They say that there is a first time for everything. Most people experience those firsts one at a time.
2008 has been a year for firsts for me. I have spent the last 5 years formalizing my genealogical education and research skills in an attempt to fine tune the self-taught genealogical education I gave myself the previous 10 years.
I told myself, "Self this is it. This is the year you live the dream. This is the year you take all those things you have learned in the classroom and put them to use. This is the year you let them know who you are and what you can do."
So I began with just wiggling my toes in the shallow end of the pool. I stopped "lurking" on the mail lists and message boards and started participating. I got a little braver. I belong to several genealogical groups but this year I became board members for 2 of them. I have never traveled alone. I have never attended a function alone especially a large one and didn't know a single person. I made it to the middle of the pool without floaties on my arms - This year I got on a plane, went Birmingham, Alabama; shared a room with a complete stranger and experienced genealogical nirvana.
Today I am jumping off into the deep end - My first blog. My first post. My first genealogy Games. I am entering myself into the following :
1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources!
We all know how important our research is - but it is only worth the evidence that supports it! Have you ever looked at an entry in your database and wondered, "Where did that come from?" or "How can that be?" All events can and should be backed up by linking them to sources and evidence using a consistent and clear citation format.Create proper citations of sources for as many events possible using either Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills or How to Cite Sources by John Wiley.
Qualifications for "Go Back and Cite Your Sources!":10 Citations - Bronze Medal, 20 Citations - Silver Medal, 30 Citations - Gold Medal, 40 Citations - Diamond Medal, 50Citations - Platinum Medal
I am going for the Platinum on this event. I am working on certification and desperately need to get this done.
3. Organize Your Research!
So you have plenty of research - that's okay if you can find what you need when you need it, right? Take time to review your collection of documents and photos, both hard copy and digital, and work to organize those items for easy access.
A. Organize at least 20 hard files or ancestral items (books, fabrics, inherited items) into file folders, boxes, envelopes, containers, etc.; archival-quality where appropriate.
B. Organize at least 20 digital files into folders, label, add meta data, add descriptions, add tags, etc.
C. Organize at least 20 photos into photo albums, scrapbooks, collages, protective holders, boxes, etc.
D. Organize at least 20 digital photos into folders, label, add meta data, add descriptions, add tags, etc.
E. Create at least 20 data entries in your database, or scan 20 photos, or scan 20 documents.
F. Create a master list of your files and notify your family members of where it is stored.
Qualifications for "Organize Your Research!":Complete any one task - Bronze Medal. Complete any two tasks - Silver Medal. Complete any three tasks - Gold Medal. Complete any four tasks - Diamond Medal. Complete all five tasks - Platinum Medal.
Gold or Diamond is my goal for this event.
4. Write, Write, Write!
Do you find birth dates, death dates and all the data boring if there's no narrative behind it? Don't you find the stories about ancestors more attractive than cut and dried census data? It takes time to be able to write about your family history and the more you write and the more often you write, the easier it is to bring your family to life for others to see.
A. Write a summary of what your blog is about and post it on your blog – you may not have done this since you started the blog and it is a great way to have new readers learn more about your site.
B. Participate in a genealogy or family history related blog carnival. See the AnceStories post "August Is..." for a list of these carnivals and their submission URLs and deadlines.
C. Prepare several posts in draft mode (if possible with your blog platform) and pre-publish.
D. Write a brief biographical sketch on one of your ancestors.
E. Sign up to host a future carnival:
The following regular carnival hosts are accepting names for volunteer hosts: footnoteMaven needs volunteer hosts for the October 10th edition only of "I Smile for the Camera" (see her criteria in next paragraph); Jessica Oswalt of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy; Lisa of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture; and Tim Abbott of the Cabinet of Curiosities. Jasia has all the volunteers she needs for this year's Carnival of Genealogy, so please do NOT distract her from her writing to ask to volunteer as a host right now! :-)You must email the footnoteMaven with the words "Guest Host – Smile For The Camera" in the subject line. In the body of the email you must select your favorite article from Shades Of The Departed and explain why it is your favorite. The footnoteMaven will select the best answer to determine the host for the October 10 “Smile For The Camera.” The best answer will be featured on Shades Of The Departed.
Qualifications for "Write, Write, Write!":Complete any one task - Bronze Medal. Complete any two tasks - Silver Medal. Complete any three tasks - Gold Medal. Complete any four tasks - Diamond Medal. Complete all 5 tasks - Platinum Medal.
A Gold Medal is what I want in this event.
5. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!
A. Comment on a new (to you) genea-blog.
B. Join another genea-blogger’s blog network on Facebook Blog Networks.
C. Invite other genealogists to join Facebook.
D. Assist another researcher with a research request or lookup. See AnceStories "Random Acts of Kindness Week" posts for ideas for this item and Item E.
E. Participate in an indexing project.
F. Join a genealogical, historical, heritage or lineage society.
Qualifications for "Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!":Complete any one task - Bronze Medal. Complete any two tasks - Silver Medal. Complete any three tasks - Gold Medal. Complete any four tasks - Diamond Medal. Complete all 5 tasks - Platinum Medal.
A Platinum Medal is in my future for this event.
I have found that I work best under deadlines (with a dash of pressure and a pinch of anxiety) so I am hoping to do well even though my husband keeps strolling through the house singing, "...if she only had a brain.."