Monday, December 31, 2007

The Two Faced Monster 2007-2008

Looking back. Looking ahead. Ouch, My neck hurts!

I've never been one to make resolutions, New Year's or otherwise. I tend to not even set goals (although I do have a "to do" list) because nothing ever seems to work out the way I'd planned. When I retired I naively thought that, since I had more "free" time, I'd actually be able to finish a few projects. LOL. My real problem is that I start one thing, get sidetracked by another, get sidetracked from that, and possibly, after a while and with some effort, return to what I was originally doing. It seems to be worse now, with more time available. I tend to put things off a bit more now - no need to do it today, I can always do it tomorrow, right?

There were a few accomplishments this year though it seems as though nothing I started has actually been completed… but then, some things never are completed, such as a family history. Sometimes you just have to set a stopping point and say it's as done as it's ever going to get. But the year, oh yeah, the year has a definite stopping point, so on this, the last day of 2007, let's see what there is to see.

Blogging - It was on January 12th, 2007 that my first post was published here at Kinexxions. There have been over 300 posts since then. My intent was to also include posts on the people and places of Whitley County, but then I decided that Kinexxions would focus primarily on my own family history and a little over a month later, on February 17th, Whitley County Kinexxions was born. It has been six weeks since I posted anything over there but to date there are 120 posts, mostly newspaper transcriptions. I've written before about the joys and pitfalls of blogging, so I'm not going to repeat that here. Contributing to the Carnival of Genealogy has been challenging and hosting the 27th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy! on "What America / Independence Day has meant to my family" was fun and gave me new-found respect for the time and effort that Jasia puts into the Carnival.

FamilySearch Indexing - I signed up in January to help index Indiana Marriages and indexed several hundred records. Then in February FamilySearch couldn't keep up with the indexers and for a while there were no records available to work on. Sad to say, I never got back to it.

Scanning - Mom has 10 or so photo albums that I wanted to scan. I've gotten a couple of them done. Of course, all of those scans still need to be named and tagged. About half of the letters I wrote home while in the Navy have been scanned. The Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger has been scanned and posted. Then there are all of the documents for my ancestors that I wanted to scan, as well as some of my own photo albums. Not much headway made on either of those counts.

Sourcing and Database Cleanup - The data that was entered into my genealogy software several years ago was not properly sourced at that time. Some sources were entered in notes. But there are some people who have no sources entered for any of their data. Ouch! I did get started but haven't made too much progress. It's not a fun task, and goes slowly. While doing this I'm also making notes of what information is missing, especially for ancestors and their siblings. So that slows the process a bit. I may hold off on this for a while and wait to see what the new "Legacy 7" has in store. They say they will have templates based on "Evidence Explained!" by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Researching - Contact was made with several new-found cousins and data was shared. Descendants of Michael and Christenia Houck Fisher became the focus of my research in September. And although I haven't located any living descendants yet, there are quite a few obituaries for me to look up in Elkhart that I think will provide some leads. There have been 214 individuals added to my Phend-Brubaker database this year, all of them with sources, I think ;-) and an additional 679 individuals updated. There are a total of 6750 individuals in that database. In the Wiseman-Shuder database there have been 125 individuals added and another 39 modified. That database includes 1701 individuals.

Learning - Attended the IGS (Indiana Genealogical Society) conference in April and received recognition of two of my Civil War Soldiers in the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana. Also attended the four-day FGS Conference in Fort Wayne in August. I'm planning to attend the two-day Midwestern Roots 2008 Conference at Indianapolis in August. Also, I've learned a lot from my fellow genea-bloggers with their research tips, ideas and links to other sites.

Society Tasks - Four issues of Whitley County Roots (the quarterly publication of the Genealogical Society of Whitley County) have been published. I've been the editor (and chief contributor) for the past five years and am looking for someone else to take over those duties. I gave presentations at the three workshops the society sponsored this year, as well as one regular meeting presentation. There are three long-term transcription projects that I thought might get finished this year. Not yet done, but close.

Good Intentions - And then, there are those 12 items in My Plan to Prepare for Disaster. Pictures have been taken of the household stuff, but that's it. Not a single box in the garage has been opened, yet.

My goals for 2008 ? Probably not very realistic...
  • Keep plugging away at the above tasks.
  • Take a couple of trips, especially a research trip to New England with several Joslin cousins (lots of prep needed for that though).
  • Continue blogging here at Kinexxions. Quality more than quantity. Contribute to every edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.
  • Try not to get distracted quite so much.
  • Have more fun! Don't take myself quite so seriously.
  • Make my task list shorter for 2009!


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Getting side-tracked happens to me all of the time. LOL But it keeps things interesting. I hope you can find someone to take over for you. I know how frustrating it is to work with people named Not Me and Somebody Else. Make the trip happen!

Happy New Year!

Janice said...


I believe that all genealogists must have a touch of ADD (grin). I get side-tracked alot, but I consider it a skill, not a deficit.

Happy New Year!


Lee said...

I need to clean up my sources too, but like you, I'm waiting to see what Legacy7 has to offer in the way of making it easier!

Happy New Year, Becky!