Week 4: Tasks are a little more complicated and so is life. So here are my ideas for what week 4 will entail for me. Not sure if it will pan out that way:
Managing Projects and Tasks:
Specific tasks I am currently keeping track of in Evernote:
World War I Draft Cards
Probably twenty years ago, Hubby and I were at the National Archives in Atlanta when the World War I Draft Cards came in. We were allowed to take the cards out of the boxes and photocopy the ORIGINAL cards that probably hadn’t been touched since 1920. Since they were stored by County and then Alphabetically, we just took all the counties we were researching in and copied as many of them as we could while we were there. But in the mean time, we have found out more about our families and I know there are some men we missed. So I am working on getting a list of each 3rd great grandfather’s male descendants together and checking to see if I have a copy of their WWI Draft Card. If not, the next time Ancestry or Fold3 has a free weekend, I will go and get those copies.
Civil War Ancestors
Hubby and I both have now turned 50. Two kids are out of the house and the third one likes to spend her Spring Break in front of the TV. Her Granny has cable! So he and I have started touring Civil War Battlefields. We’ve done Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Vicksburg. Next we want to do Fredericksburg. The Civil War Battlefields are way more interesting, if you have an ancestor and a unit you are following. My 3rd great Grandfather, Joseph Hubbard claims he was injured and captured at Fredericksburg. So I need to make sure I have all his records scanned and in Evernote, so that I can view them on my Kindle while we are at the park! So I have a list of age appropriate male ancestors to see if they served in the Civil War. And then I need to see what major battlefield did they fight on. And I need to get copies of their compiled service records and possible pension files.
Revolutionary War Ancestors
This year I joined the DAR for the first time. And became amazed at how many Revolutionary War Ancestors I have that have already been approved by the DAR as soldiers of the Revolution. So I need to get my proof together for those lines. With a kid headed to college and two daughters who are going to get married someday, money is still fairly tight, but I figure I can afford one new soldier a year. Since supplementals take about that long to get approved, I figure I just need to get my paper work together and then I can submit them as I have the application fees. And you know what that means: Revolutionary War Battlefields. Years ago we traveled to Kings Mountain and listened to the reenactors there. I had a newborn and wasn’t really into genealogy yet, and little did I know that my ancestors fought at Kings Mountain and were Overmountain men! I had stood on the same ground as my ancestors and I had no clue.
So those are some of the research tasks I plan on monitoring and making great progress on in 2015! It sounds ambitious, but it’s really not. I just need to stop retracing the same steps over and over again and that is where good note taking will come into play. I have created research tasks in Evernote and have begun to transfer all my notes (and pictures) into it for all my ancestors. Then I will be able to see where I need more work and where I just need to go and visit.
I have found for me the easiest way to do this is ONE ROLL OF MICROFILM at a time. I don’t use Online Trees at all. I figure if that person could find the information, so can I. 🙂 I prefer to research in the documents created by my ancestors. And I like to collaborate with other researchers who are using original documents.
So in Evernote, I have one note for each roll of microfilm I give each note a tag to identify it. When I find a document on that roll of film, I tag it with that microfilm number. Now I can see my list of tasks for the microfilm and I can see all the documents I have found using that one tag.
If I correspond with a researcher, I copy our emails to a note in Evernote and tag it appropriately. I wish I had used this system years ago, since emails I had 15 years ago with researchers are now lost, since I have changed computers a number of times and I wasn’t good at saving those correspondences. I plan on getting better at that!
And finally, I have been moving scanned images into Evernote and making sure I have scans for my sources and sources for my scans. I plan on cleaning up at least ten of those a day so that by the end of the year all current sources will be in Evernote and well tagged. And hopefully all current images will have source citations. I have thousands of cemetery records from my blog that aren’t cited in TMG. This is the year!
I also still need to work, tend to my family and sleep. Going to be a busy year!