March is always hectic. Both my children were born in March and as you saw from my last post, so was my grandmother. It’s pretty much non-stop celebrating all month-long, especially since my husband likes to stretch out a party. (Who could blame him?) That doesn’t leave much time this month for vacuuming, let along ancestry filing. This morning, my daughter slipped on a pair of jeans that seemed better suited to fit her doll and this weekend, sorting through emails, I found one months-old from my genealogy buddy and cousin that really should be looked into. Both my house and my ancestry research are in dire need of some TLC.
I’d much rather tackle my genealogy to-do list than the one for my house, but where to begin?
It’s a good problem to have – so much information that it needs organizing. But getting overwhelmed usually leads me to inertia. I don’t want to stop now when I feel so close to finding more about my ancestors.
I still have tons of letters from the Stuart Papers to transcribe. (These are a collection of letters, obituaries, poems and sermons that belonged to my third great-grandfather, William R. Stuart, Sr. that have already yielded important information like the names of his parents and siblings). To add to that, I received several more letters a few weeks ago with personal insights into said third great-grandfather’s time in the Maryland State Congress.Then there are the dozens of census reports, wills, pictures and deeds stored in my computer that are finally backed up, but still need to be printed out. That’s before I’ve even begun to research anything new. My to-do list is feeling pretty long.
Every good business keeps an inventory, so I guess I’ll start by detailing what I have. Printing out the documents that I have and categorizing them is probably a good place to start. My new friend, Joel Brink also inspired me to write a timeline. It’s really helping me see what was happening in my family’s lives against the backdrop of the wider world. It also quickly accentuates gaps in their lives where people go undocumented. Lastly, I think I’ll give myself a weekly genealogy to-do list, the same way I do for household chores, and hope to check a few things off by week’s end.
I’ve got to go bring cupcakes to my daughter’s school for the final March birthday celebration.
How do you get organized in your house or in your genealogy research? I could use help with both.