Family History Research

Wisdom Wednesday – May ProGen Update

Another month down in the 18 of ProGen Group 10.  In April we worked on transcriptions and abstracts. I used the will of a woman named Dorota Zajicek. When I got this probate file at the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Archives I barely flipped through it before I started copying it. First of all after I read the will I realized this was not MY Dorota Zajicek. This woman was loaded! Mine was not. I copied the file anyway in case this family connected to mine at some point.  I transcribed the will and created my abstract.

This month we are using those transcripts to work on Certification and Accreditation by creating a research focus, analysis of data and forming a research plan. All things you would do if you were applying for BCG certification.

I worked on my assignment this morning and finished it. Will post it to the ProGen group this weekend. First need to get through our chat Thursday night for our April assignments.

Next month we are discussing Elizabeth Shown Mills’s Evidence Explained Chapter 1. Stay tuned for an update then.

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Wisdom Wednesday – ProGen Update

Last week this was me on vacation. This picture was taken in St. Thomas. My family took a cruise for spring break on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas ship.We sailed from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to Nassau where we snorkeled with the stingrays and played on the beach. Headed to St. Thomas where we spent a day on the beach. Then St. Maarten where my mother in-law and I took my twins to the beach while my father in-law, husband and son went deep sea fishing. They caught two barracuda and some massive sunburns. Grrrrr. But overall the trip was a success. My three boys had a blast and that was the point.

The ship is enormous! You can see it pictured here on the left. Our room was in the front of the ship and the food and fun was in the back so we did a lot of walking every day.The shows were fantastic, the food was ok, the staff we encountered were wonderful and the people we met at O’Hare waiting for our plane we saw many times on the ship. Funny how there can be over 6,000 people on a ship but when you meet a handful of them you seem them every day, somewhere. Even with 6,000 people on board it never felt crowded, except a couple of lunches in the Windjammer buffet. Other than that, people had so many places to explore that the ship felt almost “empty.”

Now that I’m back in the land of reality, it is time to focus on April’s ProGen assignment. This month we are talking about Transcripts and Abstracts. The reading assignment is long so I’ll need to start on that this week. Then I have to transcribe a deed or will then abstract that same item. I believe I have a hand written will in my research files to use so that will be good. I did get some additional transcription practice this weekend as I reviewed and rewrote a letter from a Civil War Pension File I received, but more on that in another post.

It will be interesting to read everyone’s transcriptions this month, more so if they are wills. I like to see what people owned and willed to their heirs. It gives me a better sense of the life they lived, at least at the end in some cases. This will be a fun assignment I think.

Thursday evening we have our monthly chat and will discuss the time management assignment from March. Most everyone submitted their assignments while I was gone so I have to catch up before Thursday on reviewing and commenting. Reviewing each other’s work is a major part of ProGen. I learn so much every month looking at someone else’s assignments.

Well back to reality!

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ProGen Study Group Update

Another month down, how many to go? I think 12. This month we worked on Time Management. We were supposed to track how we spent our time for a week. Identify our “clients” and obligations. Identify our time thieves. We concluded with how we would better manage our time.

My submission identified my time thieves as my kids as number one, Twitter, FaceBook and Email, and housework (LOL!) as the major things. My clients are my freelance writing, genealogy business clients, my blogs, research, volunteer genealogy society projects, me myself and I, and my family.

Basically I know when I am the most productive – early morning and when the boys are in school and the house is quiet. After they come home from school I’m lucky to get much done. Most of the time I can accept this, other days it feels like I’ll go crazy because I can’t even complete a thought. I also know that once the boys are in first grade in the fall, my days will be more my own and I can expand my list of clients and goals.

It was a good assignment and made me sit back and remember again that it is ok not to get everything on my to-do list done. That I have many other responsibilities besides work and there are times when I need to shut out the world and focus.

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ProGen Update March 2011

Another month has passed and our ProGen group is moving on to Time Management. We are supposed to track our time for a week and evaluate where our “time thieves” are, then create a plan to better manage our time.

With kids in school, my week days are pretty much the same week to week unless I go somewhere to research or work on my local genealogical society volunteer project. I do however know what some of my “time thieves” are and have been making a more conscious effort to focus on what needs to be done. It is all about balance isn’t it?

Last month we discussed research procedures and had to create locality research guides. Listings of repositories, their collections, hours, etc. It was an interesting discussion and look at the guides. Some of my group members created Wikis on FamilySearch for their locales.

Time to get to this month’s reading assignment!

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