Friday, January 16, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 2 and My Original Quest

The topics for Week 2 of the Genealogy Do-Over are setting research goals, conducting a self-interview, and conducting family interviews. The data from the interviews should help to set the research goals. The idea this week is to go back to square one and start with yourself. I have to admit that I haven't done that much documentation on myself or my immediate family. I knew I wouldn't be able to complete this in one week, but I did make some progress.

Conducting a Self-Interview
I have to admit that I haven't done that much documentation on myself or my immediate family. One of the suggestions this week is to use a Family Group Sheet to document facts about ourselves. I looked at several of them and decided that they weren't the best format for a single person with no children! Most have room to record events for a husband, wife, and their children, so at least 2/3 of my Family Group Sheet would be blank.

I decided to look at the Individual Report from Family Tree Maker which lists facts, notes, and sources for an individual. So far, I've scanned in and sourced my birth and baptism certificates. I have a current resume that lists my work history and other forms with my list of residences since I was on my own, but the information isn't in my family tree database. I need to check with my Mom to see if she has my certificates for First Communion and Confirmation. I can see that I still have a lot to document!

Conducting Family Interviews
I'm lucky to have the results of an interview with my Dad. In 2000, he wrote down what he knew about his family and that was the basis for my original quest. Our initial research goal was to find information on his great-grandfather Timothy Creeden's family and that elusive location in Ireland. At that time, I wasn't focused on creating and documenting a complete family tree.

My Dad's information on his Creeden family
In 1994, one of my uncles gave me Descendant Reports on my Mom's side of the family, so that was the starting point for several more of my lines. Since I'm doing more of a "go-over" than "do-over", I took a look at the Family Group Sheet created by my family tree software for my parents and my sister. Similar to my own data, the basic facts are there, but there is still a lot to document.

Setting Research Goals
These first research goals should be based on the initial data from the self and family interviews. They should be specific goals and not a broad goal such as "trace my family's Irish roots". Too funny, since that was my original goal! Based on what I've had time to review, here are some of my initial research goals:
  • Verify my father's date of birth, location, and parents.
  • Verify my mother's date of birth, location, and parents.
  • Verify my parents' date of marriage and location.
I'm setting similar goals for each of the "facts" in my Family Tree database for my immediate family. While I feel that I "know" this information, I don't have actual proof for much of it. I'll also add research goals for each of the statements in my Dad's interview. I definitely haven't completed the Week 2 tasks, but I'm planning on using what I have so far to move on to Week 3.

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