Just Taking a New Direction (or Slight Detour)

Life doesn’t let us stay on just one road. To make it interesting it throws in roundabouts, u-turns, side roads and sometimes even one way streets. Whether we like it or not, we adapt and go with it. Genealogy is like that too. Sure you’re going along fine, then you find a name in records you’re browsing that sounds a bit familiar – and you’re given two choices: 1. to ignore it as it’s not connected to your current research, or 2. check it out, and see where it takes you, which can lead to you leaving your current research, and totally following this person.

Personally I think there is nothing wrong with that as long as you can accept that “what-was-your-current-research” is now pushed back at least one level. And depending on just how interesting this family is, as to how long you continue to be sidetracked. It can be a few hours , a few days, a week or even months … sometimes even longer  (gasp). But trust me if it’s that long, it means the family is worth researching because they are just SOOOOO interesting.

Anyway I have come to the realisation that my Genealogy road took a new direction (or two) earlier this year. While thinking about what I have and haven’t done genealogy-wise this year, and I see that while I haven’t done things I had hoped, while others that weren’t even in my thinking six months ago I have done. So it’s not all bad, it’s just simply a new direction, or a detour.

So here a little run-down on  my have and have not’s for genealogy this year:

Did I continue with my own family research?
– Now that would have been nice, but sadly no.

Have I obtained the death certificates  of my great great great great grandparents who died in New Jersey, US yet?
– No, but it is STILL definately on my to-do list. I just have to work out how to do this, or find someone to get them for me [all suggestions from my US friends welcome].

I started playing with TreeDraw late last year, so am I a complete master of it?
– Ha, yeah right! I have used it a couple of times (and when I say used, I really am meaning played about trying it out), so the word ‘mastered’ doesn’t even come near at the moment. But it does have a lot of potential so I shall persevere, and play more when I get time.

How is the pile of paperwork in my office going (I wrote about it here)?
– Guess what, it’s growing. It’s amazing how paperwork breeds isn’t it 😉

Back in December 2012, I made mention of a ‘secret-at-the-moment‘ project. So how is that ‘Project’ going?
– Well I have started that one, but honestly haven’t got very far … to many other things to do at the moment.

But … I did start a new project!
– Yes, I got all inspired, and have started my Family Tree Photo Wall. It’ll take a while to complete, but it has progressed bit-by-bit (see blurry picture below).

So what else? After coming back from the Genealogy Cruise in February I was inspired to get a proper photo filing system, so I can find my photos a whole lot easier.
– This one is a work in progress. I have been analysing them, and so far haven’t come up with something I’m really happy with, but after listening to me whinge about them, tech-boy Mr Lonetester might just write me a program, so I’m crossing fingers.

I’ve been using the same genealogy software program for quite a number of years, but after seeing a demo of Family Historian 5, I was inspired to give it go, so have I?
– Well nearly. I did remember to bring a copy of the program home from work this week, so now I can install it, then start playing. So that will be an on-going new learning experience for me.

Something that has been on my genealogy to-do list for a couple of years now, was to go to RootsTech sometime.
– Well this one I did do. Back in March I went over the the US, went to RootsTech, met SOOOO many wonderful people, and now I have so many new friends and I just generally had a ball. You can check out my posts relating to them here.

Something that has been a must-do job forever, is to start documenting the vast collection of records, ephemera, photographs and artifacts that my dad has inherited or collected through having his lifetime’s interest in family history and local history.
– As a way to do that, as well as sharing these share items with my family I started a new blog called ‘Memorabilia House‘. I photograph, document each item-by-item the things our family has and what the relevance (or story behind them) is. That’s been great fun but it’s a BIG job, and it’s helping me discover what treasures exist as well as learning the stories behind the items too. But I’m pretty sure that there’s stuff to keep me going for 50 years or more. It pays to have family heirloom hoarders!

So what is my current focus?
– Apart from my Memorabilia House blog, it would have to be doing a house history on the house I grew up in at Gumeracha. I can’t say I’d ever thought of doing it, but after seeing 100 year old photos of the place I just want to know MORE. More about the people, more about when it was built, etc. etc. Ultimately I expect to do a post on that one, but it does need more research first.

My blog grew, and it needs different categories!
–  I’m sure every blogger (not just geneablogger) finds this. You start a blog, add in a few categories, then as the number of posts grow, the need for different categories changes. I recently made the decision to rework all of the categories on this blog and can say that I have almost finished doing this. While it’s far from being the worst job in the world, yay to me for this, and when complete I shall reward myself with chocolate!

Military stuff …
– I had fully intended on taking part in the Anzac Day Blog Challenge again this year, but when the time came, I realised that I really didn’t know the military history of many of my ancestors at all. So I have made a point to order records for those connected to my family as well as Mr Lonetester’s army ancestors from the National Archives of Australia, some of which have just arrived. Anyway apart from that I am noting each person in a simple database so I can easily see who was in what war and what regiment. That’ll make life a whole lot easier when I get to visit the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

So as you can see, some things I expected to get done didn’t, but new things came up along the way, and are progressing nicely. So it pays to go with the flow and see where you genealogy will take you. Its always an exciting journey though.

my new work-in-progress family tree photo wall

my new work-in-progress family tree photo wall

4 Responses to “Just Taking a New Direction (or Slight Detour)”

  1. Lynn Crowley says:

    Wow, you so think along the same lines as me, it feels like there is so much to do and achieve and, Not enough time.
    then there are the places to investigate,that lead to more places. Sometimes a little overwhelming not to mention frustrating. Love that photo wall, if I had a place big enough would love to do that, however, my kids reckon I am turning the place in to a museum with my photos, I just tell them one day they will be grateful I have gathered the information. they are yet to reach an age when the family history will really interest them. We all want to know where we have come from, and the journey that has made us what we are today. I am only a novice at this but so what to know my history. so glad to have found your site, loved your photos of Gumachera. Lynn

  2. Alona says:

    Thanks so much for the feedback. I was initially going to do a regular photo wall, but then figured it’d be a bit more novel, and make more sense to My Lonetester (and others) if I put them in tree order. So that’s how the family tree photo wall started.

    And if’ you have an interest in Gumeracha, between this and my other blog, there will be lots more coming sometime.

  3. Alona, I am a fan of Tangential Genealogy – or just going with the flow. I find it it makes the genealogy journey more exciting.

  4. Fi says:

    Great wall, Alona! That looks very impressive. I’m encouraged to try something like that here, in the hope one of my children will take an interest.

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