Tuesday, February 4, 2014


NAME CLOUD WITH TEXT_ALL SURNAMES in cloud shape_multi color black bkgrnd

I think one of the biggest problems I have these days is getting distracted, stuck, sidetracked or whatever you want to call it.  It frustrates me.  I’ll sit down at my desk, open up my Legacy database and then….what?  Where do I start?  Who should I work on?

Sometimes I do know what I want to work on because it’s something I left unfinished from a previous day.  But, many times recently I find myself wondering “who should I work on today.”  

Am I the only one who has this problem?

I suspect, from entries I have read on genealogy Facebook posts and in talking to other researchers, that I am not alone.  


We all have access to so much information from so many sources. 

Logo for FBLogo for Ancestry       logo for Yahoo  logo for FAG  

  • Emails telling you the latest deals from Family Tree or Genealogical.com
  • Notifications on your Facebook page from genealogy sites you belong to.  Here are some of mine.  The Organized Genealogist, Technology for Genealogy, The Lawrence Register, Detroit Genealogy.
  • Notifications from family & friends on Facebook that relate to your research.
  • Hints on your Ancestry tree.
  • Messages from someone about a Find A Grave memorial.
  • Perhaps you get questions from friends or family about how to do something regarding research.
  • Oh, and did I mention – creating posts for my blog?
So, how do you go about weeding through all these distractions and focusing on your research?   I’m currently trying to come up with a method.  

I suppose I could just not get online for a few days.  YIKES!  I could decide that I’ll only spend 10-15 minutes once or twice day.  Will that really work for me?  Probably not.

I admit it, I have GADD – Genealogy Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Seriously, though, I do want to focus more on my research.  I guess after having done this for 11 or 12 years (many of you have been at it much longer), it’s not the same as it was in the beginning.  What I mean is, I've already done so much, but there is a lot more to do.   I’m still having fun and completely enjoy researching.  It’s just that I guess I feel as if I need a direction.  

Maybe I should set a particular goal or goals? 

  • I will work only on the Boggs family this week.
  • I will exhaust all my resources for trying to break down that brick wall.
  • I will go through each family beginning with my parents and make sure I have cited all sources and have all census records recorded.
  • I will look at the Master Location list on Legacy and clean up misspellings, combine duplicates and purge unused locations (which the program does for you).
  • I will go through my digital files for the surnames beginning with the letter ‘A’ and make sure the naming pattern is consistent.
  • I will go through my digital files in the ‘pictures’ folders and crop & edit any documents that have black borders or are crooked.
  • There is that pile of unscanned documents in the box under my desk.
  • There are those pictures I took on my last genealogy trip that I still haven’t all been labeled.
You get the idea.  There are all sorts of things that we can do to become more focused, more organized and improve our strategies for researching.  I’ve listed a few that came to mind as I wrote this.  

In fact, this has really helped me to decide what I want to work on next.  

Aha!  Maybe making a list is another way we can focus?

We all have strategies.  What are yours?  I’d love to hear about them so they can inspire me.  

You might also like these posts.

When our folders are organized we can find what we are looking for

Not the way we want our doucments to look

Thanks for helping me figure out what I want to do today.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Hi Diane,
    I notice you have a "Stone" family in your graphic. Any family members in the Michigan Stone family from Newaygo?

    Thanks for your great blog,

    1. Hi Kathy - Thank you for the compliment. I have heard of Newaygo and seen it during my many searches around my Michigan family. However, I'm not finding any specific listing of that location in my database. The Stone family, though, is one I need to learn more about. My 2nd Great Grandfather, John C. Gould (a brickwall as far as his parents), had a land transaction with Hannibal & Amelia Stone in 1863, in Armada, Macomb, Michigan. Do those names sound familiar to you? I also have a Chandler Stone marrying Orril A. Gould in 1840 in Macomb County. If you would like to discuss the Stones, I would certainly be interested. Please email me at michiganfamilytrails@yahoo.com.
      Thanks for visiting,


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.