Saturday, September 07, 2013

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #3 - AH HA!

This was a much better week for me. Not a single problem with the internet. (knock on wood) Class assignments are due on Wednesdays. I was able to complete this weeks assignment by Monday, so I was right on track.  I like to get things done early and not leave them for the last minute.

We had to enter ourselves, parents and grandparents into our RootsMagic database. Then we learned about sourcing. The requirement for the assignment was to enter the source for one person on your family group sheet. I added more than one because I just got so caught up in doing it. I totally realize how shockingly lazy I have been about recording sources on the documents I already have here at home.  I hadn't even sourced my own birth certificate.  Yes, I hang my head in shame.

After handing in the assignment I noticed my teacher, Janet Hovorka left a nice comment for me. She said "Beautiful Renee. A gorgeous example of footnotes. Keep up the good work!"

That feedback made me feel so good. I've never had anyone look at my work and comment on it before. Thankfully she only viewed the after class results and not the prior sources in my main database. It is surprising how getting feedback can be so encouraging. That validation gives you so much confidence.

I already know this new database I am working on is going to be much more accurate and better sourced than the main database I have been working on for years. I've heard of people starting over fresh with a whole new database that only includes items they have documentation on. Hmmm, I think they might be onto something.

This coming Wednesday I don't have an assignment due. There is a lot of reading and videos to watch so that takes time. I have already started working on it and we are covering the research process. We are creating research logs in RootsMagic. After seeing the examples I went ahead and created Research Logs for every family and then entered Research Items for all the census records I could look at. To bad the 1940 census is the last one available. My father was the 1st of 7 children, and my mother was the 12th of 13 children.  I have many more census records I can look at for my maternal grandparents than my paternal grandparents. In fact I never noticed before that my father's father is younger than my mother's oldest sibling. My father's mother is younger than my mother's 4th oldest sibling.  What a gap!

My big AH HA moment came when I watched David Dilts, AG, video on Research Logs, Part 1. I had watched it previously, but this time something made sense me to. I think it's because I was actually creating research logs and adding research items to them prior to viewing the video. I hope I can explain this without sounding too stupid.  In all the classes I have attended, and examples I have seen, people would number their documents on the research log. I kept wondering how they kept all those #1, #2, etc. documents straight with all the other Research Logs they were also numbering documents #1, #2, etc. I have been looking for years for the perfect numbering system so I could know what number to give my documents. In fact I've been so obsessed with this that it's kept me from keeping good Research Logs, just because I wasn't sure what number to give something. I can get really hung up on little details. I have spent hours going to genealogy conferences, attending every organizing class out there, just so I could figure this out.

So the puzzle finally fit together when we worked with Research Logs for the ENTIRE FAMILY. Each family had a folder with all their records. The document numbers on the Research Logs only go with that family folder and the items found in it. So there isn't co-mingling of records and document numbers. I already have all my records filed by families. What I've been guilty of is creating to many research logs instead of adding them as research items on the log. No wonder I couldn't get this to work!

Let me just bang my head and call myself stupid. If I had paid for this class like the other students I would just say OK this piece of information was worth the entire cost of the class for me. The rest is gravy. I finally figured out something after 37 years of doing genealogy how the professionals are keeping things straight. This is only my third week of class and 12 more weeks to go. I am wondering how much more stupid sounding I am going to appear as time passes on. You can educate me if you just explain it really good, thankfully this is exactly what this course is doing.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The link to the video (and part II) were very helpful. Thanks!