I was sorting things on my desk and saw the list of 33 Michigan Death Certificates I was able to locate when Seeking Michigan released new records in March of this year. I even wrote two blog posts about how I made a list from my Legacy database before proceeding to the site to locate records.
Michigan Death Certificate Images Released - 1921-1939
And, then I wrote a second post about my procedure once I’ve located the death certificates.
Day Two of the Michigan Death Certificates Journey - Now What?
So, it’s not like I don’t know what to do. Right? I added & cited a few of them. But, then I stopped. When I say few, I’m talking about 4 out of 33!
Why waste time locating records online, at libraries, at courthouses, from family members etc., if we don’t then record those records to our database?
Darn good question, I think.
Here are my examples of unfinished “business.”
- Multiple trips to Michigan for research and to visit family and bringing home all sorts of photos and documents, many of which still sit in folders.
- A trip to the Family History Library where myself and a friend spent 5 glorious days and I took hundreds of photographs of books & microfilm - still not all processed.
- A trip to the local Carlsbad Library where they have wonderful genealogy resources and I found many and photographed them - most are not processed.
- A trip to Ohio & West Virginia for one thing – genealogy research - still need to process some items.
- And, of course, downloading the much awaited death certificates, saving them in proper file format on my computer and then DOING NOTHING with them.
Maybe we are in too big a hurry to “find absolutely everything.” It’s sure fun to find things. All that finding does us absolutely NO GOOD if we don’t process what we locate.
There is currently a project begun by Thomas MacEntee called the “Genealogy Do Over. Many people are participating and finding it very useful.
I think what I’m going to do, right here and now, is to begin a type of “Do Over.”
HERE IS MY PLAN:
1. If I get an email or other contact from a cousin, new or otherwise, I will respond to them, but tell them I will get back to them. Then make a reminder in Evernote to do so.
2. I’m going to finish adding & sourcing the rest of those 33 death certificates I found. In doing so I will stay focused and make notes (in Evernote) of items I want to go back & find out more about. The goal is to enter and source the death certificates, first & foremost.
3. I will go through the plastic tub I have that has neatly organized surname folders where I have filed miscellaneous papers I’ve intended to go back to. I no longer file in paper files, but these are from several years ago.
4. I will go through every digital file I have from all the library research I have done and process that information. When I was at the FHL I took over 500 digital photos from books and microfilm. They are organized by state & county, but I’ve never gone through all of them.
5. Only conduct research that is directly from these items.
I think that this process will not only make me feel more organized and productive, but I suspect it will lead to many finds.
BUT, I'M HOPING IT WON'T
How many of you have done something similar to this?
How many of you are participating in the Genealogy Do Over? If so, has it helped?
Do you have other suggestions that we, as genealogists, can follow in order to avoid this sort of situation?
There is a wonderful group on Facebook called The Organized Genealogist. With over 20,000 members there are lots of ideas presented about how to get and stay organized.
Wish me luck. I sure hope that I’m successful and can get a lot of this work done.
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
DIGITAL FOLDER ORGANIZING & NAMING MADE EASY
EVERNOTE - A VERY USEFUL AND FREE TOOL TO HELP YOU ORGANIZE GENEALOGY AND EVERYTHING ELSE
Happy hunting & organizing,