Final Tallies for Genea-Blogger Games

I’m finally back online full time again after a week of spending time with family while my husband was on vacation. We had two houseguests as well, one friend of each of my children. So most of what I was doing on the computer this past week when I did have a few spare moments here and there was to: a) briefly read through my e-mails, although I answered only the most urgent; b) skim through my favorite genea-blogger feeds at Google Reader; and c) add more data from the Descendancy Report of William WILKINSON that a distant cousin’s spouse sent me a couple of weeks ago. I ended up adding 87 people, 42 families, 161 events, 11 places, 8 sources, and 166 more citations to my database. Since I already had completed the minimum for the categories under which those fell, it didn’t put me into any higher medal categories. I did spend some time organizing photos last night and organizing hard files this morning. So here are my final tallies:

1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources!: Platinum (50+ citations)

2. Back Up Your Data!: I bombed in this category only because it has taken so long for Carbonite to backup my files…and it’s not their fault. We have had the desktop off for the last week (using only the laptop), plus every night since we started the backup process. It’s at 38% completion (yes, I have a LOT of data to back up). I have to say that if Thomas hadn’t created this very necessary category, I probably would never have gone to Carbonite, and so this category was well worth entering and the cost of an account ($50 a year) is well worth the peace of mind knowing that if something were to happen to my computer, my genealogy, home files, and digital photos would be secure.

3. Organize Your Research!: Diamond (organized 20+ hard files, 20+ digital files, 20+ photographs, and entered 20+ entries into database)

4. Write, Write, Write!: Gold (participated in Carnival of Genealogy, pre-published at least one blog post, wrote a brief bio of an ancestor)

5. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness! Gold (commented on a new blog, joined a blog network at Facebook, assisted another researcher with a lookup)

I had hoped to do better in Category 5, but I ran out of time to search for bloggers who had not already been asked to join the Genea-Blogger Group. I als did not join another society because I paid a professional to do some research for me, and my funds were limited.

I really enjoyed the Games, even though I couldn’t participate more fully than I wished. From reading the other blogs, it seems like everyone enjoyed themselves as well, despite many challenges (just like the real Olympics). This really was inspiring, wasn’t it? Thank you to my partners, Thomas MacEntee and Kathryn Doyle, for all their assistance, and to all the Genea-Bloggers who participated!

Don’t forget, Scanfest is tomorrow!

Tallies for 15 and 16 August 2008

The last couple of days have been extremely busy for me, so I didn’t get anything accomplished toward the Games. I taught a class twice yesterday morning on Using WorldVitalRecords.com for my genealogy society, then have been very busy with responsibilities around the house.

I took some time to review what I still need to accomplish to attain my original goals:

2. Back Up Your Data!
A. Prepare a comprehensive backup plan for your digital research files and a security plan for your hard copies and photos – I did some thinking on this the other day, now I need to put it in writing.

C. Backup all your data using a flash drive, an external drive, CDs, DVDs, or an online resource – I’m still in progress on this. I can’t speed up the process because it’s an online backup program and the initial one takes many days to achieve.

E. All your data is backed up digitally and secured physically and you can recover from any disaster while losing only one month or less worth of research – hmmm, I may have to revise my original goal of achieving this, because while I can all my digital data backed up, I don’t have the time to secure all the physical data right now. Also, much of my plan for securing my physical data includes scanning or photographing it, loading the copy onto my computer and backing it up online. A big problem right now is that I’m running out of hard drive space.

3. Organize Your Research!
A. Organize at least 20 hard files or ancestral items (books, fabrics, inherited items) into file folders, boxes, envelopes, containers, etc.; archival-quality where appropriate. I started this and need to complete it.

C. Organize at least 20 photos into photo albums, scrapbooks, collages, protective holders, boxes, etc. – Need to do

D. Organize at least 20 digital photos into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc. – Need to do

F. Create a master list of your files and notify your family members of where it is stored. – I don’t need to do a sixth task (only five are needed for a platinum medal), but I want to do it and it was my original goal to do the minimum of six tasks in this category.

4. Write, Write, Write!
I achieved my original goal of earning a gold, so nothing further will be done in this category.

5. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!
C. Invite other genealogists to join Facebook. – I’d better hurry up on this one; they’re all getting taken!

E. Participate in an indexing project. – I had hoped to do some indexing at the library yesterday after teaching my classes, but had to run some errands before shops closed for the weekend. Maybe I’ll do a little indexing at FamilySearchIndexing today.

F. Join a genealogical, historical, heritage or lineage society. – I’ve got three in mind, actually.

I’m going to print up the above list and post it where I can easily see it and be reminded. Here’s my current standings for each category:
1. Platinum
2. —
3. Silver
4. Gold
5. Gold

Meanwhile, many of us have kind of hit a slump. I think we need to stop a minute and get inspired to keep pushing through to the end…keep your eye on the goal…focus on those medals…and turn on your speakers!

Tallies for 14 August 2008

I made a bit more headway today (all that weightlifting must have toned up my genea-blogger muscles! 😉 )

4. Write, Write, Write!
D. Write a brief biographical sketch on one of your ancestors.
Today I posted a Wordless Wednesday follow up on my husband’s great-grandparents, Peder and Regina LERFALD (yup! they were first cousins to each other!).

This completed task has helped me meet my original goal of earning a gold medal in this category!

5. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!
D. Assist another researcher with a research request or lookup.
I realized there were three lookup requests sitting in my e-mail folder to which I had not responded. The first one was a request to do a look up in microfilmed cemetery records for Greenwood Cemetery in Kent County, Michigan. I had done some preliminary searching in the index, but ran out of time. I contacted the requester and sent him the transcribed information from the index, and promised to finish this lookup the next time I get to the Family History Center. The other two requests were for lookups in records that are now available at FamilySearch’s Record Search, so I e-mailed the requesters and explained to them what they could find at that site.

Completing this task brings me up to a gold in this category!

Here’s my medal count for each of the categories:
1. Platinum
2. —
3. Silver
4. Gold
5. Gold

Even though I haven’t earned any medals in category 2 (Back Up Your Data!) I am working on it, believe it or not!

Now, Terry of the Desktop Genealogist has not been participating in these Genea-Blogger Games, but she’s been running a marathon of her own against lethargy (“7 Days, 7 Requests”). It’s really inspiring; have you been reading about her progress? Check it out: 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7

Tallies for 13 August 2008

I didn’t complete any additional tasks on Wednesday, although I did continue to do some of the same: citing sources (1) as I add more data (3E), backing up my files online (2C), commenting on new-to-me blogger’s posts (5A) and joining blog networks (5B).

My medal count remains the same as August 12th for the various categories:
1. Platinum
2. —
3. Silver
4. Silver
5. Silver

However, I am giving fellow Washington State resident Melanie Roach a run for her money in the weightlifting competition:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Tallies for 12 August 2008

Last night I was so tired, I went to bed early without listing my tallies. It was a busy day; much of my energy was spent enjoying a get together at a co-worker’s home for a good-bye party for a teacher friend who is moving to Connecticut. Of course, most of us haven’t seen each other since mid-June so it was nice to catch up on all the gossip news.

I did, however, work on two new areas and did more work on a task I’ve already completed.

2. Back Up Your Data!
A. Prepare a comprehensive backup plan for your digital research files and a security plan for your hard copies and photos
I did some serious thinking about this and extended it to how I need to write a plan for which family members get which documents and photos in the event of my death, as well as publishing a family history for each of my major lines. I’m reminded of how just a few months ago, our society was contacted by the son of a woman who had spent her whole life researching and had made no plans for where the materials would go. Most of what she had were photocopies from genealogical books, so they could not be sold or used in our library’s genealogical collection. They, along with folders full of family group sheets, were placed out on tables for our members to go through and take if they wished. To our knowledge, the woman had never published a family history, which ultimately, should be the goal of our research. It doesn’t do our families any good if our research sits in a database or in file folders. It needs to be made into something comprehensible which can be enjoyed and shared with others.

Summary: I haven’t written down the plan, yet, but I am working on it.


4. Write, Write, Write!
C. Prepare several posts in draft mode (if possible with your blog platform) and pre-publish.
I began a new series that I will publish next week, using the Schedule feature of Blogger.


5. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!
B. Join another genea-blogger’s blog network on Facebook Blog Networks.
Although I’ve already completed this task this week, I continued to add new friends from the Genea-Bloggers Group, and once they had confirmed, checked their information to see if they had a blog that I could add to my Google Reader and/or had been listed with Facebook Blog Networks so I could join. Last I checked, we had 129 members of the group, and it seems to be growing daily!
————–
My total medals earned during the Games as of today:
1. Platinum
2. —
3. Silver
4. Silver
5. Silver

Tallies for 11 August 2008

1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources!
I spent several hours going through a descendancy report sent to me last week by a WILKINSON cousin and adding the information to my database, citing every fact and event according to Evidence Explained. I stopped after citing 53 sources (along with a rummy brain and bleary eyes), so I have earned my platinum medal! This also does double-duty for Category 3E.

2. Back Up Your Data!
C. Backup all your data using a flash drive, an external drive, CDs, DVDs, or an online resource
Carbonite is still plugging away on the backup.

Summary: Still in progress.


3. Organize Your Research!
A. Organize at least 20 hard files or ancestral items (books, fabrics, inherited items) into file folders, boxes, envelopes, containers, etc.; archival-quality where appropriate.
Last night I started sorting a stack of loose documents. I realized that I had more to work with than I could possibly file properly. So I did a loose filing system of seven main piles: one each for my parents and my parents-in-law, one for my step-grandfather’s family, one for my grandmother’s adoptive family, and the last folder for everything else (syllabuses, forms, newsletters, etc.).

Today I went through my books to see if there was anything I could donate to my genealogical society’s upcoming book auction. I found two titles, and before I donate them to the auction, I’ll check with our society’s librarian to see if they would be needed in our genealogy collections.

Summary for Task A: Still in progress.

B. Organize at least 20 digital files into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc.
I moved all my pixel graphic files and folders to my laptop, then moved about 20 genealogy folders I could find on my laptop to my desktop, merging them where applicable to the genealogy folders already created there. I spent a lot of time going through non-genealogy files and folders, deleting unnecessary things and just plain junk, then emptying the recycle bin. Even with all the genealogy folders I added from the laptop, my desktop had 1.04 GB more room after tossing unwanted stuff.

E. Create at least 20 data entries in your database, or scan 20 photos, or scan 20 documents.
Entering 53 facts or events in my database helped me to complete this task.

Summary: Completed two tasks – silver medal!
————–
My total medals earned during the Games as of today:
1. Platinum
2. —
3. Silver
4. Bronze
5. Silver

Tallies for 10 August 2008

I didn’t do much on the computer today, other than publishing the two previous posts (one this morning, one this evening), because we’re “painting” the exterior of our house with primer/sealer, hoping to get it all prepared to get the front completely painted next week. We figure having at least one side of the house completely painted, trim and all, will not only look nice from the street, it will motivate and encourage us to get the sides and rear completed before the cold weather hits. Unfortunately, I have only two-and-a-half weeks before I have to return to work, and so my time is limited on all projects (genealogy or not).

Even though it’s late, I am going to sit and relax after a hard day’s work and watch an episode of “The Waltons” (Season 6) on DVD with my husband. But I will get a little done towards my Games goals. I’m pulling out some colored file folders to use while I sort through a stack of unfiled documents. I may be able to get the following goal completed this evening:

3. Organize Your Research!
A. Organize at least 20 hard files or ancestral items (books, fabrics, inherited items) into file folders, boxes, envelopes, containers, etc.; archival-quality where appropriate.

If so, I’ll have earned a Bronze Medal in this category. I’ll let you know if I completed this in my Tallies post tomorrow.