Friday, January 27, 2017

research reboot

I had a DNA test done through in October, and after I got the results, it seemed as if I was suddenly drowning in data. There are so many family lines to research I was jumping from one to the next and generally giving myself ADD. As the new year approached I knew I would have to change some things to become more efficient at translating my research into proof and creating readable stories. I picked up Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over Workbook a few weeks ago and found it to be just what I needed to maybe get my genealogy mess in order. I'm starting my "do-over" a bit later than January 2, but it's just a happy coincidence that a group do-over is happening at the same same as my own re-boot. I may not follow the curriculum exactly, but I can view comments on the Facebook group for helpful hints along the way and maybe pick up some new research links.

I spent the last few weeks reviewing my past methods for taking notes, entering data, and citing sources, as well as thinking about what time of day would be best for working on genealogy. I looked at different note taking methods, research logs, and genealogical software. I think the software review is scheduled for May, but I see several programs now have a way to enter a research log and a to-do list that I think I would prefer over a spreadsheet. I might as well get started on creating good work habits as soon as possible. I also spent time upgrading my current programs and making sure everything is getting backed up.

Part of the do-over is setting aside previous research so you can see facts and sources with fresh eyes. I put most of my paper files into boxes and just kept out some things related to my immediate family, and I'm going to try to avoid looking at the family tree I created on I will either start a new tree on their site or at home with whatever software I end up getting.

I think I'm almost ready for February.

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