Genealogy Do-Over: Step #2 – Where I’m at now

Topic: Setting Research Goals
As Week #2 closes, I have made some decisions:
1) I will think of the Do-Over weeks as steps instead of weeks.
2) I will recreate my tree, beginning with me
3) As I add each new person to the tree, I will :
  • gather, scan/photograph, record and file all documents I have for the individual
  • use the research log to track what I have done
  • enter information into RootsMagic, completing citations as noted on log
  • complete the “to-do” list as I go along – these will become research goals in the future

4)  As the Do-Over progresses, I will review recent work and incorporate the new skills/techniques.

Doing all the above for one individual, then moving to the next person, rather doing a global sort/reorganize seems to be a better match for me. I need to see the results from applying my newly learned (relearned) skills. 

Here’s a Before and After of my digital files for my 3rd great-grandfather, Aaron Lazarus Samuel:

You’ll notice a few things from this reorganization:
  1.  There are more files in the AFTER folder. That’s because I went through ALL my digital folders and moved all relevant files to this new folder. 
  2. There’s a shorter path to get to Aaron’s folder.
  3. The FIRST file in the AFTER folder is the Genealogy Research Log for this person. I put an underscore _ as the first character to force it to the top (Learned this from a Do-Over post!)
  4. The old folder for Aaron (inside the HOLD Genealogy folder) is now colored red. I used Folder Maker to differentiate this finished folder from the others.(Learned about the Folder Maker program from the Do-Over.) Once my Do-Over is completed and I’m sure I don’t need the old information, I’ll delete the old folders.
Aaron Samuel Folder -AFTER

HOLD Genealogy folder – AFTER

Topic: Conducting Self Interview
RootsMagic has a pretty comprehensive list of facts you can associate with each person in the database. After entering myself into my new file, I completed as many of the facts as were applicable to my life. This went fairly quickly as I wasn’t slowed down by the tedious completion of citations. The only citation I used was “Personal Knowledge!” On my to-do list, I listed the need to the acquire the documents related to my life 

I did enter the names of my parents, my direct paternal ancestors (the men only), my step-dad and my siblings as I knew I was going to focus on my 3rd Great-Grandfather, Aaron Lazarus Samuel and my step-dad, Alfonse Falcone for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

Topic: Conducting Family Interviews
So much for watching the video of my Mom. We recently got a new flat-screen TV and apparently my husband hasn’t hooked up the VCR! I am also going to resend the interview questions I originally sent out years ago. This time, I will expand the list of recipients to my cousins as well as others who may have relevant information to contribute. This will have to wait until I return from my vacation. 

Hopefully, I will be rested and reinvigorated, ready to resume the Do-Over!

7 thoughts on “Genealogy Do-Over: Step #2 – Where I’m at now

  1. Well done with folder progress. I like the idea of doing one folder at a time, then marking it by colour for done. Perhaps I'll now do it instead of dithering over so many poorly named files.


  2. Hi Deborah, I'm also wanting to send out a questionnaire to family members that I can't go and visit. Can I ask what questions are you asking? I'm worrying that my long list will bore them to tears.I'm going to rope my parents' into helping interview the older generations as they probably won't want to fill out an online form, (although the image of my granddad trying to use a computer is quiet entertaining!)


  3. Thanks! I felt like I'd still be a mess unless I focused on one person at a time. Gathering all the related data and THEN reorganizing made me feel like I accomplished something. The only problem was being tempted to do research \”right then and there\” to fill in the gaps. Having the to-do list open helped me avoid that issue.


  4. I'll get the list for you by tomorrow. You are right to be concerned about length. When I sent my first list to my father, years ago, he said something like \”jeez!! are you trying to kill me?\” I pared it down to something around 35 questions.


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