Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 5 Moving Beyond Beginner Genealogist

We have covered some pretty cool things up to now and it's time to advance your skills. Remember that things have progressed so fast that you can easily do now, what was impossible for your parents or grandparents. The world has come alive with indexing and posting data to the internet.

Using the four websites: Family Search, Find A Grave, Ancestry, and Google creams off the easiest part. Much can be found in this research. Hopefully your four generation chart and your family tree is getting some detail.

Now I want you to make a shift in emphasis from a shotgun effort to fill out your chart to a focus on one ancestor.

Remember rookie mistakes #'s 3 Rookies often have vague research goals. | 4 Rookie researchers jump between families too often. | 5 Rookies start research on the farthest back ancestor with the least data. | ??? Well, it's time to ponder today which ancestor you are going to focus in.

Additionaly I ask you to guess what is the thing your great great grandfathers children want most from you, and likewise what will your great great granchildren want most from your time. In like manner what will give you the most satisfaction as a genealogist? The answer is  s e i r o t s backwards.

Not long after I arrived on this genealogy mission I phoned my son and asked what my mission could do for him that he and his family would like?  Would you like me to teach you what I am learning? His answer  - "No dad, just get me some stories".

In a recent church genealogy staff and missionary business meeting our boss, Dennis Brimhall aluded to a new emphasis on stories. I believe Family Tree is being developed for people to be able to actually build life histories from Family Tree. What we see as they open up Tree is just the beginning.

Today we begin this fun process, building off what we have already begun in this 10 day series.

In other words: You will pick one ancestor to research. You will find information about that ancestor. You will attach that information to the Tree. You will then turn it into a story. It will be awesome! I know that because I am doing this.

I spent months researching Patrick Cragun my 4th Great Grandfather who supposedly came from Ireland, came at age 15, jumped a ship in Boston Harbor, and did awesome things such as was in the Boston Tea Party. I spent days trying to prove these legends to no avail. Then one day I felt I was hearing the words, "focus on Elisha". Elisha was one of Patricks 11 children. His story is one that binds me to him. His wife died at age 54. Their 20 year old daughter died 3 days prior. So far I have attached 9 sources of his life to the Tree.

But what is even cooler, someone else, identified as dcragun just attached access to the book  Early Osbornes and Alleys with notes on allied families Author: Sutton, Rita Kennedy. This book had new and supportive information to what I was researching. How awesome to have someone else adding to my efforts. How awesome is the Tree in that we now collaborate. I have spent days in the Family History Library without finding this book. How thankful I already am for FamilySearch Family Tree.

I will post his story and replace what I have as I build upon it.

You too will do this, if you follow my 10 day plan. I hope you do and I hope it is successful for you.

Your ancestors are alive in the next estate of our lives. They know us. Perhaps one of mine spoke to me that day, to focus on Elisha. I believe our ancestors want to be found. I believe they want their stories told.

Day 5 will be looking at ways to go deeper into our research, the rest of the 10 days will be  building the story and learning more ways to be a pretty good genealogist as we build that story. 

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