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October 5, 2010

Genealogy Day: Not as Easy at it Sounded!

My first planned Genealogy Day was October 1st and I thought I'd let readers know how it went. Genealogy Day is the day I'm setting aside once a month to work on my own genealogy for a change!

My plan was a stay-at-home day with hubby, when we would both organize files and documents on one ancestor. I thought we would also work up a Research plan for each of our ancestors. HA! How naive was I?

The day didn't start well. I'm an early riser and figured that by the time hubby woke up 2 hours later, I'd have a good start on Cornelius Vollick's land records. That was all I wanted to do - organize what land records and petitions I have, figure out what I need next, and write out a simple research plan.

I spread my Cornelius Vollick file on our dining room table. I sorted and read and organized, all the while realizing I had quite a shambles on my hands. Hubby got up and somehow we both got sidetracked into household chores! It seemed that having set aside a free day we were both obsessed with getting caught up on cleaning and handyman jobs that had been neglected.

Note to self: Do the dishes and kitchen cleanup the night before Genealogy Day! No cleaning the fridge or scrubbing toilets either. Housework can wait!

By 1 pm I decided that was it, I was sitting down and working on my genealogy without interruption. I was able to do that and worked fairly steadily until 5 pm. I managed to organize all the Upper Canada Land Petitions and township papers I have for Cornelius, his siblings and his father. I checked the online index to see if I'd missed any and was surprised to find I had.

I printed off the "hits" from the online index, circled the ones I need, and the ones I want to re-copy due to my poor copy on hand. That was a good feeling! Part 1 of my research plan done! Next month when we go to the Ontario Archives I will get those petitions.

Next I sorted township papers. Then I wrote out all the land locations for Cornelius and his family members over the years. That was a huge job! It meant I had no time to figure out the rest of my research plan but it had a positive benefit in that I then took some time to analyse the land locations.

I felt that I achieved part of my goal for Genealogy Day 1, but I need to be more focused for the next in-home one. And I will definitely need another in-home Genealogy Day before we venture out on our field trip to the Archives.

I'm sorry to say that hubby did not fare quite as well. He didn't settle in to his genealogy until mid-afternoon, and then he quickly became side-tracked by his notes on the Massey branch he wanted to research. I think he ended up mostly reading his previous research notes and running to the computer to look things up on! He agrees he needs to hone in a specific goal and not allow himself to be distracted.

All in all I'm pleased that we started our monthly Genealogy Day and even though I'm disappointed in how little I achieved, I am reminding myself that I got some organization and planning done - and that next time I'll be better at it!


J.M. said...

Ah well, every little bit helps! And now you know what pitfalls to avoid next time.

Michelle Goodrum said...

I think it's pretty typical that we think we can accomplish more in a set amount of time than we realistically can. It sounds to me like you got an incredible amount of work done.

PS. I have a big problem with getting distracted by household chores too.

GeneBugGrams said...

You are so lucky you and hubby SHARE this interest. My hubby supports me in my research, but at the same time, he can be my biggest distraction, not housework.

Congratulations on making another good plan work for you.