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52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #33 – Nicknames

52-Weeks-Personal-History

I didn’t have a nickname when I was a child. My Dad, however, was known as Buster. We don’t really know why! But that is what he was called. The story behind his nickname is one of our family mysteries!


 

Week #33 – Nicknames
Week 33: Nicknames. What was your childhood nickname, and what was the meaning behind it? You can also discuss the nicknames of other family members, both past and present.

This challenge runs from Saturday, August 13, 2011 through Friday, August 19, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #32 – Dinner Time

52-Weeks-Personal-History

Dinner time is usually called supper time in our house.

When I was a kid, Mom and Dad both worked. We would have dinner a couple of hours after they got home. They would spend a few minutes talking with us and each other and then they would fix dinner together. As we got older, we would help them with fixing the dinner.

I became the main cook for dinner by the time I was a teenager. Cleanup was a family affair from the time I can remember. As teenagers, we were assigned chores to do around the house and one of us would have to do the dishes each night.

When dinner was ready, we would put the food in the middle of the table and everyone would fix their plates and we would sit and eat dinner together. Sometimes, we would take our plates into the living room and we would eat dinner while we watched TV. We wouldn’t just sit there and silently watch TV though. In our family, it has always been common for us to talk about the topics raised in the TV show. Dinner was the time when everyone would talk about everything that had went on that day at school or work.

We have always been a family that spent a lot of time talking about everything that goes on in the world. We would watch the news and then spend the rest of the evening discussing what we heard about on the news or the events of the day.

Dinner time is now very similar to then. Dinner is the time when we catch up on the days news – whether it is the personal news of a family member or news from the world we have heard about through the news.


 

Week #32 – Dinner Time

Week 32: Dinner Time. On a typical childhood evening, who was around the dinner table? Was the meal served by one person, or was it a free-for-all? What is dinner time like in your family today?

This challenge runs from Saturday, August 6, 2011 through Friday, August 12, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #31 – Grandparents’ House

52-Weeks-Personal-History

The house I remember from my Mom’s parents (Grandma and Grandpa Treat) was their house on the Don 1 Tyson Farm in Springdale, Arkansas. They lived in that house from around the time they moved to the Springdale area from Big Flat, Arkansas until the mid 1980s. The house was an ordinary house that sat in the corner of a chicken farm. They had a few chickens in the yard much of the time, dogs, a milk cow, and some pigs. I loved visiting them.

The house is no longer there. It was torn down in the early to mid 1980s and they were forced to move to other homes as they continued to work for Tyson’s until my grandfather retired a few years later. The farm was removed when the Tyson Sports Complex was built in that area.

The house I remember from my Dad’s parents was the house at 205 Old Wire Road. It later became 316 Old Wire Road (Same house just a different address when Springdale was renumbered due to the installation of the 911 system in the area. The house was a few houses from the corner of Brogdon street where my Great-Grandpa Stout and his sister, my Great-Aunt, Mabel Stout Parsons lived. So, when we went to visit my grandparents we could walk up and visit them as well. In the late 1970s or early 1980s, Grandpa Thompson built a porch on the front of the house and then later closed in part of the carport and added another room to their house. Grandma lived in the house until her death in 2006.


 

Week 31: Grandparents’ House. Describe your grandparents’ house. Was it big or small? How long did they live there? If you do not know this information, feel free to describe the house of another family member you remember from your childhood.

This challenge runs from Saturday, July 30, 2011 through Friday, August 5, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #30 – Employment

52-Weeks-Personal-History

My first job was babysitting! I was in high school and I would get $10 or $15 for watching some neighbor kids for the evening.

The next jobs I remember having were fast-food jobs when I was in college. I worked for Arby’s for one summer and part of the next year. I was working at the Springdale Arby’s during the time that the store burned! I wasn’t at work for the couple of days before that because my mother was in the hospital but I remember the stress I felt when I found out it had burned! I then worked at the Fayetteville store for a few months after that. I didn’t like working at the Fayetteville store and quit within a couple of months.

I also worked another summer and part of the school year at Harp’s Grocery store. I made the donuts during the summer at the Springdale and then I worked in the bakery as a clerk for a few more months at the Harp’s store on Garland street in Fayetteville.

The first “real job” that I had was as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas. I was a research assistant for a couple of years and for two semesters I was a graduate teaching assistant who taught the labs that accompanied the class the professor taught.


 

Week #30 – Employment

Week 30: Employment. Describe your first job. What did you do? Were you saving for something in particular, or just trying to make a living? Did that first job provide skills and make an impact on your life today?

This challenge runs from Saturday, July 23, 2011 through Friday, July 29, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #29 – Water

52-Weeks-Personal-History

Northwest Arkansas where I live is an area with many lakes, rivers, and streams. My family spent a lot of time fishing and swimming when I was a kid.

The lake that I probably remember the most is Elmdale Lake in Springdale. It is a smaller man-made lake but that is where my Dad’s parents spent a lot of time fishing and camping when I was a kid. We would often go there with them!

We would also go to the Hickory Creek camping area on Beaver lake. We spent many happy hours fishing and camping there. When I was in grade school we went camping several times on Table Rock lake, too.

I never learned to really swim but I like to play and paddle around in the swimming areas. The most fun that I would have though while we were camping was when it would start to get dark and we would sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows and talk for hours. It was really a great time!

The time that I remember the most was when all of Dad’s extended family went fishing and camping at Beavertown. Mom and my aunt, and sister and brother and my cousins all walked over this really tall bridge (I am afraid of heights and I hated this part!) and went to this little animal place. I remember the peacocks with their beautiful feathers and the little gift shop where we all bought toys. We had a really wonderful time that weekend swimming fishing and playing with all the cousins.


 

Week #29 – Water

Week 29: Water. Do you have any memories of the sea or another body of water? Did you live there or just visit? What did you do there? You can also describe a body of water by which you live or visit in the present day.

This challenge runs from Saturday, July 16, 2011 through Friday, July 22, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

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

gendover-wo-date

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!

gendover-wo-date

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

gendover-wo-date

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….