Monday, October 18, 2010

Making a new week's resolution...

It's been awhile, folks, and I apologize for that - my day job has had me completely swamped and consequently completely drained in the free time I've had left over. I feel like all I've done the past few days is work and sleep, work and sleep.

Anyhow, I am still busy today but thought I'd take two minutes to just write a quick post - as I haven't been finding a lot of new information on my family tree lately, and as it's the start of a new week, I've decided to make a "new week's resolution" to be a more accurate and detailed genealogist. Since there's been a derth of new information, now is the perfect time to go back over the information I do have - the records, the notes, the e-mails, the newspaper clippings, everything - and try to catalogue or at least organize what I have - where I got it from, who gave it to me, authors, repositories, anything and everything - a bibliography of my research, if you will. I should've been doing this from the start anyway, and to some extent I have, but on some accounts I've also been lazy and there have been one or two occasions where I know the information I have in my tree comes from a reliable and accurate source, but I didn't write it down, so I couldn't tell you where it came from. And that's what it's about, because even if I *did* know where it came from, I'm not doing this research for me (well, yes, I am, because I do find it so interesting), but I'm not doing it just for me - I'm doing this for my children and their children, so they have a good foundation on which to continue building the family tree. And I'm doing it for my cousins and their cousins right now, who also need a good, solid place to start. You can do genealogy for yourself because it's a hobby you enjoy, but I'm not sure it reaches it's full potential unless you share it with others, so you want those others, whoever they might be, to be able to go back themselves to any original documents or sources or whatnot on their own, which is why the bibliography is key.

So, if you're just starting, start right - try to write everything down and in some kind of ordered fashion that will be usable and helpful to others. And if you're like me, this is what the genealogy research downtime is for - catching up on your organizing is a good way to be productive even when you don't feel like you're being productive!

 For guides on how to properly catalogue your findings, visit the Board for Certification of Genealogists' website at http://www.bcgcertification.org/

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