Genealogy Do-Over: Plateau

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.

If you haven’t been able to tell by my lack of posts, I’ve hit a plateau in my Do-Over. It doesn’t have to do with a brain block, a brick wall, or lack of information. I have plenty to do, and I know exactly what I’m supposed to do next. I’ve even ordered some new records. For some reason, I’m just struggling to get moving on any of it. I’m unsure if it’s just a little bit of burnout, the holidays, or just an overall tiredness.

Current Status

Current Status

The screenshot above shows my public DNA tree at It’s the easiest way to show the progress I’ve made in my Genealogy Do-Over. As I move through my list, I delete or update people in the public tree. It’s quite obvious that I’m on the John Mays/Celia Slusher section of the tree. I have been uploading documents and pictures to all the trees that are public on any of the DNA websites.

This takes quite a bit of time. There are days that I only work with one record.

Are there any big changes that you’ve had to make?

Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 639 (1927), Harmon Mays; digital image, FamilySearch ( accessed 5 Dec 2017).

Though it’s not a big change, I did change John Mays’ name from John Harmon Mays in my database to John Mays. This death certificate is the only official document I’ve found referring to this man as Harmon. The only other instance was the cemetery plot records. Notice that his son Harmon Mays is the informant on this record. That leaves the possibility of “operator error” when asked Full Name at the top of the document. For now, Harmon is just an alternate name in my database and no longer an accepted form of his name.

The second change was John’s birth date. Its unclear to me if it was my error at the time or if I just trusted the transcription. I believe I had this record in a paper copy before it was put online, so I think it was probably me. Most online trees even agree on the original date of 4 Sep 1872. However, upon reviewing this again, I do believe it is 24 Sep 1872. Which doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but it just goes to show I’m paying much closer attention to details now.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday seasons. I hope to have another DNA entry up in the new year!

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