IMGP1496I’m hearing choruses of locusts on my morning walks these days and being transported back to my childhood days in the middle of Indiana.  The weather has felt a lot like my childhood memories as well:  hot and very humid.  Thankfully I now have air-conditioning which we didn’t when I was a child.  And it is certainly a nice contrast to the very cold and snowy winter just past.  I am reminded to slow down and pay attention to my surroundings.

It feels like I need to change my monthly title and theme for these posts.  I don’t seem to follow the goals I set very faithfully.  This makes me think that I need a reboot or “do-over” of this idea as well as of my genealogy.  I don’t know yet what I might try or even what I really want this regular post to accomplish, so it will be a work in progress.

August is shaping up nicely as a relatively quiet month, broken most noticeably by a visit from my sister-in-law and her grandson.  This is a major deal around here!  I also have a visit to the National Archives at Boston again with a friend planned toward the end of the month.  I am working to make connections in my husband’s family tree with three families in Connecticut who might have been cousins on his mother’s side.  Since this is a line we know very little about I am excited to try to find out more.  I did get the naturalization papers for each family from the Archives and need to find out what other resources are available.

Judy and I have locked in a week to go to Salt Lake City to the Family History Library and I am very excited!  I have a picture in my mind about how I want to organize my planned research.  Now to see if I can make it real.  I have started to list the different areas I want to research (e.g., missing vital record for my direct lines) and am collecting film numbers from familysearch.org.   I am using Evernote for this collection.  I envision creating a spreadsheet or list that includes the person’s name and the record to be found and the film number.  Maybe I need the location of where the record was created (like state and county).  I think if I can at least start with a spreadsheet I can then sort and see where I have more than one item from the same film.  Sounds good, right?  Doing this is my major goal for August, since we’re planning to go in September.

Fireworks on the Charles River

Fireworks on the Charles River By Pablo Valerio (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

June was a busy month with not a lot of very focused genealogy work taking place.  I read a packet of materials I inherited from my father about Titus Salt and more about Titus’s work and Saltaire.  I put a couple of techniques together and came up with a way I can fairly satisfactorily digitize my daguerreotype collection (as described in the post before this one).  I had a lovely long telephone chat with my youngest brother.  I sent my male Denman cousin a short article by Elizabeth Jones who runs a One-Name study for the Denmans and also a DNA study.  I am hoping he’ll eventually be interested in participating in the DNA study.  (It could answer several burning genealogical questions about our Denman line.)  I’m always reticent about approaching cousins to do testing (which gets in the way).  I also got a good start on what I am going to put up here as a new page (rather than a post) with a list of books I have found interesting and educational in my genealogical research.

In July I will write a short post about this and publish the page at that time.  I’m looking forward to adding to the list over time too.

I will decide how I’m going to organize my research goals for a trip to Salt Lake City later with Judy.  We have agreed that we will try to pull off a trip in September, so I need to get going!

I will continue to enter the birth records I have for each family into my RootsMagic database if they’re not already entered, and attach any digital images.  I will make sure to share the fact with anyone else on the record, and make sure that the metadata on the image is filled in (where I found the image, etc.).  I will try *not* to chase down the always-attractive rabbit holes as I verify the source of the image if it isn’t already there.

Leaving for a vacation and will be back in the middle of the month.  Happy summer, everyone!

I can’t believe that June is here already!  Peony - 2015 05 31And our weather recently has been just gorgeous.  I’m making it a point to notice and enjoy the sun and the moderate temperatures.  As you can see, my peony is just about to burst into bloom.

I have continued to add to my side of the cousin residences list but haven’t finished that project.  Turns out that there are a lot of city directories available for Syracuse in the time period we’re looking at.  I also did listen to the audio version of My Promised Land and learned a lot about Israel and its history.  Fascinating, and it kept me listening during my commute for several weeks.  I have been thinking but not doing anything about planning for a research trip to Salt Lake City.

So, in June, I plan to:

1. create a new page of my favorite books, those I have read recently and found helpful in some way with my genealogy research and understanding my families.

2.  start listing/writing what I want to look for in Salt Lake City.  I particularly hope to be able to track some of my English Denman family, and to acquire images for some of the vital records of direct ancestors I haven’t been able to get online.

3.  make a plan for the blog for July.  Since I will be gone the first two weeks, I need to plan ahead and (hopefully) have posts ready to go before I leave.

4.  something that counts as organizing my genealogy files.  I haven’t figured out what yet, but am going to re-watch the video that Dear Myrtle and Cousin Russ put out about researching a single record group.  Perhaps I will take a similar tack and try cleaning up a single record group across all my surnames instead of starting with a surname and cleaning all of it up.  That might make sense

First, what I managed to do in April:  I finished the new family tree for the wedding that will happen the end of May.  Yay!!  I learn something each time I do one of these.  And I get distracted by trying to find the family tree image I want to be able to create: I think it would look like a bow-tie chart except the very middle would be the new couple not a child, with then the groom’s and bride’s families expanding out on each side.  I also want to figure out a way to make something like this visually appealing and keep thinking of scrapbooking as one possibility.  Or learning enough computer graphics programing to make my own bow-tie report that could be filled in with any group of people.  Five years ago, Janet Hvorka’s site for family charts included an option to make your own and save it as a pdf (so only 8.5 x 11 but you could include graphic backgrounds and save the tree information).  This is no longer available which is too bad for me.  I had managed (for the first family wedding that I wanted to do it for) to create just such a bow-tie and save it on a decorative tree background.

In May I want to:

1.  combine the timelines a cousin and I are working on of where the various family lines were living from the time they each emigrated to the U.S.  We’ve each done work on our own family lines, but want to combine them.  These are lines where various siblings and cousins migrated and lived near each other.  With any luck we’ll get a good list and be able to create a map showing each family’s locations across time.

2.  listen to all of the audiobook version of Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land which Judy gave good reviews.

3.  begin to pull together the items I want to look for in Salt Lake City.  Judy and I are seriously planning a trip to the Family History Library in the Fall.  So I need to create lists and tables of what is most easily available there rather than online.  This will of course be an ongoing project until we actually go, but including it here will get me started.

Once again this is going to be short and sweet.  I accomplished at least one of my tasks for March: I wrote about a female relative, although it wasn’t my Aunt Susan but instead I switched to my husband’s line and wrote about one of his cousins.  Since I’ve wanted to pull together my information about her this was a good change for me to make.

I got the first page of the William Denman will cleaned up, and discovered that on going back to the original handwriting I was better able to decipher much of it.  I haven’t managed to get the rest of it done yet but I have hopes for April.

I have gotten the wedding family tree pretty much done – at least as much as I’m going to do for this round.  I still need to figure out how to present it.  I’m still seeking a way to do a couple’s bowtie chart that let’s me put the couple at the center with their wedding date and shows each side for 3-4 generations back.  The catch is that I want to do it myself and not have to send the information off to a pay site and wait for the finished product to come back.  I want something I can use in a sharable CD with the rest of the information that I’ve collected.  Yes, I am being very particular about what I want!

So, April will be primarily devoted to getting this project finished and in its presentation state.  Organizing my files is also on my list, so if there is any spare time, or down time when I need something different to do, that is what I’ll be focusing on.