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Monday, February 14, 2011

Motivation Monday ~ Create an Assembly Line

Image Courtesy of The Graphics Fairy
Super Simple tip # 4: Henry Ford was right.

Hunting seems to be every genealogist's favorite sport. We'll look in every nook and cranny for elusive clues that may lead us to the catch of the day - a document mentioning our ancestor. Those documents can add up quickly however and soon we're faced with a pile of paper that feels more like a chore than a treasure.

I recently copied 27 French records that referred to my ancestors. Twenty-seven records to transcribe, translate, review, and add to my tree. A task that seemed overwhelming. One day I separated the Gury records from the Schmitt's. More organized, but still daunting. I put the records in chronological order. Then I filed them in the left side sleeves of two old photo albums. Ah ha! Now the project felt managable.

Transcribing the records in French was next. Then I ran each through Google language. My translated transcriptions went into the right side sleeves, next to the appropriate photocopy. I tweaked the records with help from a few French friends, and voilà! I can copy and paste the results into my family tree.

By the second transcription, the handwriting seemed more legible. Translating the records all in a row helped fine-tune many of the "old" words used by the Maire. Posing all my questions at one time prevented my helpers from tiring of me. Hopefully. :o)

At each stage of the project, I felt a sense of accomplishment. By the end, I had twenty-seven new French family members and a long list of new clues. Now I just have to tackle those...


Family Curator said...


I love reading inspirational posts like this one! Just Do It is a great motto, but it sure can be tough when we are faced with a big project! This is a great tip. Thanks so much for sharing.


The Erudite Genealogist said...

This is a great suggestion. Projects so often seem overwhelming but the right organizational approach can make all the difference!

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