September 9, 2013

Genealogy Goal 2 – Preserve the Heirlooms

Posted in Goals at 8:28 pm by hoosierroots

Time to create objectives for the second goal.

Goal 2:  Collect and preserve the family heirlooms for the generations to come.

As the acknowledged family historian on both sides of my family, I have been fortunate to receive a closet full of old family photos. These photos stretch back to the late 1800′s with significant collections for every decade since. Some are labeled, some are not. While I will likely never identify every photo, I know more about many of the pictures than will my children or their children. In addition to photographs I have a smattering of old letters and documents, including my great-great-grandfather’s Civil War discharge papers. There are also a few audio tapes, movie reels, and even the now almost-antique VHS tapes.

If these items are to survive to continue to tell the story of our past they need to be labeled, digitized, preserved, and distributed. It makes me shudder to think what a loss it would be if our house were to burn – which is where the strategy of digitizing with an off-site backup and then distributing the originals among my cousins is imperative.

I have scanned many photos, but I have many, many, many more to go. In order to keep my load reasonable, I am going with a fairly simple – and single objective here. For now.

Objective 2a: Scan “modern” photos that my mother took. I have several boxes of photos I gathered from my father’s house when he recently moved. These photos are primarily from 1980-2004. (My father went digital in late 2004.) While I have a high quality flatbed scanner, scanning is relatively slow as the lid has to be raised between scans. I have recently purchased an inexpensive photo scanner that allows photos to be fed through the slot. No doubt, the quality is not quite as good, but the speed makes up for it. I was able to scan the first box (maybe 2000 photos?) in a couple weeks while watching television. Eventually I want to organize all the photos, label them, and so forth – but for now I will concentrate on scanning. I will scan another box by the end of October.

September 8, 2013

Genealogy Goal 1 – Capture Today’s Memories

Posted in Goals at 7:38 pm by hoosierroots

Now that I have listed my 7 Genealogy Goals, I want to create a specific objective under each. A key to success is to keep these objectives specific, realistic, and obtainable within a reasonable timeframe. An easy way for me to thwart the “realistic” criteria is to create too many objectives; I plan on restricting myself to one objective per goal to start.

Borrowing in part from my listing of goals in 2009, on to Goal 1:

Goal 1: Capture the family memories of today for they are the family history of tomorrow.

While our lives seem very ordinary to us, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will find mundane topics such as antique cell phones and how we did the laundry fascinating. After all, aren’t we thrilled when we find even a single letter from our ancestors taking about playing bridge at night or gathering and listening to the fiddle playing.

As I wrote before, Dr. Thomas Jones suggests that this is the most important objective of all in his lecture ““Creating Family Histories for Future Generations.” To keep the number of objectives contained, I will not (for now) include projects such as scrapbooking and restarting the KUWJ (Keeping Up With the Joneses) newsletter.

That said, I cannot contain myself to only one supporting objective here.

Objective 1a: Help my father complete the book he is writing on his life.

The text is all but written We are half through the editing process. I must put this as the top priority. It is a phenomenal treasure, and it is time to finish. I will set a timeline to complete a chapter a week.

Objective 1b: Write a weekly entry for “the Story of Me.”

As I posted recently, I am participating in a project during which I will respond to a prompt once a week to write about myself and my life. The prompts will come weekly for 15 months, or until the end of 2014. I intend to write most of these entries on Saturday evenings.

September 7, 2013

Prompt 1. Ask yourself 20 times “Who are you?”

Posted in The Book of Me at 1:19 pm by hoosierroots

DCW

  1. I am Deborah Catherine Marvel Wesley, daughter of William Frederick and Martha Catherine (Jones) Marvel, and wife of Jon David Wesley.
  2. I am the mother of three wonderful adult children, Christina, Christopher, and Michael.
  3. I am the younger sister of Susan Elizabeth Marvel.
  4. I am a niece, a cousin, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, a mother-in-law, an aunt, and a great-aunt.
  5. I am a friend to a few very special women.
  6. I am a neighbor, in a neighborhood where I have lived since I was thirteen months old.
  7. I am Director of Information Technology at Vertellus Specialties Inc., a global specialty chemical manufacturing firm.
  8. I am a family historian, a family archivist, and a genealogist.
  9. I am a cook, a maid, and an errand runner.
  10. I am a photographer – capturing family events and beautiful scenery.
  11. I am a dog owner and a dog trainer.
  12. I am a 4-H Leader – with most of 4-H time now being devoted to 4-H Dog Agility. It occurs to me the day may soon be coming when it will be time to let this one go in order to concentrate on other interests.
  13. I am a book reader – historical fiction and suspense being my favorites. I still prefer the physical book to an ebook, but I am starting to see one advantage to ebooks – less storage required.
  14. I am a gardener – although in recent years it is a bit tough to tell.
  15. I am a child of God, imperfect, yet loved by our Heavenly Father.
  16. I am a seventh generation Hooiser and a third-generation American (all depending on which family line I count.)
  17. I am an English-Irish-Scottish-German- (and according to my recent DNA test) – Sweedish-Finish-Asian all American “mutt.”
  18. I am a collector of tea cups and frogs, and most recently sugar bowls.
  19. I am a camper, treasuring past trips, and eagerly looking forward to more adventures with my hubby, as well as with some friends.
  20. I am a computer geek – loving the latest technology, even when it is not work related, and very happy to have a new, screaming fast, desktop PC for photo and video editing.
  21. I am a exploring cook after 30+ years of fixing evening meals, pushing my standard repertoire, using new ingredients, and new techniques.
  22. I am a Colts fan – feeling a little guilty that NFL now commands more interest from me than basketball, but sill love the Indiana Pacers.
  23. I am a sporadic scrapbooker, always planning to do more, but knowing that whatever I do complete is a treasure.
  24. I am a woman who knows I should exercise, but keeps putting off getting restarted.
  25. I am a wanna-be crafter, with more projects in mind than time – primarily sewing, quilting, crocheting, and needlework.
  26. I am a nature lover – trees, birds, wild flowers, butterflies – who thinks sometimes I need to stop and just sit and breath and enjoy the view.
  27. I am a 55 year-old (for a few more days) who can being to see the signs of aging – reading glasses, gray hair at the temples, an occasional sore foot or hip, and realizes it is time to stop putting off what I want to do.

Setting Goals

Posted in Goals at 11:13 am by hoosierroots

A little over four years ago I wrote seven genealogy goals. They were intended to be high level and withstand the test of time. Underneath each goal, I would then define projects that would lead me towards that goal. I have made some progress on those listed projects over the past years. Not surprising, there is also much I did not accomplish. As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my research, I am pleased to find the goals I wrote in 2009 are still solid. The only change I am making to the goals is to reorder them. (A little earlier I posted a bit about why the “now” must take priority over the past.)

  1. Capture the family memories of today for they are the family history of tomorrow.
  2. Collect and preserve the family heirlooms for the generations to come.
  3. Identify and document the lives of my children’s ancestors.
  4. Breathe life into these ancestors by accumulating details, expanding the research into their families and neighbors, and putting them into their historical and social context.
  5. Creatively share the information and stories of the family of yesteryear with the extended family of today in a way that sparks the interest of those less passionate about family history.
  6. Continually expand knowledge of genealogy methods and records through both formal and informal education.
  7. Give back to the genealogy community through meaningful volunteer activities and collaborative efforts.

In the coming week I will expand upon each of these.

A Fresh Start

Posted in Happenings at 10:55 am by hoosierroots

Over the past few years I have used this blog to cover a number of topics – kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, scrapping, gardening, and a bit of what’s-happening-in-my-life-journaling. I have posted sporadically – for a while I would post daily, and then I might skip a few months.

As I enter the “empty nest years’ I am ready to once again turn significant attention to capturing and recording our family history. I intend to use this blog to document that adventure. While I imagine I will occasionally still want to blog about gardening or scrapping or the next remodeling project, I have decided to reserve this blog for my family history findings. Hence I have transferred most of my other post to Hoosier at Home.

If you want to share in the adventures of our ancestors, stop by here now and then.

The Book of Me, Written by You

Posted in The Book of Me at 10:42 am by hoosierroots

Julia Goucher, who blogs at Anglers Rest, has created a project “The Book of Me, Written by You.” As she explains in her post, the objective is to capture the essence of ourselves, leaving a legacy for our descendants.

It will be a challenge to keep at this for the intended 15 months, but I am going to work hard to stay at it. As was pointed out by Thomas Jones in his recent lecture “Creating Family Histories for Future Generations” at the FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, if we are serious about being family historians, we must “begin with living people”  BEFORE we start collecting information on our past relatives. After all, our descendants will be able to do much, if not most, of the same research we can do, and in some cases they will be able to do it more easily as records continue to be digitized. But they will NOT be able to capture today as well as we can.

As I begin this journey, the first two prompts have been released, so I will have to catch up this week. However, Julia has started us our rather gently, so I think I should be able to make it.

May 7, 2009

Genealogy Objective 7 – Capture Today’s Memories

Posted in Genealogy, Share at 6:09 am by hoosierroots

I am at the end of turning my list of seven genealogy objectives into actionable goals. Last, but not least…

Objective 7: Capture the family memories of today for they are the family history of tomorrow.

While our lives seem very ordinary to us, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will find mundane topics such as antique cell phones and how we did the laundry fascinating. After all, aren’t we thrilled when we find even a single letter from our ancestors taking about playing bridge at night or gathering and listening to the fiddle playing.

Goal 7a: Create a scrapbook page each week.  A page a week is not much. As I have been discussing in another series of posts I am returning to digital scrapbooking, with the goal of scrapping little pieces, or snippets, of our lives.

Goal 7b: Complete Introduction to Layout Design Class.Perhaps I should have listed this under education. In support of the goal above I have committed to a six week, on-line, layout design class. It will end in June.

Goal 7c: Assess KUWJ Status, making plans to revive. For 20 years my mother gathered, assembled, and distributed a family newsletter Keeping Up With the Joneses to her siblings and their descendants. I took it over a few years ago, but have not put out an issue in over a year. I want to get this restarted. Create a plan to restart by May 31, 2009.

OK – There we are, seven objectives with goals. As May is already marching quickly by I must hurry and organize these and get started.

May 6, 2009

Genealogy Objective 6 – Preserve the Heirlooms

Posted in Genealogy at 8:09 am by hoosierroots

I am nearing the end of turning my list of seven genealogy objectives into actionable goals.

Objective 6:  Collect and preserve the family heirlooms for the generations to come.

As the acknowledged family historian on both sides of my family, I have been fortunate to receive a closet full of old family photos. These photos stretch back to the late 1800’s with significant collections for every decade since. Some are labeled, some are not. While I will likely never identify every photo, I know more about many of the pictures than will my children or their children. In addition to photographs I have a smattering of old letters and documents, including my great-great-grandfather’s Civil War discharge papers. There are also a few audio tapes, movie reels, and even the now almost-antique VHS tapes.

If these items are to survive to continue to tell the story of our past they need to be labeled, digitized, preserved, and distributed. It makes me shudder to think what a loss it would be if our house were to burn – which is where the strategy of digitizing with an off-site backupand then distributing the originals among my cousins is imperative.

I desperately want to get back to scanning, but in my new wave of realism, I will delay that until the following are complete.

Goal 6a: Reorganize the photo closet by May 31, 2009.I have done a fairly decent job of  dividing the photos and documents into boxes by family, and sometimes by decade. Most of these boxes are labeled. Some are even in archival boxes – as the budget allows. But some flurry of activity over the past months have caused some back sliding here.

Goal 6b: Organize boxes recently brought from my father’s house into the photo closet.My father has moved from his house of almost 30 years. As I helped him go through the basement we set aside seven boxes of family history items for me. “Process” a box a week, completing by June 30, 2009.

May 5, 2009

Genealogy Objective 5 – Giving Back

Posted in Genealogy, Share at 11:54 am by hoosierroots

I am continuing turning my list of seven genealogy objectives into actionable goals.

Objective 5:  Give back to the genealogy community through meaningful volunteer activities and collaborative efforts.

As genealogists we all benefit from the research and knowledge of others that have gone before us. We build on their research. We learn from their articles. We save hundreds to thousands of hours form indexing and transcriptions they have done. I feel it is crucial to give back as well. Unfortunately I also have to be realistic about the time I have to devote.

For a little over a year I served as a County Coordinator for for USGenWeb. I reluctantly resigned after I realized I could not spend the time on providing new material that the site really needed. A good volunteer fit for me is to index batches for familysearch.org; while I plan on doing more indexing in the future, I am resisting setting it as a goal for now as I see that my list of goals is getting too long to be realistic.

Goal 5a: Restore HoosierRoots to active status. For several years I have maintained a family history website HoosierRoots. It is a site which summarizes my research with sources listed. I have also posted some of the photos I have scanned. The site helps me connect with cousins, and also helps other researchers who are looking for connections. Unfortunately just this last week my site died. I am still assessing the situation, but I believe I can restore it with a two prong approach. 1) By May 31, 2009 restore (excuse my techno-babble here) the IIS metadata for HoosierRoots. 2) By September 30, 2009 build a new, more robust server to house HoosierRoots.

Goal 5b: Launch the Snippet Society by May 31, 2009.  My passion to preserve family history has led to a renewed desire to create digital scrapbook pages. Deciding that I would create a page a week, has quickly blossomed into me leading a group of almost 20 interested scrapbookers into the digital world, and joining the weekly journey. While for some it may seem to be a goal unrelated to genealogy, I have included it here as I believe the capturing of today’s memories are an important part of family history, helping others get started is certainly a contribution to the greater community of family history, and I must acknowledge the impact this task has my time. The initial launch included getting the members identified, the framework created, mentoring members in selecting software, and setting up the web site where we will communicate.

May 4, 2009

Genealogy Objective 4 – Education

Posted in Genealogy at 12:32 pm by hoosierroots

Now that  I have listed my seven genealogy objectives, I am setting  actionable goals for each objective.

Objective 4:  Ccntinually expand knowledge of genealogy methods and records through both formal and informal education.

Continuing education in the field of genealogy is critical if the work that we produce is to stand the test of time. While I will very likely never become a professional genealogist, I believe I owe myself and my descendants the same care and expertise a professional genealogist would bring to my research.

Education comes in two flavors, each having its own important contribution to make. Formal education is available through classes, conferences, and lectures. Informal education can be gained by reading books, magazines, and journals as well as accessing well written web sites and blogs.

I, by nature, love to learn, which means I must make sure that I do not spend somuch time learning about genealogy that I leave myself no time to perform my research.

Goal 4a: Complete Disc 2 of the National Genealogy Home Study Course by April 2010. This excellent course has long been considered one of three premier “basic” educational opportunities. I completed the first CD of six lessons in 2008, then took a break to concentrate on my daughter’s wedding. It is time to order, and then complete  the second of the three disk course. A time line for this significant goal: May – Order disk; June/July – Lesson 7, August/September – Lesson 8, October/November – Lesson 9, January/February – Lesson 10, March/April – Lesson 11. (Notice how I cleverly skipped over the always hectic month of December.)

Goal 4b: Complete the 18-month Professional Genealogy 2 study.A group of roughly 36 professional, professional-wanna-be’s, and serious amateur genealogist are working together to methodically read, discuss, and learn from a collaborative work, Professional Genealogy, edited by Elizabeth Shawn Mills.  Each month one or more chapters are assigned for reading, with supplemental reading sometimes assigned as well. A homework assignment is given, which is to be turned into one’s peer group. The month’s topic concludes with a moderated online chat where members of the discussion group share thoughts on a series of predefined questions. May begins Lesson 8. The course will conclude in April 2010.

Goal 4c: Selectively read incoming and backlog of genealogy magazines and journals. Genealogy magazines contain a mixture of how-to articles, news on new online and paper resources, and suggestions of how to share what we learn. Journals, more scholarly in nature, usually have three to five articles detailing the research and anlysis  performed to solve a tricky problem. Just as I love to learn, I love to read – so I subscribe to several periodicals, but don’t get them read quickly enough. I am currently subscribing to Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, and Discovering Family History. As a member of NGS I also receive two publications. I also receive two publications form the Indiana Historical Society. I use to subscribe to other magazines and journals as well, but I am trying to cut back. (Really – I AM!) To make this goal manageable I am going to read one periodical a week, only allowing myslef to read no more than half of the articles. It is time for me to learn to be selective here.

Goal 4d: Read well-written genealogy blogs. This is probably written a little generically. Here too I need to learn to be selective. It isvaluable to keep up on current happenings and discussions in the genealogy community, so I am glad I have subscribed to several blogs. (Ironically even though I have written my blog for about 18 months – I have only recently begun to methodically subscribe to other blogs, using Google Reader to manage them.) I currently subscribe to 44 blogs (a reduction  from my peak of 60), which has brought 1300 messages to my door in the last 30 days. That is 43 messages a day. Even if it only took 1 minute to read each posting, that is almost 22 HOURS each month to read. Egad!!!! While I work full time I don’t think I can devote almost an hour a day to blog reading. SO – for May I will spend 30 minutes each evening reading blogs (this is a good night time, low energy activity for me.)  I will “Star” the post I find useful (easy to do in Google Reader.)  At the end of May I will cut my blog subscription list down to 30. (I probably need to pare it further – but at least this is a good start.)

Goal 4e: Register and attend May lecture on using DNA to research genealogy.Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (no, that is not a typo) will be in Indiana giving an all day DNA seminar. This is a exploding sub-area in genealogy and Megan is one of the most dynamic lecturers I have heard. It is just too good of an opportunity to pass up, even if this Education Objective is much too full already.

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