Genealogy Do-Over: My Reasons

This series of posts are based on the Genealogy Do-Over Workbook by Thomas MacEntee. I highly recommend it. 🙂 I just want to say there are parts of this workbook that I am not posting about, so if you would like the full set of tasks, then visit Thomas’ page or purchase the workbook.

Before I get back in the swing of things, I thought it would be nice to see a general overview of where my files stand now. I’d also like to show one of the main reasons that I decided to do this Do-Over. It might surprise you, but it wasn’t because I was shaky about my family tree! I’m actually pretty confident about it. Though, I’m enjoying the process of questioning every piece of information I find.

Before my Do-Over

Before my Do-Over

The one thing that was frustrating me the most in my genealogy research was that I could never find anything. It was all organized but I felt like I was constantly clicking around for things. The above screenshot was just my birth records. I could use my identification numbers and find things or I could look for the right number but it wasn’t very efficient. I felt like if I was trying to find something, I could never find it. It wasn’t until I was starting my Do-Over and I realized that when I was looking for people, I was thinking of them by their names. The numbers were just distracting me! Once I made the decision to throw out the numbering system, things seemed to start moving along a lot better for me!

After my Do-Over Started

After my Do-Over

From the screenshot above, you can see this is just one person! Everything for my Grandpa Moore is in the same place. If there is someone else involved in that record or in the picture, they’ve got a copy of the file in their own folder. I’ve named every file so that if I know the year, it’s right in the file name. It’s also easy to see at a glance where my blanks are in terms of the years. Just looking above, I can see I don’t have digital files for the years between 1935 and 1940. I also jump from 1958 to 1967! This gives me the motivation to say, “What was happening in these years?”

What else is different?

My Pedigree View

Another thing I am doing different this time is smaller than everything else. I’m actually adding pictures! It isn’t that big of a deal, but I find that it makes me smile when I’m jumping around the tree and I’m seeing my cousins, my siblings, and their children’s faces staring back at me. It makes me remember the reason I’m doing all of this.

My Binder Indexes

You last saw my Binder Index Excel file in August in the post, Genealogy Do-Over: In the Thick of It. The only change I’ve made is the new tab for “Digital Records”. It seemed silly to me to be so detailed for my paper files and treat the digital files like they were just as important. The only change I made was in the first column, where I named it ‘Downloaded’ instead of ‘Scanned’. The one thing I am also doing but isn’t being shown is I’m slowly adding everything into Evidentia. I don’t know why, but for some reason I didn’t add some of my digital records into the program. Now that I am going to be generating proof reports for everyone, I really need to add those records in. It sure is a good thing I’ve actually been keeping track of my records or I would already be sunk in my Do-Over!

Thanks for hanging in there for this recap, hopefully we’ll start getting back into the fun part soon! 🙂

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