Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Genealogy Wise and Other Odds and Ends

I just finished reading a marvelous post by Greta which was real food for thought for me. It really made me think of how Genealogy Wise has impacted me since joining last Wednesday. I also have time constraints and "real life" things which demand my attention as well as a vacation I'm leaving on today*. I've also noticed that I've had to make some sacrifices for Genealogy Wise, though (for the time being at least) these sacrifices aren't a big deal.

Facebook was the first casualty of Genealogy Wise though I haven't left the site. Since about January (which was also about the time I started to get into blogging... hmmm...) I've had a diminished presence on Facebook and unlike a lot of people in the genealogy community, genealogy isn't something I discuss on Facebook (mainly because it isn't an interest to most of my "friends" there). I go on the site about once or twice a week to keep my hand in and keep in touch with relatives and friends on there but for the most part I don't need Facebook and that revelation (at least to me) is why I haven't been on it as much. Most of the people I want to talk to I can e-mail, call or text and in most cases, meet face to face with. There are only a few (mainly relatives) which I keep in touch with through Facebook out of necessity. That is why relegating Facebook to an hour or two on weekends isn't such a big deal.

Genealogy Wise has also had an impact on my research time, which (might surprise some) is also not a big deal. When I was 13 I'd been on a genealogy high for two years. That is two years of constant research, organizing, discovering and and pretty much devoting most of my free time to genealogy. It was a wonderful time in my life because I learned so much about my past, my heritage, my family, myself and the history of this country. But guess what else happened? I got burned out on genealogy. So one day I just logged out of Ancestry, took all my binders and research and put it all in the back of my closet. Then guess what happened? About six months later, I got the itch again and went back to researching! This has pretty much been my pattern, I research and research until I've felt like I was burnt out and had no other places to go. Then I would walk away from the research and without fail, come back to it reinvigorated and enthusiastic a few months later. I've found that that pattern works for me and it allows me (when I'm in a research free period) to organize and re-evaluate work, catch up on sourcing and correspondence, step back from my genealogy and look for other avenues of research and investigate other, related fields like identifying pictures, brushing up on my history knowledge, learning about the places where my ancestors lived (I once spent a whole month just reading up on Rochester, New York) and (my personal favorite) studying maps (I've always been obsessed with maps but that is for another post...) and boundary changes in areas of genealogical relevance to me (Eastern Kentucky is especially interesting to me).

Right now, I'm in a "research free" period and, with the exception of one or two tantalizing new databases, will probably stay in that phase for awhile. That is why it isn't such a big deal to me (at least for now) that Genealogy Wise has taken over the time I usually allot to research.

The only thing Genealogy Wise has gotten in the way of is my reading. Since joining I've managed to read all of ten pages in my book (Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler!) which is completely unacceptable for me, ;)

As for Genealogy Wise itself, I'm enjoying it as much as ever though I'm still afraid someone is going to get mad at me about all the groups I've made! I've even met a new "cousin" through the site! I think once I'm more accustomed and used to Genealogy Wise I'll probably start to tapper the amount of time I spend there (another reason why I'm not very worried about the long term affects of the site on my free time). I also think once I get back into the "research mode" I'll put Genealogy Wise on the back burner (because when I am in the "research mode" nothing else genealogically seems to matter). You can find me on Genealogy Wise here and these are the groups I've made- join or check them out if you are interested:

Llywelyn Genealogy (Including All Surname Variations)
Scott Genealogy
Mason Genealogy
Hudson Genealogy
Haley Genealogy
Southern New York Genealogy
Wood Genealogy
Western Pennsylvania Genealogy
Webb Genealogy
Rose Genealogy
Northern New Jersey Genealogy
Central New Jersey Genealogy
Long Island Genealogy
Mott Genealogy
Northeastern Ohio Genealogy
Shinn Genealogy
Jackman Genealogy
Indiana Genealogy
Italian Genealogy
Swiss Genealogy

(all surname groups include all known surname variations)

...Boy have I been busy!

*I'm hopeful this will be a genea-vacation but I won't hold my breath because my traveling companion (my mom) isn't as obsessed with genealogy as me and to this day doesn't understand why I always have to include cemeteries and courthouses in all my travel itineraries. I'll be up north in Siskiyou Co., mainly at Mt. Shasta until Friday. Since my Wellons and Webb family lived in the area I especially want to check out places of relevance to them including:

  • the "Klamathon ruins"
  • Yreka points of attraction (where my Wellons bunch moved to after Klamathon burned down in 1903)
  • the Hornbrook cemetery where my Webbs are buried
  • Evergreen Cemetery where my Wellons are buried
  • the Yreka library for some obituaries
  • the Yreka courthouse, although I already have most of the vital records I'm after from there.
  • Dunsmuir, Fort Jones and Weed places that are mentioned in letters and memoirs that I have
  • Montague where I still have cousins
  • and if we're really ambitious, I'd like to make it to Keno, Oregon where my family lived before coming to Siskiyou Co. I especially want to go to the cemetery there and find my great-grandmother's baby sister, Fleeda Leone Wellons, who died when she was a few months old in 1886.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention, Leah. You bring up something I had not even considered - a natural cyclic nature that our research may follow. It could be that blogging and GenealogyWise provide a boost during "doldrums" phases. Another good point is about engaging in other types of learning that can ultimately contribute to our genealogy research - this really brings a positive perspective to the issue. Excellent, thoughtful post that should help calm down some of us worry-warts.

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