Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015: Poised and Ready

Here we go, folks.  On your marks...get set...GO TOMORROW!

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/This is the kind of day I love: The Day Before.  Christmas Eve. The day before your birthday.  New Year's Eve.  In the A-Z Challenge's case, a whole month lies ahead of you.  You haven't missed a day; you haven't made a mistake as to which letter it should be on which day; you haven't made any typos.  You're at the top of your game.

Do you remember when you were a child and it had just snowed, and there was a lane, or a path, or a field which was totally white and smooth and undisturbed - no footprints in it (yet).  Can you remember how you felt?  How excited you were to be the first one to step onto that pristine crust, which looked like the icing on a Christmas cake.

Ah - March 31st.  The best day of the Challenge, I reckon.  Much better than May 1st, when it is all over for another year and you feel somewhat..bereft.  But March 31st? Oh, the possibilities which lie ahead!

So: plan your posts.  Warm up your typing fingers and flex those writing muscles.  Those footprints won't make themselves, you know!

Tomorrow awaits.  The A-Z Challenge beckons.

© 2015 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

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

Monday, 23 March 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015: Theme Reveal


This will be my fourth year participating in the A-Z Challenge.  I just love it!  Since this is a genealogy blog, I have always taken my posts from items with a family history connection.  Last year (2014) I did a series of "Back to Basics" posts about starting your genealogy, but the ones which have caught the interest of most people have been about genealogy trivia. 

You know the sort of thing: words and phrases such as "Englishry" (get-out-of-jail-free card if you could prove the murder victim was English rather than Norman), "Farthing" (do you remember those coins with the wren on them?), "King's Evil" (disease curable by the touch of the reigning monarch) and other favourites.

So this year I am going to introduce a new series of

Genealogy Trivia !

Right then, better get planning, and researching, and - oh yes, writing blog posts...almost forgot...

© 2015 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved


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