Thursday, May 12, 2016

There's a reason for the name of this blog. I know myself very, very well. 
Waiting until you get a Round Tuit isn't a good thing. Don't do it.

More than a year ago, I was contacted by a woman who was quite surprised to find my blog mentioning Grandpa's first cousin, Grant Morgan. Turns out that Grant was her grandfather, and this woman, Vicki, was my third cousin. 

I, in turn, was quite surprised to find that Vicki's mother — Grant's daughter, Vivian — was still alive and in her 90s. 

Grant and his wife were buried in a cemetery in East Palestine, where Dad was born. Grandpa was an only child, and I was only 5 years old when he died. I'd never met ANYONE from his side of the family. What an opportunity to speak to someone who might have some answers!

Did they have information on our Donley ancestors? 
Were there any photos or stories or heirlooms?

(You can see where this is going.)

And what did I do?
Not one damn thing. 
Not a letter, not a phone call.

Since I was going to Ohio in April, I figured I'd see Vivian then. So I waited. 
Too long, as it turned out, and I was crushed to see that Vivian passed away in January.

My father's mantra was, "If there's anything you want to do in this life, don't wait — do it now."

Sorry, Dad.
Sorry, Vivian.
I blew it.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Wow... my last post was April 2014, huh? Well, that's why this blog is named as it is.
That's not to say I hadn't done any genealogy in 2015; just that I didn't blog about it.

My genealogy is a hot mess: I bought RootsMagic, but had never used it; bought photo albums for a ton of photos that have yet to be scanned; dug out my notebooks from the 1980s just to see what was in them. 

So this year, I plan to join with more than 10,000 others in the Genealogy DoOver, a Facebook group created by Thomas MacEntee. He encourages us to set aside our work and start anew, taking a fresh look at our research and properly citing sources and developing good habits. 

I didn't really start the DoOver last year (uh- Round Tuit, remember?), but I did rename almost all my digital files in a consistent pattern so they can be easily found. I plan to watch the RootsWeb webinars to learn how to properly use my software. I'm keeping the GDO schedule at hand (it's now a monthly format, which should make things easier for me). Setting aside all the handwritten notes won't be that hard, since they've been sitting in their boxes for decades, containing information I even forgot that I had. Now I'll be able to see what documents I'm missing, and can plan to order copies.

I joined The Organized Genealogist Facebook group, and will be checking out Dear Myrtle's FINALLY Get Organized! 2016 Weekly Checklists. Between Thomas and ol' Myrt, I can't HELP but improve, since right now I'm not doing anything.

Who knows - maybe this will carry over into organizing other areas.