It’s almost the middle of our January 30 x 30 challenge. For those of you who signed up, how is it going? Are you managing 30 minutes of genealogy research (or organizing or scanning or whatever it is you set out to do)?
My challenge was made a little extra challenging by travel. I was in Walla Walla, Washington, visiting my dad from January 3 to 12. I’m happy to say that I did manage to research every day, but one of those days barely counts. The day I traveled home (a 12-hour journey by car and plane) I thought I’d get research done on the plane, but when I started working I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. So the ten minutes I put in was barely productive. I give myself credit for at least trying, but execution was not impressive.
One thing that’s helped me get back on track is that yesterday, back at my desk, I decided to pull out my 2nd great grandfather’s Civil War pension file, which I’d received way back in 2015. At the NGS conference that year, I heard Julie Miller talk about these files: what they contain and how to process them. I immediately requested the complete pension files for my three Union veteran ancestors from the National Archives. I’ve already processed the other two but had not focused on the file of Benjamin Franklin Igleheart. Since I’ve turned my attention to the Igleheart line, this is a natural thing for me to work on.
Once I pulled it out of the file (I haven’t yet scanned it), I saw that I’d started by putting the pages in chronological order and created a source citation for the whole pension file. The next step is to create a source citation for each individual document, print the citation on a label and affix the label to the paper document before scanning the whole document. After it’s scanned, I’ll start transcribing it. Yesterday I spent 45 minutes creating the citations and their labels and got through about eleven documents before having to move on to something else. For the near future, this will be the project I’ll be working every day.
I’d forgotten how great it was to have a project like this that I can break down into tiny bites. I love knowing exactly what I’m going to be working on and I love that there are lots of little milestones in this giant project so I can celebrate my progress.
Enough about me. I hope your challenge is going well and I look forward to hearing about it in the comments!