Lest you think after yesterday’s post that my genealogy research consists of neatly organized and photo-worthy little objects, I’m posting some photos today of what I’m actually DOING these days in genealogy. After 20 years of researching obsessively- and 5 more years of slipshod sporadic research- I ended up with piles and files of papers and a computer database full of information- and not much to show for it all. I’m not getting any younger, so I decided it’s time to put my papers (and computer files) in order so that my descendants can make sense of it all- and perhaps make a few photo books.
Easier said than done.
Being an only child has its benefits and drawbacks. I have SO MUCH STUFF! And it falls to me to organize it all. In the background you can see just one of several big tubs of photos and family papers- and my new little portable scanner that I just love. I can actually scan photos while watching TV! The photo on top of the stack is of my father- one of a zillion I inherited (not all as cute as this one). What to do with them all???
Below is a project that I am so proud to have made headway on in the last month. I’m following a system of organizing and color-coding my genealogy paper files that makes finding things so much easier- especially for family members that may inherit these papers someday. These files still take up the same amount of space (two very full, deep file drawers in the garage), but I don’t feel so overwhelmed when I look at them now. Each color represents the family line of one of my grandparents- and I’ve done the same for Lonnie’s family. The yellow files actually take up more room than any other color and continue on into the next drawer. These are my New England forebears and my elusive Canadian Peaslees (lots of research but no definitive answers yet on that line).
Now that the files are organized by color, I am working on one branch at a time, mostly just up to my great-great grandparents. I’m checking sources, organizing digital media, writing bios for those that don’t have them- and noting what is missing in the files. I’m working in a very limited and structured way, so that I don’t go off on tangents. I am taking a break from researching in order to organize what I have. And it looks like it could take a few years. . .
My resolve has already been tested this week by the discovery by a distant cousin of the parents of one of my three most challenging ancestors (Lonnie’s great-great grandmother, Lucy Crump). After some screaming and jumping up and down, I noted the information and passed it on to another researcher- and am now trying to ignore the barrage of emails coming my way with more leads. Genealogy can be lots of fun when information just falls in your lap!