Thursday, 18 June 2015

GDO3: Getting Ready (Again) for the Genealogy Do-Over

I'm getting ready for Cycle 3 of Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over.  I participated in Cycle 1 back in January 2015, and as I look back at that cycle's 'getting ready' post I realise how far I have come (although I'm not saying I'm there just yet).  I learned a lot - and I mean a LOT.  I took 'slow down' as my mantra - and I have slowed down.  However, lately I have noticed myself speeding up a bit and wandering in circles, so I think it's about time to start another Do-Over.  Oh *steps back in amazement* a new cycle starts on July 3rd!  How fortuitous! What a coincidence!

Last time, I began by saying things like "I'm not in a mess.  I'm not in a mess."  And I'm not.  Well, at least, not a total mess.  Order is beginning to come out of the chaos.

"Slow Down" was to be my mantra.  It worked; I slowed down.  But I began to speed up again.  Note to self: must slow down again.

I put all my certificates away in acid-free pockets.  That is an achievement in itself.

Done the software research.  Made the digital folders.  Coloured them so I can see which line is which.

But the biggest thing I got out of Cycle 1 was the Research Log and how to use it.  You see, I always looked at a Research Log as something you did afterwards.  Writing down what you'd done, how far you'd got - and most genealogists will tell you that, once they're exhausted from researching, THAT'S IT.  You have no energy to write it all down.  But Thomas's Research Log was different.  Yes, there was still space to write it down, but the important part was planning your research beforehand, and writing it down beforehand.  That way, you don't end up sitting in front of your computer, wondering what to do now.  You have a written-out plan, so you can dive in and say "right, I'm going to look for this bit first" instead of wandering here and there through your family tree, which is beginning to feel like a magical grove where you can't see the sunlight.
Can't see the forest for the trees

And another key part of the Research Log?  It was made in a spreadsheet workbook, so you could have a special page devoted entirely to "ooh, look at that" type ideas.  We called them BSOs (Bright Shiny Objects).  Instead of stopping what you are doing and going off on a tangent (and then suddenly realising it's 3 a.m. and you have to get up at 6.30 for work) - you go to this special page and write it down.  Then you can come back to it later, when the BSO becomes a serious focus of research as opposed to an "ooh, look at that".

In Cycle 1, I felt like I was hanging on by my fingernails.  Now, In Cycle 3, I'm sitting on the bottom step (not the 'naughty step', you notice).  There are plenty more steps, and I will take them.  Slowly.

© 2015 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 14 June 2015

On This Day: 14 June

On 14 June 1696, my 8 x great grandmother, Joanna STONE was christened in the small village of South Pool, Devon, England.  Her father was called Edward, and her mother Jone.

And this is where things get confusing.  I mean, I know about spelling in centuries gone past: whoever was doing the recording wrote the names down the way he thought they should be spelt, and most of our ancestors were illiterate, so they wouldn't have known the difference.  Then again, spelling and writing weren't as important to them as they are to (present-day) genealogists like you and me.

Blue question marksSo, baby Joanna (spelt 'Joanna' in the baptismal register) was 'Joan' by the time she married in 1722, and 'Joan' when she was buried in 1763.  Her mother was 'Jone'.  My 2 x great grandmother MURCH was 'Johanna' at her baptism in 1844, 'Joanna' at her marriage in 1869, and back to 'Johanna' on her death certificate in 1875.  And then back to the mid-1600s, when my 8 x great aunt is 'Johane' BLAGDON.  No wonder I can't find her baptism.  The search engine has finally given up hope at all these spellings!

My question is: how are all these pronounced?  'Jone' I can manage.  But the first clue I had that 'Johanna' didn't have a spoken 'H' in the middle was when she was married as 'Joanna'.  The search engine isn't the only one around here that's confused...

© 2015 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 13 June 2015

On This Day: 13 June

13 June 1813: my great great great great great uncle was born.  Samuel MURCH, born to another Samuel MURCH and Margaret Marshall Littley MURCH in Ottery St Mary, Devon.  He was baptised on Boxing Day of that year: 26 December 1775, also in Ottery St Mary.
Samuel Murch birth/baptism entry 1775
And here he is again in the Bishop's Transcripts, a little more neatly written
Samuel Murch birth/baptism entry 1775

Seems fairly straightforward, don't you think?  Except someone sixty years ago said that he also died and was buried on that same Boxing Day - and I can't find a record to back this up.

Samuel Murch birth/baptism entry 1778
Then came my direct-line ancestor - yet another Samuel MURCH, born to the same parents 11 April 1778 (Ottery St Mary) and baptised 1 January 1778/79.  Since he was also called Samuel, it is pretty logical to think that the Samuel born in 1775 had died.  But had he?  Definitely a genealogical mystery to solve.

© 2015 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved


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