End-of-the-quarter evaluation

brownfanchartAt the beginning of the year, I put together a research scheme in which I would focus on researching (and organizing the research) one branch of my family each quarter. The first quarter ended yesterday, so I thought it might be a good idea to report how it went.

Overall, I’m pleased. The first quarter of 2014 was devoted to my father’s father’s side of the family, the Adamses. Knowing which family I was researching kept me focused, which was terrific. The downside is that I certainly didn’t finish researching that family (like I ever would), nor did I finish organizing the Adams research that I had uncovered in the past. But that’s okay, because I can pick it up again in January 2015. And, of course, I can work on it whenever I want–my plan isn’t a law, after all.

So now that it’s the second quarter, I turn my attention to the Browns, my mother’s father’s side of the family. That’s timely for a couple of reasons. They’re a midwestern family for a number of generations back and I am paying a visit to the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri, next week (!). Also, there is a Brown Family Reunion in June, so I’ll be extra motivated to uncover and organize my research so I can share it with cousins.

I’m kind of excited to switch the focus of my research. I’d gotten the easy stuff out of the way with the Adams family and of course when it gets more difficult, it requires more patience. So switching gears is quite welcome.

I think it’s a little early to proclaim my quarterly research scheme a success, but at this point I can certainly imagine doing it again next year!


  1. Jerry Brown says:

    Make sure you visit the American Master family Tree – we added lots of brown side info as my two sisters have applied to DAR for Peter VanBibber and Jacob and Anthony Ten Eyck

    • Thanks, Jerry! I haven’t looked at it in awhile. I will check it out. I appreciate all the help it will provide. I look forward to seeing you at the reunion!

  2. Sounds a fantastic way of doing research! I think I would need to divide my year into 8 as I have so many members of the family for 1/8 th of my family compared to all of the rest of the family!

    I love reading your blog and am implementing a few of your tips in my own research!

    • Marion, thank you so much for your kind note! If you adapt my scheme to work for you, please let me know how it goes!

      • Of course I will! Might start this one tomorrow morning when I go to the family history centre anyway!

        I need to get organised with my family tree as I have a new computer with a new program (Family Tree Maker) and making sure that I have ‘evidence’ for all the information I put into it!

        • Marion, that was the big changing point for me in my research. I started a new genealogy program (I use Reunion) and I only add people for whom I have verified sources. It makes my tree go more slowly than back when I was adding people willy nilly without verifying sources, but I find it much more satisfying.

          • That is exactly why I am starting a new tree! Verifying everything as I go! I know that I have a few bits where I have nothing to prove the details so going back to scratch!

          • Just to update you on my progress. I am finding using this mode of researching my family so much better! I am so much more focused on the section of the family and need to decide which part of the tree I am going to work on next as I have decided to split the year up into 8 rather than 4.

  3. dawn dooley says:

    I love your post. It has helped me tremendously. I like the breaking it up into quarters. That will keep you focused on what family your working on. I have so much to mesh together. Totes with file folders broke out by color and family and then my electronic files are in family folders as well. I just think I have duplicate information and want to cut back on that issue. Such a wonderful frustrating hobby.
    Thank you,

    • I’m so glad the post was helpful, Dawn! To me, a big challenge is making sure that everything in my paper files is also in my electronic files. I don’t care as much about the reverse–in fact I was just thinking today about how little I’m printing nowadays. It is a wonderful hobby! Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. Marion, thank you so much for the update! I’m so glad that dividing the year and focusing on a single branch is so helpful for you. I’m intrigued by your breaking it into 8, rather than 4, sections. Maybe I’ll try that in 2015.

    I really appreciate the update!

    • Marion says:

      It is brilliant working on one part of my family tree. Breaking it into 8 is just easier for me as I have lots of information about some of the 1/8 ths and none on others. Mum’s side of the tree talked about their family but my Dad’s side, never spoke about it so am doing his side of the family first as I have nobody close by to ask about them.

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