything. I might just close up my genealogical shop for the week and spend a bit more time reading and relaxing.

I’m working through the conversion of iPhoto to Evernote. I think that I’ll leave all the actual scanned picture in iPhoto for now although I might move them over at another time. I eventually would like to move back to having one iPhoto library. I tried to have two: one for regular pictures and one for genealogy content, but it ended up being unmanageable.

I’m mixed up about pictures of graves. I think that I’d like to move them to Evernote because they are sources. There are a few with me in them which I took more just as a memory keepsake and some of the cemetery in general. These I think I’ll leave in iPhoto, but the shot that shows the information from the grave I may move over to Evernote., but that might be a project for another week.

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Typically I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions because we tend to make resolutions to do things that we really don’t want to do, but the thing is I love doing genealogy. My resolutions are a way to help keep me focused. I have a tendency to flit from project to project and actually writing things down encourages me to stick to a goal and accomplish it.

Organization Goals

1) Start from scratch and reenter all my information into Family Tree Maker with proper source citations. – I took the plunge and I purchased Family Tree Maker 2 for Mac. I live overseas so it will take a bit of time for the CD to arrive so this project is on hold.
2) Organize photos – When I switched computers, all of my digital files got mixed up. So for this, my goal is to explore cloud storage options and organize them. I’d also like to separate my digital photos from scanned images of documents. Right now, when you scan through my iPhoto images you see a lot of scanned images which doesn’t make for great browsing.
3) Digitize all my photos – All of my older photos have been scanned, but I’d like to digitize the stacks of photographs that are my own personal photos: vacation photos, friends from college etc.

Writing Goals
1) Continue with the blog
2) Write one research paper per quarter – Currently, I’m working on a research paper about the two India Hollomons that were born in the 1890s in Hertford County, North Carolina. One is my great grandmother and the other does not appear to be related to me at all, but because of several similarities (name, date of birth, and county of birth) their records have become intertwined. The goal is to produce a timeline of each so it is easier to quickly determine if the record relates to my great grandmother or the other India Hollomon.

Education Goals
1) Reread Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained
2) Begin the NGS Home Study Course (October 2012) – I’d start this one earlier, but I believe that there are some onsite assignments and I’d like to start the course closer to the time that I’ll be returning to the United States.
3) Read the following books:
Reading Early American Handwriting by Sperry Kip
BCG Standards
Organizing Your Family History Search by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
4) Family Search Indexing – I’m planning on focusing on handwritten records to improve my handwritten reading skills.
5)Complete online tutorial at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/

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Online software

One of the first things I need to do is make a decision on my software. For the past few years, I’ve been using Reunion software and in general I really like it, but there are a few things that I wish they’d improve. First, is better templates for source citations. A number of my citations contain insufficient information and I’m now in the process of redoing all of my citations, I’ve had to do these free form and I wish that things would be a bit easier. Second, I’d like better publish options. My family would like me to print out a few things and I’ve found that the publish options on reunion aren’t as robust as some other programs.

Family Tree Maker which is the most popular PC program has come out with a version for Mac. It has a number of feature including the source citation that I think I will really like. The main issue with the current version is that it does not automatically sync with Ancestry, but I’ve they are releasing a Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 in mid-December. I guess I’ll wait until the new version comes out and give it a try.

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The Challenge

Over the next year, I’m going to finally get my genealogy under control. Like many (most?) genealogists, I’ve collected all sorts of papers, notes, to do lists, and ideas to revisit and they are floating all over the house. My goal, by the end of the year, is to organize the research that I’ve already completed and have a system in place for my new research. Here are my basic goals:

  • Keep as much as I can digitally
  • Be able to find items quickly and easily
  • Have complete source citations
  • Back everything up
  • Sustainability

Wish me luck!

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