Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Applying Study Tips to Genealogy

These days, school is always on my mind. I am constantly trying to stay on top of all of my classes and not fall behind - which in turn leaves me with very little time for genealogy.

So when I finally tried to do genealogy this weekend, I couldn't escape my study mindset. So I decided to let myself brainstorm to discover what study techniques I can use towards genealogy. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Look for more resources to expand your understanding. You can't fully understand your ancestors without looking at every single piece of information you can get your hands on. One record isn't enough - you need lots and lots of records. That means you need to look at census records, vital records, church records, diaries, local histories, land records, etc. By having more records, you are potentially gathering more leads.
  2. Review, Review, Review. It is so easy to overlook an important clue to the puzzle of your family tree. The only way to make sure that you don't miss that important clue is to review what you have. If you can get another genealogist with fresh eyes to look at your work, all the better.
  3. Get and Stay Organized. If you aren't organized in college, you are going to fall behind very quickly. Make sure that you have a system to organize all the elements of your genealogical life: your paper files, your computer files, your heirlooms, and everything else you are doing. Mind you, this is a lot easier said than done, but in order to be efficient and avoid mistake in your genealogy, you have to be organized.
  4. Be Prepared. If you are going to take a research trip you need to have all of your supplies ready. You should know why you are at the particular library (or archive or cemetery, etc) and have a goal in mind. You should bring any necessary supplies along for the trip with you like a laptop, paper and pens, charts, etc.
  5. Take Good Notes. As you surf the web, study microfilm, or read books, you are going to be taking notes on what you find. It is important that you write down the details that apply to your family tree and any identifying information about the website, book, or reel of microfilm you are looking at - this makes it possible for you to find this resource again in the future.
  6. Ask for Help. Sometimes, you just need to ask for help - and that isn't something to be ashamed of. In this case you could hire a professional genealogist or ask a trusted friend for advice.

As you can tell, I just can't get school or genealogy off my mind - so I combined the two!

Thank You For The Support

Good news! My mom doesn't have cancer, despite what the doctors originally said. While she still isn't feeling very well, she atleast doesn't have cancer.

I would ust like to send out a huge thank you to everyone. Your thoughts, prayers, encouraging words, and words of advice are what helped get me through this. I have appreciated every comment and every email. Thank you so much for everything! Genealogists never cease to amaze me!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Genealogy Now Has New Importance

In case you haven't heard on Facebook, my mom most likely has colon cancer. She is in the hospital right now and I won't know for sure until they do surgery on Monday or Tuesday. However, the doctor said that with this particular kind of cancer, it is considered cancer until proven not cancer.

So why am I writing on this blog right now? Honestly it is because I can't sleep, I feel nauseous and I don't know what else to do until tomorrow morning. I am new to all of this and never imagined myself in this sort of situation - especially while I am so young.

I have a million thoughts running through my head right now - most of which I am trying to block out. But one of the thoughts that feels "safe" for me to think about is how my genealogy has taken an all new importance.

While before today I was primarily doing genealogy for my own curiosity, everything has changed. I now keep thinking about how I should have asked my mom more questions and listened more carefully to her stories. I know that I am overreacting right now because she isn't dead and I am trying not to think like this - but a part of me just can't help it.

All of a sudden, I feel like my genealogy needs to be shared with as many people as possible. Suddenly, it is all about keeping the happy memories alive and in the front of everyone's minds because I could really use them.

I also wonder if any of my ancestors ever had to go through something similar to my situation. As an only child, I am shouldered with a lot of the responsibility of keeping family members up to date and organizing medical information. Since I've never dealt with anything like this before, I can't help but wonder what my ancestors did to deal with such huge news like this.

I guess I am a little strange to be thinking about genealogy at a time like this, but genealogy has always been a form of therapy for me. I think over the next few days I am going to be needing a lot of this sort of therapy.

P.S: I have never dealt with anything like this before, so if anyone has any advice on this, I would love to hear it. If you are not comfortable with sharing it in the comments section, please email me. I could use all the advice that I can get.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's Your Top 40?

Family Tree Magazine wants you to nominate a genealogy blog for the Family Tree 40 Best Genealogy Blogs. (Read more about the project over at Genealogy Insider).

The good news is, you can nominate for as many blogs as you'd like - including your own! I highly suggest you all go out and start nominating your favorite genealogy blogs.

My goal is to nominate one blog per day (preferably a different blog each day). I have already nomintated Geneabloggers, Genea-Musings, footnoteMaven, DearMyrtle, and my own blog. However, I have a lot of blogs that I plan on nominating.

To nominate a blog, click here

Who will you be nominating?

Things Are Going To Be A Bit Slow...

Since school started last week, I have been constantly running around. My school schedule is a bit chaotic and I am extra tired as I try to adjust to waking up early and going to bed late and dealing with the stress of the financial aid office. Thus, I've had very little time for my own genealogy, let alone blogging.
However, I hope to knock out a post or two every week just to keep me sane. Because honestly, genealogy and blogging are my therapy. But if things get a bit slow over the next couple of months (The semester ends in December), then I apologize. I will do my best to post as often as I can.
I just want to thank all of my regular readers out there for sticking by me. I love you guys!