Thursday, July 2, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 13 - Securing Data & Reviewing the Journey

Ironically blank family tree pages from my own baby book.

This was the last week of the Genealogy Do-Over and the topics were 1 - Securing Research Data and 2 - Reviewing the Journey

Securing Research Data

Thomas MacEntee asked four very important questions in this weeks post:

1. If you lost all your data, would you be able to recreate it?
2. Would you even know where to begin?
3. If you died today, would your family know what to do with your research?
4. Have you made plans to preserve your research for generations to come?

I must admit that my answers to these questions are no, no, no and no, in that order. Clearly, I have some work to do and this is going to be a priority for me.

I was already planning to buy an external hard drive in the next month or so but before I do that, I really need to make a comprehensive and detailed plan. I'm now looking at it from the view point of Question #2 above, what would I do if some unbelievable event wiped my hard drive and my online tree all at once. What would I do, step-by-step? What do I need to put that plan into action?

This is something that is going to take some additional research and won't be completed all at once. I will post about this as I make my plan and put it into action.  The same with my plans for my research, images and artifacts in the event of my death, not a pleasant subject but more complicated and necessary because I don't have children.

Reviewing the Journey

I remember reading something Thomas MacEntee wrote recently to the effect that he still could not believe the way that his do-over program and concept have caught on. Well, I can. The Do-Over is well thought out, well laid out and hits the points vital to thorough and productive research; for me, the past 13 weeks have been eye-opening, instructional, inspirational and thought-provoking.

In just the last 13 weeks I have:
  • Established a firm foundation for my research with base (or best) practices and guidelines.
  • Learned to set research goals.
  • Begun to track my research.
  • Started a research toolbox.
  • Learned more about citing my sources (I don't think you're ever done with this one).
  • Begun to learn about evaluating evidence.
  • Purchased genealogy database software (after 7 years where my only tree was online).
  • Learned more about digitizing my photos and documents.
  • Reviewed offline education options and finally joined an offline genealogical society.
  • Learned about conducting cluster research.
  • Organized about 70% of my research materials, family documents and photos.
  • Begun to organize my digital research materials.
  • Begun to plan for securing my research data.

I will still follow along with the following cycles of the Do-Over and with the Facebook group. There is much yet to accomplish but with this firm foundation I know that even BSOs cannot stand in my way for very long!

Thank you Thomas, for all your hard work and for providing us with the Do-Over!

No comments: