"Each has his own tree of ancestors, but at the top of all sits Probably Arboreal." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, 11 January 2013

It’s spring clean time!

Basically, my job for the spring is to get myself into some kind of order, so that I can work in a slightly more orderly fashion. When it comes to genealogy, orderly is not my strong point! I much prefer the researching to the organising side of things.
My indexing has completely fallen by the wayside in the past year, and I’ve generally decided that it has become rather unwieldy and impractical to do it this way, so I need to find a new method. At the moment I store most things in Ancestry as well as keeping electronic files of documents and some hard copy stuff in a carrier bag at home. Yes, you read that correctly – in a carrier bag!
My plan is to buy some new equipment, including, finally, a new laptop. Also a printer and scanner, and some nice filing stuff for my hard copies. Then set to work compiling it all into a functioning system. 
I am also considering purchasing some software, as I’m not sure how comfortable I am with having all of my tree stuff out there on the internet, though it’s really handy just being able to directly link online documents and stuff in Ancestry into my tree. I fear if I move away from Ancestry I will become far worse at keeping track of my documents and sources. And I’m also not sure how to go about selecting the best software?
Next on the spring clean list is doing an ancestor ‘tidy-up’ to help me establish whether I’ve got everything I need for each person and where to go next with my research on each of them. In particular, I’m increasingly aware of how urgently I need to order documents to confirm various relationships etc. I’m reasonably confident about most of them, but until I have the documents I can’t be sure, and upsets aren’t exactly unknown. So the tidy up should help me write a further to do list of documents to order and things to do that should take me through the rest of the year.
 As part of my ancestor tidy-up I intend to write up a sort of ‘narrative’ for each ancestor. I’ve found that blogging about my genealogical searches has helped me to think more clearly about exactly what I need to know, and stopped me getting distracted by other related lines and so on as I work. So hopefully, writing a piece about each ancestor will help me to clarify where I’ve got to with them and where to go next. I’ll be publishing some of the most interesting ones throughout the spring – otherwise this blog would become an extremely boring account of alphabetical filing and list making!
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m also working to get my Geoghegan descendancy moving and online. This is where my research focus has been recently, and it’s certainly progressing.
I can confirm that Marion Geoghegan married George Hodson, a Master Tailor, and they had four children: Marion Kirby Hodson, Mary Hodson, George Hodson and Elsie Hodson. I’ve been able to confirm that Marion died at the age of thirteen. Mary Hodson appears to have married a Henry Lees. The marriage is recorded under the name May Hodson on lan-opc.org.uk, but we can be fairly sure this is Mary by the father’s occupation – originally identified from finding the family on various census. There would appear to be five likely children of this marriage born between 1913 and 1922, whose names I won’t publish here, as some or all could still be living. However, I will be investigating those lines – If any possible descendants happen to stumble across this and want to get in touch, I would love to hear from you!
I am nervous about the fact that I’m essentially shoving my way downwards into some people’s families, including some online trees, and sometimes doing so quite speculatively. However, I’ve made my tree private and its description makes it clear that should anyone have any questions, concerns and objections about what I’m doing they can contact me and I’ll listen and do what I can to help them.
My plans for the rest of the year will follow on from this spring clean – I’ll keep you posted.
L x

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