16 October 2015

Genealogy Do Over Week Two

Thomas McEntee's topics for Week Two are:
1) Setting Research Goals,
2) Conducting Self Interview
3) Conducting Family Interviews

In looking over my blog posts from January I see that I didn't blog anything about these topics. So let's see what I can manage to do this time through.

Thomas talks about setting research goals in Week Two, but what does he mean about setting research goals? In reading Thomas' blog I find that he is talking about making specific research goals to prove (or disprove) facts about an individual.

I find that I was ahead of the game on this part, a few years ago I had created a template for making research plans to help in my research. Now, I don't have research plans created for very many people at this point, but I do have one for my great grandmother and some of her immediate family, because I have a brick wall in finding her paternal grandparents. I have found my research plan is a great way to see what I know as well as what I don't know, then to plan what and where I am going to look next.

I think that doing one of those research plans on myself would satisfy the "conduct a self interview" part of this week's assignment. I am sure everyone will understand that I am not going to post that research plan online. The names, dates, and places it would contain would be giving away too much personal information on myself and my living family members. But I encourage you to also make a research plan with yourself as the person being researched.

I know many of us haven't fully written out our lives, even though when anyone is starting to work on their family tree the advice is always to start with ourselves. So we put our names, birth date and birth place, then we add our spouses, children, parents, siblings. But do we remember to add all the little things to our own profile that fill out the skeleton of names dates and places to make us a fully fleshed out person to those who will look at our work years from now?

I am taking the time now to start over and do this right. And that means starting with myself and putting in ALL the facts with proper sources and citations. And to do that I need to make a research plan for myself to remind me of all the documentation I need to find about my life.

I have a couple of maternal aunts and one maternal uncle still living, and the widow of my paternal uncle that I should interview before I lose those resources. I need to find a way to do that sooner rather than later. Two are active online so they will be easiest to chat with, the other two will take more effort on my part. I know I won't regret making the effort, I will regret it if I don't.

Here is a blank version of my research plan for your use, I have this in my word processing program which means I can type as much as I want under each heading:

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