Genealogy Do-Over: It’s not a Relapse, it’s Prep Work!

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.

Oh No! What did you do?

I can only blame today’s events on the craze of holiday preparations. There has been so much going on that I haven’t been thinking straight. This doesn’t mean that I regret what I just did, because you’re going to be excited for me too. In the interest of full disclosure though, I just did something that probably should have waited longer in my Do-Over.

Just Tell Us!

What you see above is a screen shot of my unfinished shopping basket at the UK General Register Office website. That’s right, I ordered records! You didn’t hear me wrong, I got more than two!

You might be asking yourself why this could be considered a bad thing. First things first, I did this after 9pm at night. That means I’m doing it when my mind isn’t at its best. I’m pretty tired and I’m probably not thinking my best right now. Secondly, I probably should have waited until I reached this point in my Do-Over to spend any more money on records. I mean, what if I’m wrong and these aren’t my people?

To be fair to myself, I have been steadily working my way up the family tree and ordering records along my main line of descent. There’s no way to work up the family tree but to order records, go to the repositories to get the records, find the records online, or hire someone to find them for me. I’ve chosen the first option for now!

Well, since you did it, you might as well show us the rest!

The website has changed since May, when I last used it. You are now able to search the indexes. Well, that might have been there before and I didn’t notice. I usually just get the GRO Reference details from Ancestry or FindMyPast’s Indexes. This time, all I had to do was put in the information I knew off the top of my head and hit search! I got 1 result! The best part is that in this search, it is showing me that his mother’s maiden name is Beattie. The other indexes don’t tell me that!

Note from blog writer: I know that if I was doing a reasonably exhaustive search, I’d be doing more than an exact search. It was 9pm and not 9am though and I wanted to buy four records, not seventy. haha! Don’t worry, I won’t sully my new, beautiful, organized, sourced, exhaustively looked over file. 

That doesn’t mean that it is your guy though.

This is my family file before the Do-Over. I know, I’m not supposed to be looking at it but I am and we’re moving on from that. 😉 You might ask why I put the Richard part in the search since it’s a middle name. Well, in 98% of the records for William Richard Parkin, the Richard is shown. Even after his death, in city directories, Ann lists herself as “Richard Parkin’s widow”. You can also see in my old file that there was a big question mark for the maiden name of his mother. I have her birthplace from the England censuses but I had no clue about her maiden name.

I’m also ordering the birth record for Ann Maltis/Malthouse/Malthuse/Mattis/Whateveritis. What is wonderful for me is that in the marriage record I found for a William Malthouse, my guess on the name of his wife was Amelia Lilburn. It looks like the GRO office index agrees with me on that spelling but not the surname spelling of the father. Oh well, you can’t win them all!

Okay, but I’m still not getting why you are beating yourself up about the old file.

The short of it is, I would have loved to have been “good” and stay away from my old file completely. These lines have been dormant for a long time for me. To have any movement is so refreshing. I’m not “actively” researching this old file. I’m still chugging along on my Do-Over at a slow, wonderfully organized rate. Being able to order these records ahead of time is going to save me time later. If you’ve ordered records from another country, then you know why! It takes awhile to get them here, but it’s oh so worth it!

Besides, my file wasn’t that messed up along the main line, it’s the siblings where things started getting murky. Mainly because I have actually ordered records for the main line. Imagine that, it’s more accurate when you actually seek out the proper documents! Ha!

Note from the blog writer: I use the term actively loosely since technically ordering records is an activity and it has to do with my old tree. We’re moving on though, remember!! Besides, there’s no way to rule out records without actually looking at them. See, I’m thinking rationally even though it’s currently 10:37 pm.

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