Spring Cleaning: Tidying Up Your Genealogy 1

Spring Cleaning: Tidying Up Your Genealogy

As spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us are thinking of spring cleaning. Opening up the windows, letting the sunshine and warm temperatures in. As we contemplate the chores to be done around the house and yard to clean up from the long drawn out winter, we should also think about how we can tidy up our collection of genealogy “stuff.”

Do we have piles of papers, notes, records or correspondence to file?

What about our files, do we need to go through, digitize and throw away any duplicates or unnecessary items?

Your computer files may need some spring cleaning as well. Are they set up in a way you can easily find the photos and documents you need? Do you have your files backed up in the cloud? On an external hard drive?

We all have photos we treasure and want to preserve. Have you sorted through them, scanned and filed them? The stories and memories they represent should be recorded either orally or in writing.

I don’t know about you, but I have many items that belonged to my ancestors. Keeping them in an orderly manner so I can keep them from the elements and share with others is a constant battle. My spring cleaning needs to include these precious heirlooms.

Where are your genealogy books and family histories? On bookshelves or piled on the floor?

For many of us, Spring Cleaning and tidying up our genealogy supplies, documents and other things we use and collect to help us climb our family trees needs to be a part of our yearly routine along with traditional chores. Did you make some family history goals for 2019? Spring is always a great time to take a look at those goals and see how we’re doing. Where can we improve?
Taking time to make a list of what needs to be done, breaking each task into smaller tasks and working on them piece by piece will get us to where we want to be — a clean, well-organized environment where we can research, preserve and share our family history with other.

Another way we can Spring Clean and tidy up our genealogy is to rethink the WAY we research.

Do you have a system you use to keep you on track? What are your best practices when looking for, finding and recording information?

Taking time to think about how, when and why you do things in your process can help refresh and motivate you. It may be just what you need to jump-start a new project, break through a brick wall or keep you going when you are tired and frustrated.

Diana Elder shared her tips for staying focused and on track in my blog series “Tuesdays Tips.”

Studying methodology tips is a way to help create a best practice or checklist for the various activities involved with genealogy.
In this post for “Methodology Monday,” I explained the importance of using the Genealogical Proof Standard starting with element one, Reasonably Exhaustive Research.

Looking for ways to preserve and share your family treasures? I was too, so I started a series of posts on my blog with photos and the stories of the many items that have been handed down to me for safe keeping. Here is one about a Christmas card from my grandfather to my grandmother.

Several years ago, I decided to work on Thomas MacEntee’s “Genealogy Do Over.”

I decided to have a “go over” instead of a full “Do Over.”

I wrote several posts about the process.

This one deals with organizing research materials.

Spring Cleaning-tidying up all aspects of our genealogy pursuits can be just as rewarding as scrubbing the cobwebs and winter dirt from your home or pulling weeds and planting new growth in your garden.

You can participate in this month’s GeneaChat by sharing a blog post or leaving a comment letting us know what genealogy spring cleaning you need of? How are you planning on tiding up?

Have you already completed your goals? What were the results? Did you feel a new lease on your genealogy life?

Remember that links to your posts and the comments you leave will be part of the recap at the end of the month.

Looking forward to reading what y’all have to say!

Thanks for GeneaChatting!


Cheri Hudson Passey

About Cheri Hudson Passey

Cheri Hudson Passey is a Professional Genealogist, Instructor, Writer and Speaker. She is the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC which provides research services as well as instruction and coaching though her Genealogy 1-on-1 classes. Born in South Carolina, Cheri has roots in the state for many generations. Her blog Carolina Girl Genealogy has helped tell the story of these ancestors and her research process. You can contact Cheri by email Cheri@carolinagirlgenealogy.com or by visiting her blog Carolina Girl Genealogy. Cheri Hudson Passey writes the Modus Operandi column for Going In-Depth Magazine.

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