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

red buttonGenealogy Do-Over

the 2015 educational initiative at GeneaBloggers – where you do get to go home again . . .

and start over with your genealogy research.


Week 1 – 2-8 January 2015

  • Setting Previous Research Aside
  • Preparing to Research
  • Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines


Setting Previous Research Aside

This will be a bit of a challenge! Ok, time for Spring Cleaning (current weather in Benbrook, Texas: light sleet. wind chill 19º). As per Thomas’ instructions, I’m keeping all original docs, photos and anything that I have previously purchased. But everything else, including my actual database, will go in a box, virtual or otherwise, and be set aside. It’s back to Square One with Ancestor One!

First off, I’m not going to physically “move” my files, whether digital or the real deal. There are too many, and I have learned the hard way that if digital files get moved around too much, they tend to disappear…

What I have done is create a new database in RootsMagic, pristine and completely barren of any facts, sources, places and media, appropriately named Do-Over 2015. And as I begin to add ancestors and digital photos/documents, I will set up a new surname file system. Both the database and the surname files will be in a new location on my hard drive, or perhaps on my external hard drive (>87 GB available) or online at OneDrive (>24 GB available). My current master genealogy file tops out at 4 GB, so I have plenty of storage space. Of course, the prudent thing to do would be to save the files to ALL 3 LOCATIONS (note to self!)

Preparing to Research

Ok, I’ve already created a brand new, empty RootsMagic database and set my old records and notes “aside”. What else can I do in preparation for my new genealogy life?

  • Evernote- I have been using Evernote for my finances, and it works well. Time to use it for genealogy. So I created a new “stack”, again named Do-Over 2015, and a notebook for templates (currently working on a Research Plan/Log report). I will create Surname notebooks as my research progresses.
  • File-naming strategy- something along the lines of  “SurnameFirstMI_YYYY_Title/description”. I’ve used a system similar to this, which works very well when I use it. Just gotta get consistant… 😉

So that’s where I’m at today, the first day of the New Year and the first day of my Genealogy Do-Over 2015.

Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines- well, that’s gonna take some more head-scratching and a later post.

Happy New Year, everyone!




2 thoughts on “Genealogy Do-Over 2015 Topics: Week 1

  1. Maureen Bausemer says:

    I am leaning the same way you are and making a fresh database ( I use Legacy) instead of moving anything. I am getting a little overwhelmed by all the advice and need to remember baby steps.


    1. Ruth Stephens says:

      Hi Maureen! Yes, definitely baby steps! But there are a lot of fresh ideas, too. This whole project has really taken off. Good luck with your do-over!


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