Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Faster, Please

Some days it seems like I don't know a blasted thing. Then other days the knowledge comes at me like a freight train and it's all I can do to keep alert. It's Wednesday again and I'm using GeneaBlogger's blogging prompt called Wisdom Wednesdays so that I'm sure to take time and evaluate how this beginning intermediate genealogist is doing. If I don't do this the learning will likely be willy-nilly and random so this feels like it keeps me focused, more or less.

Have to confess that I kinda like the knowledge coming at me fast. Keeps me moving along and on my toes. But here's the thing: I'll be working on a project, like the Biggerstaffs right now, and then my DNA results come back from 23andMe and I am on the freight train again. But that's a good thing, right? Here's what's been happening this last week, in no particular order.

OMG! DNA! My results came back from 23and Me. So much information and I want to devour it all at once. Must resist. Am using some measure of self-control and taking it one feature at a time. Have explored the "DNA Relatives" tool, which you can read about here. And before that checked out the "Countries of Origins Tool" and you can read about that here. Getting results back is an information 18-wheeler, but if you just chunk it down there's no reason to be overloaded. It's all right there and the learning tools are easily accessible so that you can explore and learn as you go. See a new report? Look, the tutorial link is there on that same page. This morning I've received the first reply from my DNA matches and will be getting back to her immediately so that we can compare ancestors. Will use Mom's Big Tree on Ancestry to do this. Handy to have it there:)

Cousin Bait Blog. At the beginning of the year set out a goal and crafted a strategy (sort of) to build in more cousin bait and you can see that popular post here. One of the best things I did was start doing a Surname Saturday post. Not only does it give me an opportunity to review our research, see holes, and take a close look at theories, it's the perfect cousin bait! Something is working because a Whetstone cousin contacted me last week and we immediately got on to discussing the biggest "argument" about the Whetstones. It was so much fun!! Cousin bait is working:)

Am reading Oh, Beautiful, a wonderful book by John Paul Goedes. Can't put it down. It flows from page to page, story to story, family to family. I've read a couple of family history narrative books before and I get into them and eventually find myself thinking, "I really should finish reading this." Not with this book! Each evening I can't wait to read the next section and stay up way too long doing so.

Got thinking about cemeteries and tombstones because of the first chapter of Oh, Beautiful. Part of the beginning is set in a remote mountain village in Italy where the people all live close together and are closely connected. When someone died and was buried all felt that they could go "visit" that person at the graveside, discuss issues of the day and review problems. So they were gone, but still connected. We've, many of us, lost that. Cemeteries for the general population are often the setting of spooky Halloween movies. I like it when an insight like that comes up unexpectedly in something I'm reading.

Looking forward to participating in RootsTech online this week. The Armchair Genealogist, who gets a big e-hug from me for the Family History Writing Challenge and a lot of other stuff, has a brilliant post about how to participate online which you can see here. I think that having your conference open to those who can't be there for whatever reason is exceedingly expansive and generous of spirit and is in the vein of all that is wonderful about the greater sharing posture and good will of the genealogy community, and why so may people are drawn to it. My Mom is 94 and she can't be there but she is online and can participate. I can't be there this year but I want to enjoy and benefit from it as I can, and I'll be watching online too. So thanks and an e-hug to RootsTech. Have a wonderful conference and I'll be watching the sessions as well as looking for blog posts from all the bloggers in attendance!!

Photo of the Day from the Archive:

Dad's Sisters: Chris, Helen, and Louise about 1989.

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