Thursday, October 22, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 2 - Setting Research Goals & Conducting Interviews

Back side of my grandfather's visitors card
for Chicago Lying-In Hospital
from the birth of my father.
If you've read any of my blog posts in the last week you know that I have been very busy experiencing my family history rather than documenting it. Last Thursday we went into Manhattan to visit Castle Garden and Saturday we were on a walking tour of the Cheney Historic District in Manchester, CT where my great-grandfather was a velvet weaver and my great-uncle was a silk dyer.

In spite of having some time off last week I still found myself a bit behind on do-over posts.  As I've said before, I'm participating in the do-over again because I find myself equal parts distracted and overwhelmed by the recent finds at my step-mother's house and have done very little research in the past few months.

Theoretically I could just pick up where I left off at the end of the last do-over, but it's much more fun to do it with the group, and also keeps me motivated to get things done.

Conducting Interviews

My self-interview was completed in Cylce 2, although I'm sure there will be memories and other finds to document from time-to-time.

I am still interviewing my mother. As I said the last time, she can be difficult to pin down. I have gotten away from trying to have a few questions in mind for her when we shop together, etc. I'll have to get that list out in the next few days and get it ready for Saturday.

I'm also very lucky to have some recorded interviews with a great-grandfather - recorded by his son - and my mother's father - recorded by my parents. I recently had them digitized and now they just need to be transcribed, something to add to my research goals.

Setting Research Goals

This is something that I did in Cycle 2 but my primary short-term goal has changed a bit, although it will help with some of the goals I set in that cycle.

My new short-term research goal is to go through each photo, document and keepsake that came from Dad's secret stash and review it for every possible bit of genealogical information it holds before scanning or photographing and storing. I've already had a couple of little breakthroughs from information contained on the backs of photos and inside one of my father's bibles.

It will be time consuming, but I think it is best for my own sanity that I deal with all of these boxes before I try to get anything else of substance completed.

I'll be back later today or tomorrow to talk about tracking and conducting research and sharing some of my research log with you.

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