19 August 2014

Begin At The Beginning

In the book Alice in Wonderland it says:
     "Being at the beginning, and go on until you come to the end: then stop."
 
This is nice in theory, but where is the beginning, and how do you know when you reach the end. With genealogy, there really isn't an end, just a bunch of brick walls. And I suppose my beginning is me. So, the following is a short summary of my 'beginning' genealogy research (of course, I've been doing this for a few years now).
 
On the maternal branch of my family tree, they were Mormon immigrants. They weren't handcart-pushing pioneers, but they did immigrate straight to Utah in the second half of the 19th century. And as Mormons, they were fairly well documented. Also, there has been a lot of genealogical work done for them already. Convenient for me...if they kept documentation and sources. Well, for some they did, and for others not so much. One part of that side was also not Mormon, just miners in Utah.
 
On the other side of my family I have 3 out of 4 great-grandparents that were immigrants from Belgium. I personally have been doing a lot of research on them. I may not speak French and Dutch, but I am getting pretty good at reading through vital records in those languages. The other great-grandparent has deeper roots in America. Some of his ancestors were in the Revolutionary War (I am currently working on my DAR application).
 
I inherited a bunch of information, and a gedcom from my father. He is still alive and well and working on genealogy. But, not all his information is cited in the gedcom and paf files. I trust him, and have seen the stacks of papers, that he has documentation for his ancestor claims, but just hasn't put it all in to his software (or maybe it just didn't all transfer over).
 
So, my big project currently is to get sources and documents for all those people already on file. This is not always an easy task. But I recently discovered that my software (RootsMagic, that has a free version!), which connects directly to FamilySearch, can import sources from there as well, and have them all neatly cited on my computer. Perfect! I can add them online, and have them put directly onto my home computer. That gives me an extra backup of the information and I don't have to type things in twice. I love technology sometimes.
 
So there is my beginning, and I'm going along...where will it end...who knows.