Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Break time: Catching my breath

This isn't really an ancestor post. It's more about getting ready for my next ancestor posts.  Bear with me. 

A week and a half ago, Randy Seaver, on his Genea-Musings blog, issued one of his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenges, to determine how many ancestors we had found, back to ten generations (7th great grandparents).  I tried to figure it out just using my pedigrees, but I kept losing track on the charts. So I finally printed out the whole anhentafel  (ancestor list) back to 10 generations, and counted manually.  My count was 547 on my side (197 pages of material) and 415 (139 pages) on my husband's side. I believe a "perfect" score was 1023 ancestors.  So, I have my work cut out for me!

Printing out the ahnentafel, I instantly realized, is going to be hugely helpful in working on my blog. When I printed it out, I noticed that it included all the material I have typed into my Family Tree Maker program, giving an informal list of sources, and including bits and pieces from various books, newspapers, etc, that I've found.  Now I can easily page through, see who seems to be pretty thoroughly researched (really, that includes no one) and who is sadly lacking (almost everyone).  I can also put sticky notes to remind me that I've written about so and so, or have written about this about so and so, so I don't do the same blog twice.  Yesterday I bought binders for each tree and tab dividers for each generation, so today I expect to be doing a lot of hole punching.  I know this method is "quaint" (my sister's term for "get into the 21st century, girl!"), but it will work for me.  I'm thrilled that answering Randy's challenge is going to help me with this blog.  It may someday give me a structure for writing a family history book, too. 

I still need to face the challenge of going through a five drawer filing cabinet to see what I've recorded, what I haven't, and what I can safely toss.  But that's for another day, or month, or year!  And first, I have a pile of papers to file, about 2 inches thick. An organized genealogist I am not!

I'll post again on Friday, but for now, I need to get busy punching holes and reviewing those papers.