Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year - New Opportunity?

The New Year is always full of optimism and a chance for a change. For those of you who journal it has for me that same fuzzy feeling when you start a new journal. Always in the clearest and nicest of handwriting only to become a mess within a few days.

There has been much debate and excitement in the blogging world of the Genealogy Do Over planned by Thomas McEntee.

I have spent time reflecting on will I start from scratch or simply tweak the opportunity to suit me?

I turned to my journals. My very first note about my family history was made in July 1986. Yes, almost 30 years ago. I started early, what can I say!

Do I want to really start again? I therefore spent the Christmas period reflecting and re-evaluating what material I already had. My system is not perfect, but then neither am I! but Genealogy Do-Over is an opportunity to assess your genealogical state of play.

Three out of four of my maternal Great Grandparents were born in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. In particular that small area where the three Counties meet. So it was probably no surprise that I eventually discovered that my maternal Grandparents were sixth cousins. My family history in these three Counties spans the best part of 300 years, with some surnames appearing twice.

My genealogical program of choice is Roots Magic, although suitably inspired by +Tessa Keough I have started to dabble with Legacy and in particular hone in on the knowledge of the Legacy Virtual Users Group on Google+. My Genealogy file is called Main File and as you might expect it starts with me, expands to include my husband and his family which is more problematic than mine for several reasons. The file then goes back through my maternal line and includes collateral lines because that can give information that on it's own appears unconnected, yet when pieced together provides other clues and angles for research. I also have a set of folders called Main File. In those folders are copies of the documents, that relate to the details in the electronic version and I have a set of electronic folders containing the same.

My Genealogy Do-Over is going to be a chance to reassess what information I have, starting with me. Checking everything is referenced and cited.  As I leave no descendants could a descendant of a collateral line take my research and follow my documentation? As I explore what I already have I will of course identify what I do not have. That is an opportunity to explore my family peers, my late Mum's Cousins and so forth. Building my Genealogical to do list.

Over the course of the last year or so I have added biographical information on various ancestors to my website and I plan to wove that into the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks program.

This blog continues to go from strength to strength. We see a slight change in the structure with the writer's & author's from 2014 in the main moving to every other month. We say cheerio to several writer's who want to get on with various domestic things, but who may join us in the future and some of our writer's are in for the long haul and writing every month. We also have some really great writer's joining.

Would you though like to join us? The only stipulations are
  1. You write on your scheduled day (or make arrangements to swap!)
  2. The post must be related in some way to local or family history or history in general.
To see the available slots and current authors please CLICK HERE and if you are interested then please do leave a comment.

That's it from me until next month.

Happy New Year!


  1. Hi, I would really like to join your group of writers. I have two family history blogs. Some of the posts are so-so as I tend to write what I am feeling right then and there. I also have some very good posts. I am a good writer and feel that I could provide a post that others would find interesting and helpful. Please give me some consideration. Thanks you.

    1. Ann, That is great news. If you could drop me a note with your email address to (juliegoucher AT that would be great and I can sort out the fine details with you.

  2. Julie, although I am not writing for this blog in 2015, I will continue to read it with great interest. As for the proposed 'do-over'... my plans are similar to yours. I will reassess everything; check my source citations; process the material that's in my 'pending' folder; and try to contact more relatives by taking part in the '52 Ancestors' challenge. Starting from scratch is simply not feasible for me. I live in Australia, and most of my research involves original records that I used when I visited the UK many years ago. Some of those records are neither online nor available through LDS Family History Centres, so re-doing that research would cost a fortune!

    Incidentally... many people who try to start all over again will find that records they'd used before are not available now. For some of Queensland's most useful records, the 'restricted access' period has been increased to 100 years. This applies to hospital admission registers, Dunwich benevolent asylum records, insanity files, Supreme Court deed poll records, etc.

  3. A very thoughtful-provoking post, and thank you, Julie, for your vision in setting up WGC and your personal encouragement. . I look forward to continuing on an "every other month" basis.

  4. Julie, I will write also if there is still room.


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