Saturday, December 15, 2018

Genealogy Do-Over - December 2018

I am taking part in the Genealogy Do-Over this year. 

The Genealogy Do-Over tasks for December are:

  1. Sharing Research
  2. Securing Research Data

1. Sharing Research

One of my motivations for starting the Genealogy Do-Over at the beginning of this year was that I wanted my years of research to be neatly collected with all sources cited, then I could finally share my research with others without worrying excessively about whether I may have made a mistake or whether I correctly cited sources and acknowledged previous research correctly.

I have finally started to add information to my new genealogy database in Family Historian. I am going through my previous research document by document, making sure to analyse the documents for all the evidence they contain, then correctly cite the source and add the facts to my Family Historian database. If I do it right the first time, I don't have to worry about going back over my research later.

I started with myself and my parents and my immediate family. I then decided to focus on my paternal grandmother's family. Going through each document I noticed the dates I download some of the certificates - 2004. I decided way back then that I wanted to compile a history of the family of William and Mary (Dunne) Fullerton. A family reunion was held in October 2010 (the 170th anniversary of the family's arrival in Australia) to bring the family together and gather photographs and information. Here I am at the end of 2018 and I haven't compiled the history yet. I have set out to many times, organising all the source documents in chronological order, writing plans and creating chapter titles. Then I procrastinate, take up other research and distractions, or other aspects of life interfere. I want to finally achieve my goal of sharing this history of the Fullerton Family. I feel I have disappointed myself and others by leaving this incomplete. Relatives who willingly contributed their knowledge of the family have since passed away, and I especially feel I have disappointed them. Perhaps a good goal would be to aim to have the history printed before the 180th anniversary of the families arrival in Australia in October 2020?

The information I have gathered over the last 15 years cannot continue to hide away on my computer. I need to share my research. This month's first topic for the Genealogy Do-over is, therefore, one I take very seriously. I have spent years of my life on this research but it does not belong to me, it belongs to all the descendants of my ancestors. I need to remember that while my research can never be perfect, I can still share it with others and direct them to the sources I consulted.

My goals for sharing my research will be:
  • Finally to compile the history of the family of William and Mary (Dunne) Fullerton. Aim to have this printed before October 2020.
  • Share my research on this blog, on Wikitree and on the Facebook groups I created for descendants of various of my ancestors. 

2. Securing Research Data

I have already set up several backups for my genealogy research.  This month's Genealogy Do-Over task inspired me to write a Backup plan so I that I have a written record of what I need to backup and where I need to backup to. 

I created a note in Evernote for this Backup plan which included details about how and where I backup my data from Family Historian, Evidentia, Genome Mate Pro, and my dedicated Genealogy folder (and all the files it contains). My Backup plan involves using GoodSync and backing up to both an external hard drive and to storage on the Cloud

Things I still need to do to secure my research data include:

  • create a backup plan for my emails and for my Evernote notes
  • create a plan to 'future proof' my data
  • create inventories of all my genealogy related items both physical and digital
  • estate planning - discuss with my family what will happen to my genealogy research when I have left this life.

The full list of Genealogy Do-Over topics for 2018 is on Thomas MacEntee's Abundant Genealogy web site.

© 2018. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally posted at
Genealogy Do-Over is © Thomas MacEntee.

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