Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Organization 2.0

Ahhh, "Back to School" time. I love this time of year when all those lovely office supplies go on sale. Not that I need any more office supplies - I have enough pens, pencils, notebooks, paper, staples, binders, index cards, and labels to supply a small country for a year. But when those weekly ads start arriving in my mailbox... well, I just can't resist!

This year a local store had an unbelievable deal on laptops. My husband bought one for me with the stipulation that I use it to organize all of my genealogical "stuff". How could I refuse? I've been wanting a new computer for a while now, one that is a 'Genealogy Only' computer so it doesn't get filled with the normal sort of stuff computers usually get filled with. I have information and files and pictures scattered across several machines dating back to the late 1990s or so. I end up duplicating, triplicating, even quadruplicating research and information because "Oh damn, it's on the other computer" or "Do I have this already? Better make a copy just in case."

One of my goals for this year was to start getting all of my genealogical stuff organized, and now I'm finally starting to do it! I'm getting a late start because my plans were sort of disrupted due to the health problems I've been having, but better late than never, right? I've spent the last several days copying files over to this new laptop. I think I have just about everything transferred. Now I just need to sort it all. I'm trying to do it in small bursts because it's a little overwhelming trying to sort 10+ years of "stuff". But it's so nice to finally have all of my stuff in one place!

Monday, July 18, 2011

*Wipes Dust Away*

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been around lately, but I've been having some medical issues and a surprise 10-day hospital visit has accumulated a lot of bills and stress and general I-don't-feel-like-doing-anything-at-all-ness. I hope to start updating this blog again soon. I have plenty to talk about, but just can't seem to get out of this funk.

You know what was the most frustrating thing about the hospital visit? Being laid up in a hospital bed for ten days in the city where I need to do a TON of research and not getting a chance to do any of it. At all. Oh, and being basically next door to a huge, beautiful cemetery and not being able to wander around in it. (Oh, and I guess the whole "being sick" thing sucked a lot too.)

I hope your genealogical adventures have been much better than mine over the last few months!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Was Her Name?

My husband had to drive up to Buffalo, NY a few weeks ago to do some Super Secret Shopping for my birthday (that I wasn't supposed to know about. teehee.), so I asked him to stop by the library and get some obituaries and such for me. He brought back a nice surprise that I really wasn't expecting.

"I found Hertha's birth certificate," he said proudly as he handed the photocopied image to me. (Hertha Kirchberger is my great-grandmother. I've talked a bit about the family in this post over here.)

I looked at the image. Name of Father: Erhard Kirchberger. Born in Germany. Age 26. Yep, that's about right. Name of Mother: Sophia Beck. Age 21. Sounds good!

Name of Child: Rosa Hattie

Huh? "Oh, you mean you got her sister Rose's birth certificate?" I said aloud as my eyes wandered over to the date. 1883. Nope, that was definitely Hertha's birth date. Her sister Rose wasn't born until 1886.

From the letters of Hertha's I have, and the stories from family members, I know she usually went by the nickname Hattie, even though her "real" name was Hertha. But now I wonder, was it really? Is there a second certificate somewhere with a name change? Or did they just decide to call her something else? And why? And poor Rose, getting a "second-hand name" three years later!

At least now I have a proper source for her birth date... but now I have a new mystery regarding her name!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday a.k.a. WDYTYA Night

I didn't watch the first season of Who Do You Think You Are? until well after the episodes had originally aired, so I am having a blast watching them live this time around, especially while liveblogging on Twitter with other fellow genealogists.

I really enjoyed last week's episode with Rosie O'Donnell. It was very touching, and I found myself welling up with tears throughout much of the show. It was definitely one of my favorite episodes so far. It was nice to see the research done on a collateral line, and the initial research being triggered by a mysterious photograph. Oh, and another common problem was also addressed: multiple spellings of surnames. It was a nice reminder to be thorough during searches. I know I've been guilty of passing by a name in the past because "that's not how it's spelled", only to come back at a later date and discover it was in fact the family I was looking for. Oops.

It was great to see all the offline records used. It's a nice reminder that not everything can be found "on the computer." As much as I'd like to have every single genealogical document at my fingertips at 3am in my pajamas, I'm painfully aware of how little is actually on the internet (especially about rural ancestors!).

I'm really looking forward to tonight's episode with Kim Cattrall. Last week they hinted at a scandal, and we all love a good scandal, don't we? ;)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Well, my new year hasn't had quite the genealogical start I wanted. My husband gave me a late Christmas present of a cold, so I've been coughing and sneezing and generally feeling miserable. Thanks hon!

When I have felt up to it, I have been doing a fair amount of indexing though, especially since the World Archives Project released its latest project for keying: Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973. My husband has family in that area and time period, so I am very excited about this project! As much fun as I have indexing, I rarely have any personal use for the collections. They usually don't seem to coincide with the areas and/or dates I'm researching.

Hopefully I'll get over this cold soon so I can give a proper update. Take it from me: trying to cite your sources while hopped up on cold medicine? Not a good idea.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goals for 2011

I have several genealogy-related goals I would like to accomplish in the coming year. I admit that I am usually one of those people who makes several resolutions and forgets about most of them by the end of the month. Hopefully saying these "out loud" will help me keep them throughout the year.

  • Scan all of the old family photographs that have been taunting me for years. Yes. All of them.
  • Buy an external hard drive and back up all of my genealogical information
  • Update this blog more often
  • Join at least two genealogical societies
  • Volunteer with at least one new genealogical project
  • Start at least one genealogy art project (scrapbooking, framing photos, genealogy gifts for family, or one of the other various ideas I've had in my head)
  • Organize my paper files - especially the dreaded "Notes and Random Stuff" folder. *shudder*
Those are, of course, in addition to my many other vague sort of goals: research, organize, learn. I think 2011 will keep me very busy.