Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: The Year of Getting Stuff Organized

Goodbye to 2009, The Year of the Cross-Country Move and Consequent Ultimate Disorder! It only seems proper, now that I have a more-or-less permanent home with plenty of space, and probably more available time than any one person has a right to, that 2010 should be The Year of Getting Stuff Organized. I resolve, therefore, to make that my priority for the coming 365 days, with regard specifically to the chaos that I fondly refer to as my genealogy research.

In the past, I've tried tidying by the numbers. For example:
  • file 10 documents or papers a day
  • enter 3 sources per day into my Legacy database
Sad to say, this method has not worked for me. Most often, I end up with a box of papers emptied out, spread in small piles across the bed and floor, supposedly sorted and almost ready to file but then stacked and put back into the box because it's bedtime. Or some such! You know what I mean!

This time, I'm lowering my expectations to something doable. Motivated by Lee Drew's Sweet Sixteen (Generations) post, I'm going to focus only on my direct-line ancestors, one per day. I'll be checking my data entry to verify dates and places for each ancestor's big three: birth, marriage, and death. I'll be sourcing those items properly as needed and adding document images to my database. When I've done that to the best of my ability, I plan to reward myself with a fabulous One-Page Genealogy chart like Lee's. My goal is to order it by the end of June.

I've already printed out my pedigree charts and plotted my ancestor names on the calendar, and I've given the process a few days' test run. And already I'm a bit behind, but I've started with the grandparents, for whom I have lots of documentation. As I get further out, I expect there will be less to do and some sources will already be entered, so I should be able to catch up on those days, and maybe even work ahead a little.

I have three other quarterly rewards in mind as well:
  • an ancestor photo album made with Blurb, MyPublisher, UBuildABook, Picaboo, MyCanvas, or one of the other online book-printing companies (Readers, if you have used any of these services, I'd like to know whether you were satisfied with your results.)
  • a blog book from Blog2Print (Again, if you've ordered one of these, please comment about it.)
  • a short-term Ancestry membership
Simply planning the photo album is sufficient to merit rewarding myself with it (and yes, I'm sure it will take me a good three months to plan it!). The blog book will be an intermediate reward for carrying on with the organization project which, in addition to the work on my direct-line ancestors, includes sorting and filing the aforementioned boxes full of research papers. The Ancestry membership is last, and I only get to have it after I've beaten the backlog of already-collected documents into submission and made a list of gaps in my research that need to be addressed.


I'm looking forward to reading what my fellow GeneaBloggers have to say about their New Year's Resolutions in the Carnival of Genealogy, 87th Edition, hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene.

The lovely CoG poster above appears here courtesy of footnote Maven, as always.

Happy New Year!


Jasia said...

Hey T.K., Great plan for organizing your genealogy research! Can I use it too, LOL?!

Here's my 2 cents on a couple of photobook publishing platforms...

I've used both MyPublisher and Shutterfly to create photobooks, although neither book was genealogy related. In my opinion, the MyPublisher book looks much more professional and higher quality. The backgrounds were limited to black, white, and a medium grey which made for a very elegant book. I opted for the book jacket and it looks fabulous too.

The book I created at Shutterfly was more "artsy". Shutterfly offers predesigned background papers like you'd use in scrapbooking. In fact I'm not sure they offer plain solid color pages like MyPublisher. I was pleased with the way the book came out but it definitely doesn't look as "upscale" as the book from MyPublisher.

Both photobook platforms allow you to use templates or create your own layout. Regardless of how simple they make it sound though, it is very time consuming to put one of these books together... much longer than you would think.

I keep wanting to create another book but I just can't find the time right now. Hopefully soon!

If you have any specific questions just email me or contact me via FB. Good luck with your plan and your books!

Apple said...

Looking forward to seeing your chart when it's finished! I would love to see what Blog2print would do for the letters on my blog but I only get an error message when I visit the site. Let us know how it works out if you try it.

J.M. said...

Great goals! I'd already planned on joining you for this year of getting organized, but I'm thinking I'll join your reward system too. Now, what will I give myself? Hmmm, something to think about. Anyway, good luck on the organizing!

T.K. said...

J.M., I'm betting you'll think of something! :-D

Thanks for stopping by. I hadn't found your blog yet. I like the way you're using it to keep track of what you've accomplished, and I'm thinking I might do something similar. Maybe it would help me stay on task!

T.K. said...

Apple, when I looked at Blog2Print and did a trial run, it appears to put the illustrations at the start of a post even if you have interspersed them with your text, and it also appears to reduce them all to a fairly small size. I haven't looked closely enough at it to see if there's a way to override that, but if not, I don't think it will work for my blog, nor for your letters either. I'll have to investigate further!

T.K. said...

Jasia, my daughter used My Publisher to create a photo album of my granddaughter's work--she's an awesome photographer!--and I agree, the quality of their end product is really nice. My daughter didn't add any text though, so I'm wondering about that. Did you add text to yours? I'm wondering if it's easy to do so, and how much text you can add.

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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