Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over, Cycle 2 Week 2

Week 2 of the Do-Over consists of 1) Setting Research Goals, 2) Conducting Self Interview, and 3) Conducting Family Interviews

What I did:

  • I thought I had documented all the important information on myself. Boy, was I wrong! I had input the usual data into my FTM: birth, marriage, children, etc. What I never thought about doing prior to this was including ALL of the milestones in my life. I had never thought about how many years it would be before family could find me on the census records! It would 2042 before they would find me listed as a 9-year-old in the 1970 census! Since, my dad did contract work and we traveled a lot. I sat down and wrote a timeline of where I lived (in as far back as I could remember - wish I had thought to ask him about all of that before he passed!), schools I went to, clubs I joined, and colleges I attended. I learned how to cite a first hand knowledge source (i.e. my self-interview). I used this citation for all of the information I entered. I then located and scanned diplomas, transcripts, and other documentation when possible to prove these facts. One thing I realized when I started this Do-Over during Cycle 1, was that although I had recorded my birth date, I didn't even have a copy of my birth certificate. So, I ordered mine and my husband's back in January. They just recently came in, so I added them to my FTM along with the citations! Thanks, Thomas MacEntee! Without this do-over, and taking the time to slow down and start with myself, I wouldn't have even realized I was missing these important documents.
  • Sadly, most of my older relatives have all passed, so I am unable to glean any more tidbits from them. I am working on an interview for my mother, but it will be a few weeks before I can make it down there to see her. She doesn't do Skype, and trying to have a conversation on the phone usually goes awry. I have been in touch with my siblings to get as much information from these as I can. I am going to continue to seek out extended family members and interview them.
Citation for self-interview using EE 3.32 Private Holdings: Interviews, p 147.

Ford-Collier, Renita. Glenn Heights, Texas. My Self-Interview by Renita Ford-Collier. 08 Apr 2015. Transcript. Privately held by Ford-Collier, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Glenn Heights, Texas. 2015. 

  • Set research goals. After completing my self-interview, and gathering information from other family members, I sat upon the task of setting my research goals. I have been using my To-Do list in my research log to keep me more focused. This has been the hardest part for me - writing it all on the list. This is what it looks like. I think I will make some changes, but for now, it works.

Although I am anxious to do research, I know that this week has been very enlightening! It has taught me the importance of slowing down, setting goals, and looking at things in a different way. It was important (and fun) to touch base with other family members and learn more about them and to document their lives.