All posts by kst1969

THE FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS 2015

THE SIXTH ANNUAL FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE
OF
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

will be held on Saturday, 16 April 2016.

The GatherYourFamily Genealogy Conference held each year in April in Springdale has been renamed the Family History Conference of Northwest Arkansas.  I go to this event every year and I have presented classes for the past two years.  I am planning to present two classes this year:  Blogging and Dropbox for Genealogists.

Blogging
Kellie Thompson

Blogging is a method by which genealogists can share our family history finds with other researchers researching our family line, with our family members near and far, and with potential cousins who we are not even aware of at the moment. Often, our family members’ eyes will glaze over when we start detailing the trials of our latest research, but they might be interested in the blog post showing a picture of Great-Great Grandma Almeda when we find it! Or they might like reading the story of Great Grandma and the goat that we discover by interviewing Grandma or one of the aunts or uncles!
There are many blogging platforms and many different types of blogs! There are also many sites on the internet that will give ideas and suggestions for blog posts. I will talk about a few of the blogging platforms and provide detailed instructions on setting up a blog with one of the most popular platforms: WordPress. I will also discuss the many sites devoted to genealogy blogging and provide a list of links to some of the sites that have suggestions for blog post topics.
Blogging doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Blogging can range from free to very expensive. I personally spend only about $5 per month but I had a free site for a few years. I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your own domain and the free hosting sites for your blog.
Blogging also doesn’t have to be complicated! You don’t have to know anything about programming or setting up your own website! Blogging can be as simply as typing into your genealogy program! If you can enter information into your genealogy program or an online family tree, you can setup and maintain your own blog!

Dropbox for Genealogists
Kellie Thompson

Dropbox is a free service that saves your files to all your computers, phones and even the dropbox website. The dropbox services secures your genealogy data and protects you from computer disasters and even storms and fires and other disasters that could destroy your genealogy database. The service stores your files offsite in the “cloud” and allows you to access your data from anywhere there is internet access. The Dropbox team ensures the security and integrity of your data by securely storing and backing up your data and by protecting that data with many layers of security including password and two-step verification.

The class will include a discussion of the benefits of dropbox, comparisons with other similar services, step-by-step setup process for dropbox, and how to setup various genealogy programs to use the dropbox service to keep our genealogy data backed up and securely stored “in the cloud” to protect us from disasters.

I presented these classes last year and I have been asked to present them again this year.

Hope to see you there!

For more information contact:

FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, 6738 LYNCH’S PRAIRIE CT., SPRINGDALE AR 72764, UNITED STATES(479) 466-4307 DLETSCH.FHC@GMAIL.COM

Genealogy Do-Over: Fallen off the Wagon

Well I have fallen off the genealogy do-over wagon over the last few weeks.

As some of you know my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in mid January so my life had been pretty focused on him and his treatment for the past few weeks. In fact I am writing this post from a hospital waiting room as he undergoes the first of three procedures this week.

I am not going to put unnecessary pressure on myself to continue with the Genealogy Do-over at the regular pace. I am just going to accept that I will be behind and just do a little at a time when I have the time to do something on my genealogy.

I am going to continue to work on my genealogy because telling the stories of my ancestors is important to me.  I just am learning to accept that I can’t do everything at once and that my family is more important than anything else including my genealogy.   I also have a job that is important to me and requires a lot of my time. So I will work on my genealogy as I have time and energy and maybe I will catch up on the next round of the Genealogy Do-over that Thomas McEntee is starting when this round finishes.

Kellie

Posted from WordPress for Android

Genealogy Do-Over 2015: Setting Previous Research Aside and Preparing to Research

It is time for the first week of the Genealogy Do-Over! YEAH!! I am starting the year off right!

Setting Previous Research Aside

Since my previous research is pretty much scattered everywhere this part is actually going to be pretty easy for me! (At least one part is going to be easy!) The hard part for me is going to be when we have to actually get all that stuff organized!

For my digital files, I have files on my harddrive on my computer, on an external harddrive, and in several online clouds including dropbox, onedrive, and google drive. I know I have MANY MANY copies of the same images on each of these. I am drowning in digital files! So I have decided to leave all those files where they are for now and to organize them and sort through them when that week comes! (OK so I am doing a little procrastinating here but it is on the schedule to organize them later so it is at least organized procrastination! Right?!) So the current locations become my holding files!

For my physical papers, clippings, and documents they are mostly boxed up already so I am just leaving them where they are too. There are some in the closet and some in my computer area in the drawers of the TV stand. Well, their current locations are becoming my holding area for the physical items as well. I already have projects setup in my planner to organize all my physical stuff as part of my de-cluttering projects so these items will become more organized as part of that set of projects or when we get to those steps in the Genealogy Do-Over, whichever comes first!

Preparing to Research

For me preparing to research is going to require some major habit changes. I am one of those researchers who starts off researching one thing and then the shiny objects distract me or I get distracted by the TV show I am also watching and then I realize it is midnight and I still don’t have what I planned to do done and it is way past time to go to bed!

So for my 2015 Do-Over plans, I am going to start researching with a plan in mind! This means that I am going to loosely follow the methods used by Geoff Rasmussen in “Legacy Family Tree Unlocked!”. He creates a todo item when he plans to research a person for what he wishes to find and then he conducts the search and enters in the todo item the results of the search before he closes the todo item. He does all of this within Legacy Family Tree. His todo list becomes his research log in this way and he only has to the typing one time. I am going to stop just researching for anything I can find on a person and start researching specific records/record groups looking for specific information. If I run across other interesting leads, then I will record todo items for them but I will continue with my planned research and not be distracted by the shiny new objects. (No matter how tempted I am by them!)

In planning my research, I am going to use two main tools, the Legacy Family Tree research guidance tool and Gensmarts which I have owned for years but never really used to its full potential.

For my genealogy software, I am going to use Legacy Family Tree version 8. Legacy updated to version 8 back in November of 2013 so if they do come out with a version 9 sometime in 2015 I reserve the right to transfer to the newer version, but only to a newer version of Legacy Family Tree. I need to stick with one software for the whole year to get rid of the bright, shiny new things problem with my database!

I know that genealogy software review was one of the later topics, but I need to pick something and stay with it so I am nailing down my choices for software now to help with the constant changes in my genealogy research methods. I needed to get the software choices made to finalize my plans for the preparation and guidelines sections of this week.

I am going to stop researching while watching endless and sometimes not very good re-runs on TV and start concentrating on my research. In most of what I do I have discovered that multi-tasking no longer works well for me so I am going to stop multi-tasking! I am going to focus on one thing at a time and give it my full attention!

So for preparing to research, I will have Legacy Family Tree 8, Gensmarts, Onenote, and my browser open on my computer. I will also have Onenote open on my phone so that I can jot down any quick todo items or notes about my genealogy research into the proper sections of my 2015 GTD Organizer as I think of them.

I will cover my Practices and Guidelines in a future post this week.

Week 1 – 2-8 January 2015

  • Setting Previous Research Aside
  • Preparing to Research
  • Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines

From <http://www.geneabloggers.com/tag/genealogy-do-over/page/2/>

Here is the short summary of Genealogy Do-Over: I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (* certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on long-distance trips can be retained).

The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 13 mileposts or journey markers which are laid out over 13 weeks. You can choose to pace yourself differently. You can even decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add your own. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are on a firm footing to finding your ancestors.

A short synopsis of my planned route (a full schedule will be announced soon):

  • Take inventory of what I have, box up the physical items and set them aside.
  • Move all digital genealogy files into a HOLD folder.
  • Gather tools to research.
  • Set research goals.
  • Start with my own knowledge and write it down.
  • Start tracking research.
  • Interview family members.
  • And more!

From <http://www.geneabloggers.com/announcing-genealogy-doover/

Genealogy Do-Over 2015: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast!

I have to admit it: I have been jumping ahead on the Genealogy Do-Over! I was trying to setup my entire system in a week and trying to get everything for the next thirteen weeks done before the first week even officially began! Then, Thomas posted his “Slow Down, You Move Too Fast!” Post and I began trying to slow down and make conscious decisions about what I really want to accomplish in my genealogy. I somehow managed to do both ends of the bad habits by “skimming” over certain parts while getting into “analysis paralysis” on the others! If only I could combine the good habits so easily!

At the same time as I am trying to get my genealogy research and my genealogy blog organized and functioning again, I have set a goal of becoming more personally organized and de-cluttering my life! I realized from Thomas’s post that I am trying to change the habits of years in only a week and that that isn’t going to work! That is what I have been trying for years each December/January and abandoning by February. This year I am determined to be better organized and have a de-cluttered life and home! I am going to start by slowing back down and deciding upon what I really want to accomplish and developing a “REALISTIC” plan to get there!

So I am starting with some of the plans that Thomas mentioned: I am setting up a capture system to capture everything and save for later. I am using a different system here than Thomas uses. I will be using Microsoft Onenote for my capture everything system. I am already using Onenote along with the electronic version of David Allen’s GTD Organizer templates to setup my personal organizer/planner and it makes sense to include the genealogy planner in the same system. By using one tool/software for both, I only have one system to maintain (and actually use) rather than two!

 

Onenote and my GTD organizer are going to be my ToDo list app of choice. I use a Microsoft Surface as my computer and with OneNote I can use the pen and handwrite my todo lists which is the way that works best for my mind but by using it electronically the notebook never gets any heavier! I need the space of a full letter size page for adequately planning and I need to have all my stuff with me wherever I go and with Onenote, my phone (with an android syncing Onenote app) and my surface with the syncing Onenote app I have the best of the electronic planner and the paper planner. And, I can have it without killing my back trying to lug around a 20 pound notebook!

Now the last item on Thomas’s post is going to be harder for me! Those bright and shiny objects seem to keep distracting me from my plans! I can’t seem to get any real focus because I keep being distracted by those plans and then I realize that I have just spent the last three hours (or days) researching and playing with the newest software version only to realize that it doesn’t have the one little quirk that I seem to not be able to live without! Another dead end and three hours/days wasted! This time, I am picking a software and data entry system and then I am pledging to stick with it through the whole year! I will not change my software and I won’t change my system until at least 2016. That should help me keep my focus and hopefully get some real research done this year instead of just keeping repeating the research of the past few years!

I am also using this commitment to stay with my planning system which also seems to start off great in December/January of each year and then I start changing around March and then before the end of the year I have used 6 or 7 different planning system and when I start the new year many of my goals are the same as the year before! This is NOT going to happen this year. This is the year of actually getting things done!

This is Exactly How Many of Us Research: We Get Ahead of Ourselves

One of the concerns I had about posting the Genealogy Do-Over topics too far in advance was exactly what seems to be happening: people either over-analyzing topics (“analysis paralysis”) or simply skimming over topics (“skimming”). This is exactly how I used to research.

I say “used to” because I developed the Genealogy Do-Over so I could share my insights into what has worked for me in the past year. One of the major bad habits I had to break? Getting ahead of myself and working too quickly! Here’s what I tweaked in my research habits and an area we’ll focus on over the course of the next 13 weeks:

  • Capture everything and save for later. This means using apps like Evernote to “clip and save” articles, links to new databases and even digitized documents and photos for closer inspection when time permits.
  • Build a good research toolbox and keeping adding to it. Use those capturing skills above, but know add the art of curating content to create a set of resources that can greatly advance your genealogy research.
  • Create to-do lists. When I start researching a specific branch of my family, I always have a document open and available – a text file, a Word document, a spreadsheet or even a pen and paper – for writing down those nagging “I have to remember to do THIS” thoughts. Example: As I research my great-grandfather John Ralph Austin, I determine that his birth date means he would have been the right age for being drafted during World War I. So I enter on my to do list: “Locate World War I draft registration for John Ralph Austin.”
  • Pay no attention to that bright and shiny object. Note how in the example above, I didn’t stop everything and look for that draft registration card right then and there. Why? There is an evil rabbit at the end of that rabbit hole where I think the draft registration card lives. Mr. Rabbit likes nothing better than to rob me of time and to distract me. If I don’t place the task on a to-do list as it pops into my head, I will then go out in search of the draft registration card. And guess what? I find out that on the reverse it says “missing half of index finger on left hand” and then I go off trying to find out how he lost the finger and then . . . and then . . . And then it is 3:00 am and I have not accomplished ANY considerable research. And let’s not talk about all my research goals I had for that night.

     

From <http://www.geneabloggers.com/genealogy-doover-slow-move-fast/>

 

Here is the short summary of Genealogy Do-Over: I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (* certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on long-distance trips can be retained).

 

The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 13 mileposts or journey markers which are laid out over 13 weeks. You can choose to pace yourself differently. You can even decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add your own. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are on a firm footing to finding your ancestors.

A short synopsis of my planned route (a full schedule will be announced soon):

  • Take inventory of what I have, box up the physical items and set them aside.
  • Move all digital genealogy files into a HOLD folder.
  • Gather tools to research.
  • Set research goals.
  • Start with my own knowledge and write it down.
  • Start tracking research.
  • Interview family members.
  • And more!

 

From <http://www.geneabloggers.com/announcing-genealogy-doover/>

Genealogy Do-Over: A New Journey of Genealogical Discovery

I am joining Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over. Thomas first posted about the genealogy do-over on December 15, 2014 and I have been considering it since that post. As of today, I am committing to joining the Genealogy Do-Over and giving myself that permission to START OVER!

Here is the short summary of Genealogy Do-Over: I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (* certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on long-distance trips can be retained).

 

From <http://www.geneabloggers.com/announcing-genealogy-doover/>

I have been researching for many years but I can’t seem to stick to one method or to get organized! I must get organized in order to be to have the output that I really want from my genealogy!

I have trouble designing a system and sticking to that system. Each time a software company comes out with a new version I want to switch to that version and I want some quick magical way to get all my genealogy information into that program without taking the time to really analyze the information. I need to slow down and take my time. I am not running a sprint; I am running a marathon! I need to pace myself!

I need to stop looking at what everyone else thinks is the best method or the “correct” method and instead find a methodology that works for me and then I need to stick with that method. I need to start using a research log and to find a software program and stick with that program! I need to organize my files both digital and paper. I need to decide on methods for that as well and then stick with that system instead of everytime it becomes a little difficult pitching the system and starting a new one. I need to find consistency!

Check back for more on my personal Genealogy Do-Over! A new year and a new beginning….