Friday, January 16, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 2

Time to do a self- interview, family interviews and set research goals.

The Self-Interview

Self Interview

   I started by listing my facts, date of birth, marriage information etc. I discovered it is hard to just list facts about yourself and not expound on each detail until you've written a book. Instead of writing an autobiography, I decided to add to the details with snippets of personal information to make them more interesting. I thought of the information I would like to know about my ancestors. I have always wondered why families relocated, what drew them to a place, where they met their spouses and so on.
   If my descendants were to search future records, they would find that I moved to Colorado from Florida. From there to Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, back to Colorado then to Washington state. The records only show the different locations but not the back story. So in my new narrative, I will include information about each move. We can’t all be famous and have our life stories well known, but we can share a little piece of ourselves for future generations.

Interviewing family members

   It is very important to interview the older members of your family. They have stories that are impossible to find elsewhere. It is great to turn dry facts into a narrative. I am trying to motivate my son in law to interview his grandmother. She will be a wealth of information, family facts, and stories. It can be hard to make the time but it will be well worth it.
   In my case, there is no one left to interview about the past. I do, however, have three narratives that were done by other relatives regarding different parts of our family tree. I am using these to satisfy this step of the Do-Over. As with all family stories, it is necessary to do fact checking. One of these stories will be the focus of the next step. 

Research Goals

  It is important to set a goal in genealogical research. Establishing a goal and tracking your progress keeps your work on track. It is so easy to go off on a tangent and end up not having accomplished the work you needed to do. Once a goal is set, it is important to set incremental goals or deadlines in order to accomplish the main goal. This step of setting goals and the next steps in the following weeks are the areas I need to address the most. I have three goals and all of them are brick walls in my direct family line. By following this do-over, I hope to break down those walls.

   On to begin week 3...............

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