Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Stuff I've Figured Out Lately

I want to try something today and that's to take the GeneaBlogger's Blogging Prompt for Wednesday, called Wisdom Wednesdays, adding a twist, as a list of things I've just recently figured out. I'm a rank and file newbie and if I can stop every now and again and comment on stuff I've figured out, then maybe I'm not doomed to repeat it. Lately, I've figured out the four listed below, some hard come-by personal wisdom that's probably pretty obvious to everyone else:)

Look closely, then look again, then think about what I see, then take another look to see what's hidden in that record or story. The message is: take time and go deeper. This works in all kinds of ways, like even asking myself what's missing from that record, photo or story. Slowing down and going deeper has been the theme of a couple of blog posts recently and it was also my own personal take-away from a seminar Saturday before last. In this rush, rush world, moving too quickly is a habit I can do without.

I can't spell no matter how hard I try, and it's Dad's fault. There are typos and write-ohs everywhere and I'm thankful for spell check. I never met a word I couldn't misspell and dates I couldn't mash up. Again, I have to slow down and check and re-check. Mom said it was Dad's little genetic gift to me as he was always asking her, hey, how do you spell that? Thanks, Dad.

Consistency! As a relative newbie I need to work on being consistent. What are the conventions I'll adopt for maiden and married names so as to be perfectly clear? I've noticed that people do it variously. How should birth and death dates be treated after a name... in parenthesis or not? I see really skilled people handle it differently, and noticed that it's been a shifting target over time.  Remember typed documents with maiden names in all caps because there was no other option? I need to think it through for me and to internalize it so that use is automatic. I observed the variations when I looked at blogger's Surname Saturday posts.

Taming Terrier Mind. Every once in a while I'll wake up with a good night's sleep under my belt, a couple of cups of go-juice, a happy mind, and hit the internet with all the gusto of a terrier pup in a room full of red balls. Off to read the email subscriptions for the blogs I follow, clicking through merrily to informative links, email Mom, clear out junk mail, and so on. Sometimes the click-throughs get a tad out of hand. I need to keep that terrier pup in check because it can waste plenty of time. Ever do that?

As you can see, I'm really a rank beginner with tons to learn:) But then it's not a good day unless I've learned something new. So if you have any thoughts or suggestions, Dear  Reader, please help put me out of my mystery and move me along the learning curve by commenting:)

Photo of the day from the Archive:

This old photo from Mom's files remains unidentified.
Mom thinks they are from the Zeller side.
Sad, no notation on the back.

The URL for this post is:


  1. Diane, I enjoyed your blog post - lots of wisdom there for someone who claims to be a newbie! Anyone doing genealogy research would do well to ponder your post. And you call yourself a newbie? With over 250 posts on your blog?!? Lots more wisdom and great examples for doing genealogy all over your blog! You may not have been at it as long as your mom, but newbie is a label you should retire. I recently discovered, and now claim with confidence, that I am solidly an intermediate! Check out Sandra H. Luebking's "What's an Intermediate?" on the IGHR Course 2 Schedule here: IGHR Course 2 Intermediate Schedule Perhaps you'll discover you're way beyond being a newbie! Keep on posting.

  2. Hi Doug:) Did not know there was an Intermediate! OK, so maybe that's me now, and especially after looking at the link you provided. What I'm missing is the 20 hours in a courthouse as Mom has spent hundreds of hours doing that, Thanks Mom. And of course source citation: wow, do I need more work there. I can live with Intermediate. Guess I just graduated as grade... who knew:)
    Cheers, Diane

  3. Diane,
    I liked the first one, "Look closely, then look again." My blog has helped to do that. When I start blogging about something, I look at it differently and closer. My post which will come out later today "Rags to Riches" is a good example. If I hadn't blogged about a document I found on my gg grandfather, I wouldn't have found the history behind his story, or understood him near as well. You never know what you are going to find when you do family history. That is why it is so much fun. The Article of Agreement I found and blogged about in "An Early Christmas Present" was a game changer for me. It has been a month and I'm still blogging about it. This is a great blogging community!!

    Sometimes the answer is so obvious. Somebody once said: 'When you hear the horses hooves, don't look for zebras." I don't know how many times I have missed the obvious. It was fun visiting your blog. You have a lot of Wisdom. Today I needed to 'Tame the Terrier Mind." I was everywhere, but did not get some thing accomplished I needed to.

    Regards, Grant

  4. Great tips and I agree - thank the powers that be for the spelling and citation help now available in our software programs and online. Wonderful blog.