Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln


About a year ago, I decided I needed to start over again in my genealogy research. I wanted all my source citations to be accurate and consistent, and my database needed a general cleanup and reorganization.

I tried several different things that I thought would help me to get my database in tip-top shape, but in the long run, I still wasn’t pleased.

So, I sat back and tried to look at the big picture again, and I realized something: genealogy wasn’t fun anymore.

That was an eye-opener. Ever since I was first bitten by the genealogy bug back in 2003, it has been a passion. CSI in my own living room!

But, somewhere between trying to make all of my citations perfect, and that oppressive sensation of spinning my wheels and not accomplishing anything, the light almost burned out…

I’ve even considered quitting (but I can’t quite get over the thought of nearly 12 years of work, all for nothing!)

Then a few days ago I saw a Facebook post from Thomas MacEntee about his Genealogy Do-Over program. And that faint light began to flicker again.

Perhaps this program is what I need. A little guidance, a little direction, a little encouragement… maybe even some fun!

So, what are my objectives for my Genealogical Do-Over?

  1. Feel the passion again!
  2. De-stress my sources citations- accurate, complete, but without that sense of a medieval torture chamber
  3. Learn to create and use a research plan for each individual- Evernote vs Tiddlywiki
  4. Desktop or online- much as I love my desktop RootsMagic, I can’t use it with my Chromebook and I do love my Chromebook!
  5. Consistent naming of image and document files- I created a system years ago that works well, especially when I actually use it.
  6. Start blogging again- my poor little blog has been woefully neglected, too

More details on my objectives in a later post.

So, Thomas, thanks for creating this 13-wk program and… I AM READY!


5 thoughts on “My Genealogy Do-Over (again)

  1. Nancy Hurley says:

    Can I steal #3 and #5 as two of my four main goals?! 🙂 I also need to set a writing goal that is achievable! Thanks for the inspiration.


    1. Ruth Stephens says:

      Hi Nancy! Thanks for checking in. Your are most welcome to anything I have than might help you. I have never used a research plan before, so I think I need to learn how. As for the image and file naming, that’s easy to do, just gotta go it (a bit lazy some days…). I need to gett back to blogging, too. Kinda been neglecting it for too long! Good luck with your Do-over and have a wonderful New Year!


  2. Jackie Baker says:

    I really like #2.


    1. Ruth Stephens says:

      Hi Jackie! Thanks for stopping by. I noticed from your Facebook that you’re in Bedford. I’m in Benbrook, just down the road a bit.
      I think the source citation problem was the single biggest stresser that led me to almost quit genealogy. I have been keeping detailed citations for many years, but they usually weren’t of “Evidence!” quality. All the information was there, but they were far from perfect. When I first began with genealogy, I remember reading that a citation should contain enough information that another person can find that source without too much difficulty. That is what I have done with my citations. They may not be pretty, but I’ll bet any person who reads one, will be able to find it for himself.
      Maybe I’m asking to be struck by lightning, but I’ve been mulling over in my mind a way of writing citations (moving from less specific to more specific) that I can live with, basically a simple template that can easily be adapted to the different types of sources.
      Good luck with your Do-Over. I think it will be fun!


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