Since I have not been blogging here lately, I thought I would take some time to explain what I have been up to in the past few weeks. Hoping that all of my readers will understand why I have been very quiet here and on my Finding Our Ancestors Facebook page.
To start off with, I have started a new project with my closest genealogy friends; Stephanie Fishman (also my genea buddy) and Jen Holik. In the past month, we have been spending most of our free time over at The In-Depth Genealogist. Which started a digi mag for all genealogists. It now is a digi-mag with its own website, facebook page and twitter account. This idea came to us one day and has been growing very fast. We are ever thankful to all of our friends, family and genealogy community for helping us grow so quickly. We have many great things planned for IDG and hope that you will follow us on this journey.
I am also three and a half months into the 18 month ProGen15 course. Last month, we had to create a research plan for our research. I chose to do mine on my German, Jonas line. I have spent so much time this past year researching this family, it only seemed fitting to create a research plan on the family. As an FYI, I had many small research plans on this family already created, I have many questions that I am trying to answer and to do this, I knew I needed to narrow the information down and focus. But, to put something together that my peers would be critiquing scared the crap out of me. I guess it is like a big case of stage freight. Would they think I had no clue what I was doing? Would they think I did not belong amongst them? These are the crazy questions that went through my head as I put this assignment off. But, on the very last day, I pulled myself together (thanks to the insistance of my genea buddy, Stephanie) and got to work. What I came up with was crazy, since I waited so long to do this! I spent three hours, pulling information from each source and creating a research plan, in the form of a timeline. By doing this, I was able to see that I had some conflicting information and would need to search for more primary sources to find the truth to the conflicting information. Mind you, none of the conflicting information had to do with what I was searching for. My research plan is to help me find the parents of Wilhelm / William Jonas. With this timeline, I added dates of that were given in each source and what it told me about Wilhelm / William. Then, I went back and sourced everything I could. The sourcing is what took most of my time on this assignment, which I am glad I did. Otherwise, I probably would have overlooked the conflicting information and where that information came from. Click the following link to view my research plan, Research Plan – Terri O’Connell. By the way, I worried about nothing. I got great feedback from my peers!
I also just finished reading Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. All I can say is if you have not read it. Please, put it on your to do list. It was definitely worth it!
Also, I have been watching all of the great genealogy tv shows currently airing, Who Do You Think You Are? which airs Friday’s at 7pm CST on NBC and Finding Your Roots which airs on Sunday at 7pm on PBS. I absolutely love genealogy on tv. I have just put a request in to hold African American Lives so that I can watch Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s older shows that I missed when they first aired. Hope to go and pick it up today.
Watching any of these shows, I watch for some sort of glimpse into the past of my ancestors, be it the same period of time, same place or, if I am lucky enough a common ancestor (so far nothing on my direct line, but maybe a hit on the hubby’s). Please support genealogy on tv, we need to keep the ratings up so that it gets renewed for another season. WDYTYA? will be digging deep into the southern roots of Paula Deen next week. Personally, I cannot wait! Paula reminds me so much of my Grandma Richmond (last face it, its the southern drawl). I will definitely be in front of the tv for this episode.
While reading over how many of my genealogy friends did completing their goals for 2011, I decided that in 2012 I was going to do things a bit differently. Last year, Amy Coffin of We Tree and Denise Levenick of The Family Curator got together over lunch and decided that they would set a few goals and be there for moral support throughout the year.
After I really thought about it, I decided this might actually work for me. I reached out to Stephanie of Corn and Cotton: My Family’s Story to see if she would like to do this together. We already are supporting each other throughout the month with our monthly goals, why not help throughout the year. Steph replied that she would also like to do this.
I wrote out my goals last night and sent them off to Steph to see what she thought. My goals are big and I was afraid I am biting off more than I can chew. Steph was nice enough to remind that it is what we are supposed to be doing.
So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2012.
Research – I really want to prove / disprove the Mayflower connection in my Richmond line. My only concern with this in funding the project.
Writing - Since I do not consider myself a great writer, this goal will be the hardest for me. I have been told many times by my aunt (who reads my blog faithfully) that I need to write a book on my O’Connell research. There have been a few family members who have researched this family and it remains difficult. At this point, my research has surpassed those before me, I do not feel like I have enough research on this line. There are still a few branches of the family I would like to work on.
Since the O’Connell line is out of the question for writing a book about, I have decided that this goal will go along with my goal for research. The proving / disproving the Mayflower connection is a large task and one that will need to be well documented as I research it. If I fail at researching, I fail at the writing. That is scary, to set for goals and know that if I miss in research, I miss in writing as well. If I succeed, it will be a huge thing for those that are researching this line and only have a theory at this point. I have gotten a few emails wanting to know if I have the proof (all from other family members).
Organizational – This past year when we opened out own business, the basement was turned into my office, sort of. It has never been completed for business, let alone my genealogy work. This year, I want to organize my office for genealogy as well. I need to move all my books, magazines, bins and other genealogy “stuff” into the basement and then start to get it all organized. I hope to be able to utilize Motivation Monday (on the first Monday of each month) to keep me moving in this long process.
Educational – I have signed up for ProGen and hope to start in 2012. I will be doing this with my genealogy buddy, Stephanie and our friend Laura of The Last Leaf on This Branch. Hopefully, the three of us will be able to complete this successfully with all that we have going on in our lives. Unfortunately, I will be taking a break from the classes at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Also in the plans is to go back to school to take my general education classes. Now that my kids are old enough to take care of themselves, it’s time for me to start working towards a degree.
Are you interested in Steph’s goals? You should be, she has many great goals she is working towards. Read about her goals here.