Saturday, August 23, 2014

Research Prioritization and Focus

Confused Darth VaderOver the past several weeks or so I have done a little research on several different ancestor lines. I have touched on my wife’s paternal lines; Rogers and Capen.  I’ve also done a little on her maternal lines; Nisgoda and Gierig. My plan, however, was to be working on my maternal side; Pakledinaz and Lucas. Then, of course, my sister was visiting for a little while so I also dabbled down our paternal side; Shaw and Canter. My sister is actually doing the research for this side of the family but I am the one that does the writing for the blog so I have to stay in step with the information she has. That is a lot of different lines to be researching in just a few short weeks.

So, I have come to the conclusion that dabbling in every ancestral line a little bit here and a little bit there does not get anything done (duh!).  Here are the problems I have encountered over the last few weeks and I attribute every one of them to my lack of prioritization and focus:

1. My research is scattered and I am not keeping up with my logs. I have specific research goals and a plan, but with all this jumping around between lines – I lose sight of the goal.
2. I have hand-written notes about more than one ancestor on the same sheet of paper and I cannot tell which note belongs to which ancestor.
3. I have so much going on with different lines that when I have time to sit down and do some actual family history duties, I do not know where to start. And on more than one occasion this has led to nothing actually getting done.
4. Confusion sets in when I am thinking or talking about a certain ancestor – I have gotten two ancestors in completely different lines mixed up with one another.
5. I run into the same issue when I sit down and hammer out some blog post ideas or the actual posts. I have so much running through my mind with the different lines that I do not know what to post about next – so nothing gets posted.

I know I have to get better at how I use my time for each line or I am just going to keep spinning my wheels and will not get any serious research done. I have actually been thinking about this for the last week or so with several different ideas flashing through my brain. However, I think what makes sense me and allows research and focus time with all our family lines within a given year is to break my time quarterly, like this:

January – March = Shaw/Canter (my paternal side)
April – June = Nisgoda/Gierig (wife’s maternal side)
July – September = Lucas/Pakledinaz (my maternal side)
October – December = Rogers/Capen (wife’s paternal side)

This does not mean that I will ignore the other lines if it is not their quarter. I will still be open for new leads or new contacts but I may not act on them right away. For instance, this quarter is Pakledinaz/Lucas, if I come along some information on Capen, I will take note of that information in OneNote (my note taking software) so it is saved for when the Capen quarter comes up. I cannot think of any lead or piece of information that would be so time-sensitive that I would have to drop everything and pursue it. If a cousin or other researcher contacts me I am not going to ignore them. This is the only scenario that I can think of that may make me stop everything and focus, for a short period of time, on another line.

Have you found yourself in the same boat? How do you divide your time between the different ancestral lines that you research?

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.

Photo, Confusion by Zielanella, courtesy of Funny Images on Flickr.

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© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw

Friday, August 22, 2014

Follow Friday–My Favorites from the Last Week (or so…)

Follow Friday Favorite Posts

The below blog posts caught my attention over the past week or so and thought I would pass them along in case you missed them.

- We are all looking for a cheap place to buy or even better yet, a free place, Lifehack gives a look at the 15 Best Online Bookstore for Cheap New and Used Books.
- Do you want to help digitize our past? The Smithsonian Want You! (To Help Transcribe its Collections)
- Do you think some of your research time is wasted? Kenneth Marks of The Ancestor Hunt Blog gives some advice on how to avoid the ‘Date Trap’ in his post Don't Fall into the Genealogy Date Trap.
- Chuck Sambuchino provided some advice on how to avoid mistakes while you venture into the writing world in his post 5 Mistakes Writers Make (And How to Avoid Them)
- For the American Revolution and history buffs, Bethany Collins writing for the Journal of American Revolution provides some info on those German fighters in 8 Fast Fact About Hessians.
- Another from The Writer's Digest,  Adrienne Crezo gets some advice from those that do the job in her post The Rules of Writing According to 20 Famous Writers.

I hope you find these useful or at the very least, interesting.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin' for that family.

Chris

This Day in History–22 August

Day in History

1796 – Franz Csihas (4th Great Grandfather) was born in Batschsentiwan, Batschka, Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Thank you for reading – if you find a link to our family or would like to know anything more about those listed above, please contact me.

Keep diggin’ for that family.

Chris

Thursday, August 21, 2014

This Day in History–21 August

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1850 – John Rowe married Ann Davis (3rd Great Grandparents) in Newport, Monmouth, England.

Thank you for reading – if you find a link to our family or would like to know anything more about those listed above, please contact me.

Keep diggin’ for that family.

Chris

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

This Day in History–20 August

Day in History

1766 – Stefan Deppert (6th Great Granduncle) was born in Boglar, Schildgebirge, Hungary.

1800 – Stefan Teppert (4th Great Granduncle) was born in Apatin, Batschka, Austro-Hungarian Empire

1798 – Lydia Capen (Wife’s 2nd cousin 7 times removed) was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

1820 – Samuel John Capen (Wife’s 2nd cousin 7 times removed) was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

1870 – Clarence Lester Capen (Wife’s 2nd cousin 3 times removed) was born in Eastport, Maine.

 

Thank you for reading – if you find a link to our family or would like to know anything more about those listed above, please contact me.

Keep diggin’ for that family.

Chris

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This Day in History: 19 August

The Clock

1739 – Thomas Capen (Wife’s 3rd cousin, 7 times removed) was baptized in Charlestown, Massachusetts

1775 – Edward Capen (wife’s 2nd Cousin 7 times removed) was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts

1876 – Elisabeth Piller (1st Cousin 4 times removed) was born in Milititsch, Batschka, Austro-Hungarian Empire.

 

Thank you for reading – if you find a link to our family or would like to know anything more about those listed above, please contact me.

Keep diggin’ for that family.

Chris

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This Day in History–17 August

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1771 –Patience Badlam (Wife’s 2nd cousin 7 times removed) was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

1792 – Rupertus Csihas (6th Great Grandfather) died in Batschsentiwan, Batschka, Hungary, Austria. He was about 72 years old.

Molly_puppy 2011 – Molly (our dog) was born in Werdan, Saarland, Germany)

 

 

Thank you for reading – if you find a link to our family or would like to know anything more about those listed above, please contact me.

Keep diggin’ for that family.

Chris