Monday, August 11, 2008
My family's history and heritage is mixed. Both sides of my dad's family came from England and Ireland. In our country they migrated to north Texas by way of Kentucky and Tennessee. My mother's mother's side of my family came from Florida and were Seminole, but not on any rolls, that we know of. My mother's dad's family came from England and Alabama. Both sides of my mother's family settled in east Texas.
My three grown biological children and four biological grandchildren's heritage adds Cherokee through their dad's mother's side of their family. Their biological dad's dad's family came from England to Arkansas in the 1800s and settled in eastern Oklahoma.
My husband's mother's family came from England and Ireland and settled in Hingham, Massachusetts and Chautauqua County in New York in the late 1700s and early 1800s. My husband's father's family was unknown until recently when we discovered who his paternal grandparents were. My husband's three grown children, seven biological grandchildren, and one biological great-grandchild share his heritage.
I got a late start in the games, but have been working these 3 days on several tasks I have finished. This is what I have accomplished since August 8, 2008:
1. Go Back and City Your Sources!
I have checked and rechecked five generations of the Gray side of my family (my mother's father's family) in east Texas to make sure that each person in that line is as fully described as is possible using John Wiley's web site guidance with citations either from census records, birth records, death records, or primary source materials from the Gray family. That counts for 20 citations in the last 3 days for a Silver Medal so far.
2. Back Up Your Data!
A. My comprehensive backup plan for my digital research files is in place with the following:
1. I have Windows folders on my hard drive for each family in my history. I subdivide each family's surname by using more folders with the head of an individual's family name.
2. Sometimes there is enough information to subdivide the individual's full name into periods of time in their life, followed by separate folders that contain the adult children's information about them and/or their family. The wife in each family has a folder with her maiden name from her original family.
3. Examples: Family Folders/Robbins Family/William Augustus Robbins/Birth-High School/College-Young Adult/Marriage-Death. Wife:Fannie Harriet Love Robbins goes in the Love Family Folder with the following subdivision: Birth-High School/College-Young Adult/Marriage-Death. Because each person's life is unique, other subdivisions may be used such as: World War I Years in Hawaii, Teaching Years, Traveling Around the World, etc.
4. There are separate Windows folders according to surname and heads of family names for cemeteries and town histories or family histories.
C. I backed up my genealogy records and other information today including scanned photographs, documents, letters, and associated maps using an external 2.5GB hard drive. It took most of the day, particularly for the photograph backup. I used a flash drive before for backup, but discovered it does not have enough memory.
D. I am organizing each family by surname and then first names by generation or geographical location in eight plastic file drawer cabinet size boxes (15" x 27") with lids at this time. I have discovered that notebooks are best for what I am currently focusing on. I have scanned 10 photographs each day during the contest and will place all original documents in our safe room that is built out of red iron steel for the four walls and ceiling with concrete blocks, 8' x 8' x 8', with shelves built around three sides that keep everything off the floor, or in case of tornado, closed in with a steel door. There is also a fire and waterproof safe in the room. It can only hold about 20 folders with the most valuable file information.
Notes for B and E. What is cataloged is in waterproof letter size file boxes with lids, but not everything is cataloged. It will take me about another year to catalog everything I have been given from my husband's side of the family, so I do not believe that I can complete E. and lose only 1 month or less worth of research. So far I can say that have a Silver Medal and am working on a Gold Medal.
3. Organize Your Research!
A. I have organized 20 hard files into file folders in the file boxes in the last 3 days.
B. I have organized 20 digital files into Windows folders with added labels, metadata, descriptions. I do not have tags. I hope someone will explain what that is to me.
C. I have organized 20 photos into their sheet protective folders in the last 3 days.
D. I am working on organizing 20 digital photos into their sheet protective folders.
E. I have created 20 data entries into my database and have scanned 20 photos and/or documents.
F. I have not created a master list of my files and notified my family members of where it is stored. My middle daughter knows that I use an external hard drive and flash drives for backup and knows where things are kept in the safe room.
I have completed three tasks for a Gold Medal and am working on a fourth for a Diamond Medal.
4. Write, Write, Write!
I have not accomplised anything about Write, Write, Write, during the contest. I will start on that after Tuesday night when we have our neighbors (about 22-24) over for the neighborhood monthly dinner.
5. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!
I still have to do the tasks in #5 during the contest time frame. I have done some of these tasks before, but not during the contest. That will begin after Tuesday also.