Back in December 2014, a brave blogger, Thomas MacEntee, proposed something radical. Something new. A Genealogy Do-Over. And the world was never the same again. Well, at least for some of us.
It was a chance to make things right in my messed-up research and the best part was I didn’t have to go it alone.
I signed up shortly after the beginning of Cycle 1. I joined the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook group which has been amazing. I also went on to join The Organized Genealogist and Genealogy – Cite Your Sources Facebook groups since these were areas that needed the most attention in my research.
I started reading everyone’s posts about their journeys through the Do-Over. I checked out all the helpful template files that have been uploaded, checked out all the helpful links people had added, checked out all the ideas people were sharing and finally checked out completely as I overloaded my poor brain with too much information and too many choices. Brain Freeze…Total Paralysis of Decision Making Ability.
But then I found this great post about slowing down by Thomas MacEntee. And that was when I decided to become a stalker. I’ve been following along, making notes and checking out ideas and I’ve made some decision about what I want to do for Cycle 2.
But, baby steps…Week 1.
Do-Over Week 1 is all about putting your research aside, taking a step back, a deep breath…and thinking for a bit. Thinking about your old research habits. Hands up whose reading this at 2am in the morning as you take a break from searching for your Great Uncle Bob who you just know will turn up in that next search…and I bet you haven’t been recording anything about where or what you’ve already searched. Ha! Busted!
So I did some thinking and pondering and this is what I’ve come up:
- I shall remember that I have a family and a job and a bedtime and will no longer research, bleary-eyed, until 2am in the morning.
- I shall create a research plan…and I will use it.
- I shall record results (whether they were positive or negative) in a research log.
- I shall learn how to cite sources completely and correctly – or as correctly as I want them to be. See first point. (Don’t look so disapproving. As long as the record can be found again millennia from now, I refused to be shamed.)
- I shall evaluate information thoroughly before deciding whether to add it to my family tree. For complex analysis, this may include a full write up and feeding the results back into the research plan.
- I shall take my time. Do it right the first time, and I won’t have to do the Do-Over again!
And finally, and most importantly,
- BSOs1 are the spawn of evil. I shall refuse to be distracted. I shall stand firm in my research plan. I shall…oh look! FMP has released a new record set! Shiny!
1BSO = Bright Shiny Object