I have a new (second-hand) computer, so this feels like the perfect time to start afresh with my genealogy research.
The Genealogy Do-Over tasks for January are:
- Setting Previous Research Aside
- Preparing to Research
1. Setting Previous Research AsideMy existing genealogy digital files are stored:
- on my old laptop computer
- on an external hard-drive
- some files on Dropbox
- some files on Google Drive
- Ancestry.com private trees (working family trees for each branch of my family)
As suggested for this months Genealogy Do-Over, I am going to place all my digital genealogy files in a 'Hold' area, and as they are needed I will make a task on my to-do list to consult them.
My existing genealogy physical files include photocopies of archival documents and certificates, photographs (some originals and some copies), as well as research notes from my mother's family history research in the 1980s-90s. These are stored in binders categorised by surname. Similarly to the digital files, I will create to-do tasks to consult these records as they are needed.
2. Preparing to research
In the past, my research habits have been very haphazard.
- I jump from one branch of my family tree to another
- I have no plan for what records I will search, and when and why I will search them.
- I often follow any 'bright and shiny objects' (BSOs)- newly digitised collections, new DNA matches.
- I have not kept an adequate research log.
- I have not achieved the vague goals I want to achieve ('Write the Fullerton history' has been a goal for over a decade now)
- I have neglected using complete and accurate source citations.
- I have felt overwhelmed and unorganised.
- I have felt tired - staying up too late searching and not achieving anything worthwhile.
- I have neglected genealogy correspondence - some emails have been left unanswered for far too long.
This year I hope to FINALLY make progress with writing a history of the Fullerton family. For this, I need to plan and create concise, focused and achievable research goals.
The changes to my research habits that I need to make include:
- Create concise, focused and achievable research goals
- Use a research log
- Use a to-do list
- Use complete and accurate source citations.
- Instead of following BSOs, take note of them and look at them at another time if they don't relate to the research goals for that day.
As the Genealogy Do-Over progresses this year, I hope to learn more ways to improve my genealogy research habits.
© 2018. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally posted at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.au/2018/01/genealogy-do-over-january-2018.html. Genealogy Do-Over logo by Thomas MacEntee.