Monday, August 10, 2009


I've been away....literally and figuratively. I have taken a break from posting for some "me time" in an effort to figure out what I wanted to accomplish with this blog. It was also a time to reflect on how best to manage my precious genealogy time. I'm a mom of two busy girls, a wife, a full-time employee, a chief bottle washer (thank goodness for all that my dear husband is the chief cook), laundress, etc. You get the picture. There are only so many hours in my day to accomplish things and something had to give.

As a result, I've determined that Twitter just isn't for me - I can't figure out all the abbreviations and I wasn't gleaning anything really meaningful that I couldn't get from reading my favorite blog posts. I've continued with Facebook which I primarily use for my personal friends though I do have "friends" that are new (to me) relatives and researchers working on common lines. I don't use it as extensively as other genealogists do and probably won't. I'm ok with that. I've also determined I just can't possibly read any more blogs. I love to read the escapades of another's mysterious ancestor, but time is precious. I do continue to scan the new blogs that Geneabloggers puts out each week in the hope that someone will be researching my lines. I continue to gather my genealogy news in that fashion. And I will continue to read (via Google Reader) those blogs of the few kind folks who follow my random ramblings. I will also remain somewhat active on GenWise. They've had a few missteps, dramas, and some outright plagiarism (that was later corrected and properly attributed to Randy Seaver) that have left a bad taste in my mouth. My time is precious and I don't need to deal with that kind of drama - if I wanted to I'd watch daytime soaps. I was hoping (and still am) that more educational opportunities would come from GenWise rather than "tell me everything you know about XYZ". I realize that everyone starts new and makes mistakes. Heaven knows I've had my share. However, I am going to pick and choose how I participate. I hope my time won't be wasted there.

I recall reading a post (and please forgive me for not remembering where it was) about a fellow geneablogger also frustrated with all the social media opportunities and the lack of time to do them all. After reading that, it truly verbalized the exact feelings I had been going through. Since cloning isn't an option, I have to manage time the best I can.

Since my last post nearly a month ago, I have been very busy checking off some "to-do" items. A few "family history" things that I have done include:
1. Taking a family vacation to my mother-in-law's in coastal North Carolina.
2. Requested my grandfather Lee McNeill's Navy records.
3. Requested and received land record information from Whiteside Co., Illinois on my 3rd great-grandfather, Porter Joseph Harmon, and his father, Walter Harmon. They had land warrants to get the land so now I have to figure out how they acquired the land warrants.
4. Hired a wonderful professional researcher to look into some McNeill records for me at the North Carolina State Archives.
5. Requested and received some Patriot applications from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
6. Requested and received a death certificate for my 2nd great-grandfather, Homer Arthur, from Santa Cruz Co, California.
7. Requested an obituary on Catherine Ellen Struble Myers, my 3rd great-grandmother. The South Dakota Archives were unable to locate an obit but did send a WPA transcription of the cemetery she was buried in.
8. Started researching a new genealogy software. I'm using FTM 2005 and also have trees posted on for each grandparent. I'd like to have one tree where I can combine all data, have the ability to prepare various reports, and the ability to attach various media files to the individuals. I'm leaning towards RootsMagic 4, but am also curious about the new FTM 2010. Any recommendations?

I hope in some future posts to discuss the findings, or lack thereof, in the 8 items posted above.

This list doesn't include things like school shopping for the soon-to-be kindergartener in our home, assisting with our church's Vacation Bible School program, swimming lessons, and the list goes on. It's no wonder I'm tired.


  1. Tracy

    Time management is a constant issue for all genealogists especially those that are bloggers or use social media. It is often difficult to "disconnect" and prioritize what needs to be done. Sounds like you've made a good start and lots of progress on your research!

    Thomas MacEntee
    Destination: Austin Family

  2. That blogger might have been me, or it might have been one of several other bloggers who posted on the same subject - we all seemed to be on the same wavelength. As I read your post, I was amazed at how many things we have in common: 2 busy daughters (mine are older, though), full-time job, husbands who cook, yes on FB, no on Twitter, mixed feelings on Genealogy Wise. And I have also taken to posting round-ups of recent genealogy research - it helps make my blog time more productive and spurs me to keep up on research. Good luck - I can't say that life will get less busy with two daughters, but they will eventually become more independent.

  3. Tracy,
    I'm also one of the people who blogged on this awhile back.There's just so much time in the day!

    BTW, I recently purchased the RootsMagic4 at the reduced 19.95 price and I'm very happy with it.

  4. My goodness Tracy - became tired just reading your schedule. But have been there & done that -as they say. I also had to 'pick and choose' what would be 'my priorities' as well. There is so much we would like to have on our plates but just so much can actually go on them. I enjoy reading your blog and also sharing genealogy with you.
    Anita Wages