Friday, May 21, 2010
Is there a Research Trip in my Future?
I have recently been reading several blogs that discuss their upcoming research trips. They all sound so ORGANIZED. They have spreadsheets, folders of family group sheets, GPS coordinates of cemeteries, lists of historical societies, libraries, and courthouses with location and hours of operation all neatly bound together so nothing will get lost. I am astounded and impressed by this level of prepardedness . . . and very jealous. They find hundreds of records and are able to walk among tombstones in long hidden cemeteries. They come home with 4x the information they left with . . . and I am jealous. I love the search, the discovery, and thrill of genealogy. But organization is not my strong suit. I always intend to be organized, and I plan to organize my information at some time in the not too distant future, but then find myself drifting away to research instead. I tell myself that if I just keep all of my information in one spot, I will be able to find it even if it isn't quickly. At the right is my current genealogy file. Now, I must tell you that there are labeled folders in this "file" but not all of the information is in it's coordinated folder. But that is only because I have changed my thoughts on how best to separate and categorize my information . . . at least three times! The audio recorder that connects to my iPod was a Christmas gift and I want to be able to find it when I visit relatives. Photos and obituaries that I sent for remain in their original envelopes. Will I need this information?? My grandmother's photo album from her time in nursing school sits gingerly on the top. I have a fear of finding the perfect, safe place that I then won't be able to remember prevents me from relocating it. Note: Photos from this album are posted on Flickr and there is a link at the bottom of this page. Actually, this doesn't look too bad. My computer files are where it really starts to unravel and, thankfully, I can't post a picture of them to complete my humiliation. This summer while I am off work I intend to get organized - really I do.
Actually, I have already gone on several research trips. This was way before, I knew I was supposed to be organized and prepared for them or even before I knew they had a name. I have only been researching my family history for about two years and these trips were last summer a mere year after I began. In my next post, I will share the excitement of those first bumbling trips - yes there was more than one!