I have conquered my mountain!

I have conquered my mountain!

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You may recall a year or so ago, I wrote a post about organizing the documents on my computer.  This was a monumental effort.  There were over 200 folders with multiple folders within.  I have no clue how many documents there were.  I think it would have scared me if I knew!

I started the project in 2011 with 150 folders.  Then, half way through, I had to reorganize the folders because I was touching the same families twice in multiple places.  This brought me back over 200 folders.  In January 2013, I had 105 folders left to go through.

As of this week all my family folders are completed.  I have finished my project!  Yeah!!!!

How did things get so bad?  I can pinpoint exactly when I became overwhelmed by my genealogy.  It was 2006 and my dog had to have her leg amputated due to cancer.  During this time, I researched but I didn’t do a whole lot of analyzing and digesting.  I was very good at collecting data!

I wasn’t really able to get back to things until after my Dad died in 2010.  Then, I realized I had a mess.  I couldn’t find the information in my database, I couldn’t locate documents on my computer, I had multiple copies of the same thing because I forget I had already found this bit of information.  I hated it.

Oh, sure, I could have stopped researching at this point, but that was never going to happen.  I’ve waited a long time for the genealogy world to catch on the California, Hawaii, and Azorean genealogy.  During this time, several databases became available that I had to research.  I just had to!  And, then France put all their records online…as an genealogy addict I can’t just cut off the supply like that 😉

The whole process has been frustrating, but that frustration demanded action.  And, so I worked on it piece by piece.  Sometimes doing only a couple documents a week.  I was aided in September of this year when Windows decided to take over my computer for almost 3 weeks with a software update.  My computer became very slow and  I couldn’t do anything that involved the internet or extensive typing.  But, RootsMagic worked great.  When my computer got cranky, I input records.  I started to see the folders dwindle and the light appeared at the end of the tunnel.  And, now I am done!

There are still documents to be input, but most of them are research from 2012 onward.  And, most of them are already input.

I learned a lot about my research methods, how I prefer to input information (from notes rather than documents), and generally how to make things easier on myself.  I also learned a lot about how you can really screw yourself up by naming computer files incompletely.  I’ll write about that in another post.

Today is about positives 🙂  I found some really amazing documents that evidently I found on previous occasions.  I don’t know how I could forget them!  I’ve cleared up many questions and created a few more.

And, thanks to Randy Seaver’s weekly challenges, I have a snapshot of how much work I have done in the last two years.  In 2011, I had 9453 people  and 3458 families. There were 24096 events and 1667 sources with 14579 citations.  Today I have 10481 people and 3835 families.  There are 25235 events and 1948 sources with 21960 citations.  I say I did a heck of a lot of input!

Take a look at this beauty!  Once, not too long ago, the 2013 research resort folder (previously named 2006-2010, 2011, 2012) was filled with so many surname folders that the scroll bar went on and on and on.  Now, it’s just a handful of well organized folders (that I still need to go through, but this is way better than it was before!)

my folders finished

I know that my database will never be perfect.  I never fully recovered from losing all my sources a few years back (it was a software upgrade gone wrong).  But, I know that everything I get from the project forward will be input, it will have sources, and I will be able to find the document on my computer.   And, I will have backups…on a flash drive and in the cloud–and I will update them regularly.

I hope to never be in this position again.  It’s a frustrating, awful, maddening place to be.

Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com

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