In September we wrote about what is a common problem in the genealogy community: not enough time to balance work, family, and our research. We took a radical step and decided to stop working on our family tree, so we could instead focus on wrapping up other projects and to get our research, citations, and document/photo collections in order.
It’s been 7 months since wrote that piece (Link)…here’s how the plan’s going:
Keep blog posts to 500 words (Grade: F) – Our last post was almost 2000 words, our average since September is about 1000, AND we have been lucky to post 2 times a month instead of publishing weekly like we intend. Lots of work to do here.
Clean, scan, and store the 2000 glass plate negatives from the Home Studio Collection (Grade: B+) – We decided not to clean them, we have the storage taken care of with all of the proper archival products. However, we got to about 70 plates scanned in October and stopped. It was too much time per plate. In response, in the last 3 months we purchased a lot of equipment to scan these more quickly and we were able to process 225 plates in about 2 hours last time we tested. We are about to finish the first crate of plates (~440 images) in 10 days! We’ll publish more details when we’re done.
While we are scoring a GPA just over a C, it’s mostly because of we failed at our primary approach of stopping work on our Family Tree.
Install a temperature/humidity control solution in our archive room (Grade: A) – It’s done! Our archives have spent the last 5-6 months at 62-65 degrees, and 42-45% humidity! There will be more work to do this summer, to cool/dehumidify the space, but we already have the controls in place.
Ensure each Source in our main, Public tree is properly cited and every Fact is supported by at least one Source (Grade: Inc) – To be fair, we started on this effort, beginning with 4xGGP Royal and Eliza (Jones) Morse (whom we’ve owed this documentation to the Morse Society for 2 years now!) 4 times, but the Family Tree Maker data corruptions kept setting this effort back (MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker is garbage). Once we got past that, we’ve made some progress, but we lost a lot of effort on this one.
Properly transcribe and index all family history interviews (Grade: C) – We’re half way there! But the last set of transcripts will be the hardest.
PUBLISH! (Grade: F) – Out blog posts are lagging, and we haven’t actually published anything outside of blogging. We’ve been reading some great family histories though, to get an idea of how others publish their stories, so we have good ideas once we’re ready!
Write our autobiographies, as well as begin to write out what we know about our family (Grade: F) – Yeah, so…we’ve written nothing. Looking back, this probably should have been left off the list…we were just setting ourselves up for failure.
Ensure that we’re printing out all electronic sources, so that our paper files are complete copies of our electronic files (Grade: A) – We’ve been pretty diligent on this one, and while we’ve had to redo a lot of electronic source citations, we did print them all out as we created them.
Spend a little more time with the family! (Grade: A) – We could have made a lot more progress on this list if sacrificed this one, but we’re spending more time together as family now than when we first wrote this.
While we are scoring a GPA just over a C, it’s mostly because of we failed at our primary approach of stopping work on our Family Tree. Instead, we shattered our largest brick wall (while adding nearly 40 new DNA matches) and made a huge dent in another brick wall. Much more on that will follow, but both efforts took a LOT of work, and those hours spent working on the trees directly slowed down the other work we hoped to accomplish.
That said, we’ve rededicated ourselves to getting these other tasks complete so we can finally turn our full attention to building our tree. Our properly cited and sourced family tree!
One thought on “Taking a step back from working on our Family Tree – A follow up”
If you’re spending more time with your family, you are making BIG progress. Time flies, and the loved ones who are near you now could be hundreds of miles away before long. Spend time with them now. Treasure the time.
I’m curious about whether you’ve arrived at a replacement for Family Tree Maker. Have you been able to export a decent Gedcom file from FTM so that you can move on? Gedcom is marvelous in concept, and I am grateful to the LDS for insisting on it and coordinating its development way back when. But sadly we have to rely on each package for whatever it produces in terms of a Gedcom export–our bridge to another product. I hope that FTM will do a decent job on the export for you.
By the way, I haven’t tried FTM, but Russ Worthington does a lot of instruction about it and seems to welcome questions of all kinds: https://ftmuser.blogspot.com/