Monday, January 18, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #3

Without going into too much detail, it's been a while since I focused on my own personal family history. Last week I was reminded what a privilege it is to be young, healthy, and two blocks from the Family History Library.

So, I'm stepping up and re-turning my heart to my fathers. And mothers. I'm starting with Challenge #3 of Genea-Bloggers 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy. (You can find them on Facebook if you want to know more.) Ironically, I missed weeks 1 and 2 because I was busy with a local family history conference. But that's kindof the point. I've been so focused on genealogy as a business that I have lost touch with my own roots and the reason I started down this path to begin with.

No time like the present. Our challenge this week is:
"Assess yourself! You’re great at researching everyone else’s history, but how much of your own have you recorded? Do an assessment of your personal records and timeline events to ensure your own life is as well-documented as that of your ancestors. If you have a genealogy blog, write about the status of your own research and steps you may take to fill gaps and document your own life."

The part that pertains to this blog is to 1. write about the status of my own research and 2. the steps I may take to fill gaps and document my own life. I have a copy of my birth certificate and social security card in my passport. Never been married, and I'm not dead yet, so those certificates are not applicable. So #2 is really easy. But I think there's probably more to the challenge.

I haven't actually lived that long, comparatively, but I have had a really interesting life. And although I don't have children now, I hope to some day, and anyway I have two adorable nephews who might be interested. People always tell me I should write a book, and my mentor has actually threatened to start writing one about me and all the crazy things that seem to happen to me. So, I accept this worthy challenge. I'm not sure how I'll go about it just yet, but I think I will start jotting down memories of my adventures.

As for #1, the status of my research, a few things leap to mind:
1. I've started a whole new database because I've found some unsettling errors in my old file after inheriting un-sourced information from my grandfather and my aunt. In their defense, it was really difficult with their equipment at the time and they just weren't trained to do so. Therefore, I started with *myself* and the aforementioned birth certificate and and just going through and putting everything in again as if it were new information, taking care to source each fact. That should take about my entire lifetime.
2. I need to resume the search for John Peter Sartor I. That will also probably take about my entire lifetime.
3. Wales has been on my mind a lot. I have a lot of Welsh ancestors and somebody there is trying to get through to me, I'm just not quite sure who it is yet. All I'm feeling is "Wales." I've been rude and haven't listened to them. Need to sit down and figure that out.
4. I have embarrassing stacks of genealogy shoved into the filing cabinet. Not so much filed as concealed. That's going to change and will probably lead to new goals.

I think that's a good start.
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