New Year, new system

2 January 2015

So, who is participating in the Genealogy Do-Over in 2015? Hands up…..!
Oh, yes! I am so up for that. I’ve been saying for years how I would love to do things differently and how I wish I could go back and start over. Well, now I will. I have invested in a decent family history software package. No more handwritten trees from when I was in my early 20’s. No more folders of census schedules I copied having spent hours trawling through the microfilms at the Family Records Centre. No more photographs with no idea where they were taken.

Since I began delving into the past, I have had at least three PCs that I can recall, probably half a dozen or so laptops, plus countless USB memory sticks and cameras. Undoubtedly, I have numerous copies of the same files and more than likely entire folders of documents which are identical to one another. No more. I’m done with all that. New Year, new system.

Just as Thomas MacEntee said when he announced the Genealogy Do-Over on Geneabloggers, my past genealogical research frustrates me. Having started as a youngster, not really knowing one end of a census reel from another, there are so many things I wish I had known then that I know now. Like how important it is to record which parish some of the marriage entries I have copied are actually from! Crucial information but infuriatingly omitted on a few of my surname study documents. What a nitwit I was in my younger years!

Today, I proudly set up a new folder in My Documents: Genealogy Do-Over Family Tree. This will be the master folder and I can now start to go through all the double copies and create one set of scanned certificates, deleting other files/folders as I go. That’s Step One! My software package is flying in my general direction …. well, travelling slowly by Royal Mail if truth be told, but I’ve waited this long, so another few days won’t hurt.

I am actually really excited to press the stop button and do everything over again. It will help with the de-cluttering mission for 2015 as well, I hope, as the folders disappear and the contents are scanned and/or disposed of, replaced by appropriately named electronic versions. Don’t panic though – I won’t be getting rid of all the original documents. The filing cabinet is next on the ‘to-do’ list – that’s Step Two.

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