Monday, 30 March 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 13: Review and Reflect

wonderingThis is the final week of the first 'Genealogy Do-Over'.  It actually finishes on Thursday 2 April 2015, and starts again the very next day with 'Week 1'.  I thought I might not do the next cycle of 13 weeks, but on reflection, I just might.  The reason is that I learned so many new things during this cycle, that I need (at least) another cycle to revisit them and shore up my learning.

Although the topics looked enticing, I soon realised that to try and apply them to my entire family tree would very quickly drive me crazy, so I looked at it and decided to apply the Do-Over to my BLAGDON line, as that was the one that had the least work done on it.  (BLAGDON was the maiden name of my paternal grandmother: Elsie Beatrice BLAGDON, 22 July 1908-2 Feb 1975.)  The research I had done on that particular line had taken me back to 1800 - and there I had stopped.  Too many mysteries along the way, too many people with the same name - and I was making such great strides with my other ancestors on other lines, that these others became BSOs (bright shiny objects - the sort you drop everything for and go off chasing here, there, and everywhere).  So I buckled down to it, and plunged into the BLAGDON line.

Immediately I began noticing success.  
  • I wrote out a Research Plan 
  • and a Research Log (If you're reading about this for the first time, I strongly recommend you take a look at the Do-Over, and its companion group on Facebook)
  • I revamped and rebuilt my Research Toolbox
  • I investigated genealogy education (on- and offline)
  • I made checklists and applied them to each person
And, most important of all?


Truly, I didn't realise I was moving so fast.  Now, I'm not saying that 'fast' is all bad.   In certain cases, you want 'fast' (like if you are having a heart attack, you want the ambulance to get to the hospital fast).   But I was going so 'fast', I was skipping over and entirely missing important information.  And I wasn't writing it all down, which meant that I was doing the same search twenty times over (and doing it fast) because I wasn't sure if I had already done it.

Who knew?  I'm 55; a grown woman with many years of experience behind me.  I teach people how to make a start on their own genealogy!  I advise strongly against the 'scattergun approach' or dipping here and there - fast.  Why has it taken me 35+ years of research to realise that I needed to Slow Down and Write It Down?  I think I know why.  It's because I want patience...and I want it NOW!

and the BLAGDONs?  More mysteries, more people with the same name - and a new dilemma: a potential link to a wealthy family going back to the early 1600s - but are they 'mine'?  The ancestors I had found previously were humble dockyard workers, brickmakers and farm labourers.  Am I right in thinking I am linked to gentlemen landowners?  But this hasn't put me off.  Now, I feel more confident in my researching methodology.

© 2015 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved


  1. I love this post because I have hit dead ends and I want info now! Mysteries abound

  2. I cannot begin to describe how much more confident I feel, now that I have gone through Cycle 1 of the Do-Over. Did you do it as well? If not, I really recommend that you do Cycle 2 (same 13 weeks, just repeated - and it starts today, Friday 3rd April 15). It is astonishing just how much it streamlines your research and points you in the right direction to solve those mysteries!



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