Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I Am Doing To Overcome GADD...Genealogical Attention Deficit Disorder!

In a recent post I mentioned that I intended to, “…pick someone in my database….ANYONE….and do a little researching!”  Well, I have decided to pick two people instead – my Father’s paternal grandfather and my Mother’s maternal grandmother and here's why.

My first choice, Thomas RITCHIE, I picked because I know quite a bit about him already. I have many documents including birth, marriage, census and naturalization records and a number of pictures. That might seem counterintuitive, but I have two goals here.

First I want to really work on my source citations within my genealogy program. Using Tom as my subject gives me many different types of documents to use. I feel that once I’ve gotten every piece of data I have for Tom properly documented and cited, I’ll have a better understanding of how to handle a wide range of sources. This goal is related as much to better understanding and utilizing my software as it is to source citations.

Second, because I have so much information on Tom it will allow me to work on my overall organizational strategy as well. I’m going to think of it as a mini-project. If I can get all the pictures and documents, both digital and paper, in a form that makes sense then I’ll be in good shape for working on those ancestors where I have much less to go on.

Marker of Gertrude's mother

Which leads me to choice number two, Gertrude A. NISSEN. I’ve chosen her specifically because I have so little information about her! Until just a few years ago I didn’t know anything more than her name. I am going to use her as my research opportunity. By concentrating on her, and not allowing myself to be side tracked into wandering after my step-grandmother’s brother’s second wife’s sister (an actual example, by the way) I should be able to accomplish so much more ~ an astonishing revelation, I know - which is why I am sharing it here!

By having these two goals in front of me - and ONLY these two – I should be able to overcome some of the debilitating effects of that disorder I have – GADD. I’ve written about it before and it still haunts me ;-) In addition, having a very narrow scope will allow me to use what little time I have without being overwhelmed just trying to decide where to start.

Up next, what I know and don't know about Gertrude and a few wild-eyed theories as well.  I hope some of you out there will stop by to poke holes in my theories or offer some words of wisdom or both!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Events ~ January 24 - 30

January 24th ~ This day is marked by the death of Margaret BEVERSTOCK in 1858 in Durham, England. I believe that she is my 4x great-grandmother.

January 25th ~ On this day in 1921 my grandaunt, Cora Black RITCHIE is born in Cleveland, Ohio. I have no pictures of Cora when she was young. I guess as the youngest of a large family, there was no time for baby pictures! This day is also marked by the death, in 1985 of one of Cora's older brothers, my granduncle, Thomas Albert RITCHIE.

January 28th ~ This day is marked by the death of my great-grandfather, Thomas Leopold RITCHIE in 1953 in Ravenna, Ohio. He was born in St. Andrews, Scotland, came to Canada when he was around 9, ended up working in Massachusetts by 1900 where he met and married his wife and then moved to Ohio where he raised a family of 8 children and lived the rest of his life. I would loved to have talked to him!

January 29th ~ On this day in 1775 Margaret KIRK, my 4x great-grandaunt is baptized in St. Andrews Scotland.

January 30th ~ On this day in 1698 my potential 7x great-grandfather, Niklaus ZAUGG is born in Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland. Also on this day, in 1831 in St. Andrews, Scotland my 2x great-granduncle, Thomas SWINTON is born.

Also born on this day in 1914 is another Ritchie sibling, my granduncle George Foster RITCHIE. Uncle George was definitely a "character."  He was the story teller in the family and he always embellished those stories quite a bit.  He gave me some great information on the family history, but I've had to go over every piece to find the actual truth to the story.  I don't have many pictures of Uncle George - he was one of the younger children in the family of 8.  In the picture to the left I think he looks quite a bit like his older brother, my grandfather David Ritchie.

Finally this day is marked by the death, in 1985 of my granduncle Clair Raymond SAURER.  I always remember that Uncle Clair and Aunt Temp lived next door to my grandparents and they had a dog that was scary!  Uncle Clair loved that dog but we were always warned not to run up to it or even go near it unless Uncle Clair was around.

[this post was originally written in 2010 and has been slightly modified for 2011]

Friday, January 21, 2011

What Will 2011 Bring at Random Relatives?

I’ve been in a genealogy “funk” lately – as anyone could tell by the marked lack of posts here. It took me until Jan 18th to even get the Christmas decorations "taken down"! It’s partly to blame on my recent decision to pursue my MBA. Studying definitely takes time away from the fun stuff. It’s also been a matter of just not knowing where to start when I only have a little bit of time. That’s just an excuse though, as this great post by Susan Petersen over at Long Lost Relatives.net shows.

So, I decided to look at 2011 and jump into some genealogy activities and planning. There’s nothing like a good conference or class to get me really inspired. Here is what I’ve come up with for my 2011 schedule:

March 26 ~ Signed up for a class entitled “Techniques for Finding a German Ancestor’s Origin” offered by the St. Louis Genealogy Society.

March 30 – April 2 ~ Attending the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

July 29 & 30 ~ Attending the Midwest Family History Expo in Overland Park, Kansas.

September 7 – 10 ~ Attending FGS 2011 Conference in Springfield, Illinois

Just reading over the sessions that are being offered at OGS and FGS has really got me excited. My only complaint – and this is especially true of FGS – is that every single time period has no less than two, and often three or four, sessions that I’d just love to attend.

I also read a post today over at Find Your Folks that reminded me of an easy and close to home thing I can do to further my genealogy education - read the genealogy books I already have in my personal library!!

So, check back in periodically – those of you who are still around – and I plan to pick someone in my database….ANYONE….and do a little researching!