Saturday, January 1, 2011

My 2011 Genealogy Plan

Ok, resolution time is upon us on this first day of the year. I don't do resolutions as they put undue stress on me but I was intrigued by Jasia's Carnival Blog subject for the first Carnival of Genealogy for 2011 - "Describe your Genealogy/Research Plan for 2011". I am going with the thought that a "plan" is not a resolution.

I have been involved in genealogy since the mid 1970's. Yep, way back then when I was just a child, (ok, TK and I were both children, right TK?). Back in those days, there were no personal computers, family history software or the Internet and my research consisted of leg work visiting cemeteries, county buildings, libraries, writing multitudes of letters, etc and typing up my results on the old LDS family history sheets.

I started out with lofty plans involving researching all 8 surnames of my great-grandparents so I had stacks and stacks of typed Family History sheets, documents, and as the years went by, many photos that I acquired as my reputation as the family historian became more pronounced and multitudes of cousins shared information with me.

Where are all these materials now? I was organized - of a sort. I used an individual envelope box for each surname (the type of boxes that 500 #10 envelopes came in), some surnames required more than one box but they were all the same shape and size of boxes with the surnames neatly labeled on the ends and all stacked up on shelves.

In 1998, I decided that Family Tree Maker was my software of choice and I would start inputting this data in the computer. I chose the surname in which I had the most information which is my Kolberg family. The reason for that choice was that my mother and I were planning a 1999 Kolberg family reunion and I wanted to have all that data computerized so that I could print out a huge family chart. It took just shy of 12 months for me to computerize all that data in FTM and I admit that I slacked greatly on sourcing my information. Well, that is another subject for another time.

Since that time nothing else has been computerized. And being an over-fussy person I have been debating just how to bring order to the chaos (though neat chaos) that are my genealogy files.

I have upgraded to FTM 2011 and installed that on both my desktop and my new laptop in a different file from my old FTM 2006. I have installed Picasa and my Paint Shop Pro on the laptop as well and have installed Drop Box on both computers.

Now, the plan.....

I will begin inputting into FTM and start with the surname that I have the least information on which is my Rubis family. By starting with the smallest amount of data, I hope I get motivated to continue. I am going to be scanning all the documents and photos that I have on this surname as well (very few photos and a minimal amount of documents on this Polish surname) and will be placing the originals on heavy bond paper, sliding them into archival sheet protectors for final placement in designated 3-ring binders.

That is the plan; let's see if I can get going...


Bob Kramp said...

I guess you can always resolve to stick to the plan. I hope you are going to GEDCOM some of that data to FTM 2011. I wonder what "Drop Box" is and can you use it for Genealogy? Good Luck in 2011.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Bob, for the comments. The Jury is out, as far as I am concerned, as to the value of Drop Box yet as it is giving me fits!

Apple said...

I hope starting with the smallest box gets you going. Good luck!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Apple, I hope so, too!

Janice said...


I started way back in the 70s too, as a youngun. As much as my genealogy is greatly computerized, I still love to go back and browse through binders where the original paperwork, newspaper articles, photographs sit. That to me is much more magical and there is not a place on the internet that can quite mimic that feeling.

Jan at Cow Hampshire

T.K. said...

Janice certainly hit the nail on the head, didn't she! Magical, indeed, and motivational, too!

Good luck with your plan, Cheryl!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, TK; as you know, I am great at planning and carrying through can be something else. But I am giving it a try.