Friday, February 28, 2014

Some thoughts while away

Ruth, Florence, Gertrude Cain, Claude Murvin,
Tommy Cain, Mary Jean Koos
It’s been a long time since I sat down to look at my genealogy projects, and I miss the fun, the satisfaction, and even the occasional frustration of it all.

Two trips -- one for fun, one less so -- and planning for some household  remodelling have kept me away from this most engrossing pursuit for far too long. But thoughts do keep occurring, and one of these days I’ll be able to plunge in again. Perhaps, in the meantime, I need to follow the suggestions we’ve all read, about taking small steps when there’s no time to settle down with the Big Ones.

One modest task comes to mind immediately (because the evidence is sitting right in front of me): sorting the most recent family Christmas letters and photos, making sure they are dated with the year and the images are properly identified. 

The group on the right include three of my aunts, an uncle, my little brother (now in his 70s) and a cousin. Who besides me would know all their names?

Another is the perennial need to straighten up the work area. Folders pulled out and never put away, half-finished lists, books than need to go back on the shelf.  I am an inveterate list-maker and inventory-taker, but later, looking at the incomplete results, I am often puzzled at what prompted their creation. Then there are the newly-purchased books, the journal articles, and the many printed-out references that need to find a home -- preferably someplace where I can find them again. 

That brings up another question. How do you file items of general interest -- about places, events, living conditions -- in short, matters that are not about your family members but most likely had an impact on their lives? I have a file cabinet full of carefully labelled folders for the states and regions where my ancestors lived, with emphasis on their home counties, local topography, etc. But I almost never consult it! There needs to be a better way, and if you have any suggestions, I’d be delighted to hear them.

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