Saturday, June 18, 2011

Genealogy Time Management–Focus

time4[4]I said that I would be trying out the concepts of the article by Patricia Law Hatcher that I mentioned in my post Genealogy Time Management. However, before I can really get into her concepts I decided that for this to work for me then I must define some of her key concepts for the plan. The first will be focus.

We have all experienced the lack of focus in our research. In today’s age of computer and internet research it is too easy to get distracted and then all of a sudden you are looking at records of ancestors that in no way connect to what you originally set out to find.

What I propose to do in order to get focused is first establish some goals and objectives for my research. My goals will be something that I want to conquer within the next six months to a year. Monthly, I will establish some objectives to complete that will bring me closer to those goals. Establishing these objectives will pinpoint specific things I must know or find in order to meet that goal. They will give me just one thing to concentrate on during a research session.

Now that I will have goals for the year and objectives for the upcoming month I can actually get down to doing some research. But finding the time for this is much easier said than done as I’m sure most family historians will attest to. However, as Ms. Hatcher suggests in her article, I will schedule this time each week and if something comes up that interferes then I will reschedule my research time immediately.

We have kids so our house isn’t the most optimum place to have the peace and quiet needed to actually get some good research done. So me and the wife are going to have to work together in order to schedule our time. I can take the kids out to the park on Sunday afternoon while she stays home and dives into her research. She can do the same thing for me. Or maybe we both get the kids ready for bed and tucked in and then take an hour or two at night to conduct some research. It can work if we just work together and make a commitment to it.

The final thing I want to discuss is my plan for dealing with the inevitable distracting record or article that will grasp my attention. I do not want to ignore a possible find so I need to do something with it right when I see it. So, I will always keep a separate pad of paper or my todo list handy during research. When I come across that possible record that is not what I am looking for I can make a quick note of what it is, what it may tell me, and where to find it again. That should take all but 2 minutes to complete and is now a todo for a future session. If I capture the possible find information in this way then it should clear my mind so I can press ahead with my original search.

To recap, here is a summary of the concepts I must master to get focused:

  1. Establish my goals and objectives
  2. Concentrate on one objective for each research session
  3. Schedule the session on my calendar
  4. Deal with distractions immediately by adding to my todo list

If I can do what I just talked about then I can maintain the focus I need in order to make great use of the limited time I have to devote to my family history research each week.

I am curious how others with limited time each week maintains their focus so please leave a comment with your ideas.

Thanks for listening and keep diggin’ for that family.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday-William Canter (Cantelo)

Cantelo, Wm Grave Marker

William Canter (1881 – 1938), my Great Grandfather. Served in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in 1918.

He is also one of our immigrant ancestors. He immigrated from England in 1910 with his family. They finally settled in Detroit, Michigan sometime in the 20’s.

Thanks for taking a look and please keep diggin’ up that family.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday–Vietnam Virtual Wall

Vietnam Was Memorial

We all know of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. However, I did not know until coming across this website today that there was The Virtual Wall; Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Virtual Wall is a continuation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C. and brings the honor of the fallen Vietnam veteran to every home. You can search for names or you can look by locality, like your hometown and see all those that were killed in Vietnam. What is great about this site is that when you come across a persons name you can click on it and it will bring up facts on that person, like when the died and the circumstances. Some even have photos and family and friends can leave messages or letters to their lost loves.

This is a great resource for the family historian but it is even a better resource for honoring the brave men and women who gave their life for this country in the Vietnam War. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the volunteers that make this virtual memorial available to us all.

Photo by: Chris Waits

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Google Earth for Genealogy

3717759677_4a520a1dbbA couple weeks ago I was reading through blogs and came across Deb Ruth’s Adventures in Genealogy blog and she was telling us about the Google Earth for Genealogists webinar she attended. So I followed the link and downloaded it. Today, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the whole thing.

The webinar is put on by Lisa Louise Cooke who also runs the Genealogy Gems podcasts. I have used Google Earth before but not really that much and I didn’t play with all the features. I just thought it was another of those online mapping sites. Was I ever wrong.

Lisa Louise Cooke does a great job showing how we can use Google earth to help in our family history quest. She goes through how to use it for identifying the location a picture was taken at, which was my favorite part. And then she goes into using and making map overlays, presentations of your ancestors lives, etc…

I am currently in a place with a very slow internet connection and only my little netbook so I can’t really try out all the cool tricks she showed on Google Earth, but you can bet I’ll be trying them out  when I am back home in a couple of weeks.

Thanks to Adventures in Genealogy and Lisa Louise Cooke for showing this to me.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin for that family.


Photo by: tonynetone

Saturday, June 4, 2011

This Day in History–4 June

John Alcock married Ann Lamb on this date in 1750. They were married in Pappelwick, Nottingham, England. They are my 7th Great Grandparents (paternal).

John was christened on 26 Dec 1720 in Lynby, Nottingham, England. He would die in Lynby in 1791 and buried on 21 Nov.

Ann was born abt 1728. She died in Lynby in 1783 and was buried on the 25th of March.


Also on this date in 1663, John’s grandfather (my 9th Great Grandfather), William Alcock married his first wife, Dorothy Walker. They were married in St. Peters, Nottingham, England.

William was born abt 1640. He died in Lynby in 1711 and was buried on 2 Aug of that same year. He married my 9th Great Grandmother about 1671.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ up that family.


Friday, June 3, 2011

This Day in History–3 June

Thomas Shaw married Ann Barker on this day in 1819. They were married in Bramcote, Nottingham, England. Shaw Barker Marriage recordThey are my 5th Great Grandparents.

Thomas was born in Linby, Nottingham, England in 1766 and christened on 11 May 1766. His occupations include a smith, farrier, and a farmer. He died in Linby on 6 June 1851 at 85 years old.

Not much is known of Ann except that she was probably born in 1785 in Rolleston, Nottingham, England. 

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ up that family.