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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Life's Quirks and Genealogy

"Wow!"  I must say.  Life certainly has it's ups and downs.  I must stress though how fortunate I am before I delve into some mishaps, inconveniences, and quirks along the way that take me away from my family tree.

First off, I must be upfront in letting people know who read this blog that I write my posts well ahead of time.  Some of my posts are written at least a month in advance of the posting date.  This gives me time (if I find it) to go back and edit and rethink things.  Most of the time lately, I have not had time to edit further on my posts.  They truly are what they are as part of my online family tree diary.

I had a gentleman sitting next to me at the family library tell me that he's been working on the same family line/surname for the past 30 years.  He has not deviated off that line.  It is his given surname so I guess from his perspective, it is the single most important line.  I, on the other hand, have been been working on upwards of 15 surnames, in several different locations and origins for about 2 and half years.  I am a multi-tasker and it shows through with my genealogy.  Am I an expert on these lines?  A few of them.

It did strike me recently that while my scheduled posts in December were mostly about Kate "O'Brien" Flanagan and her family in New Zealand, I was actually researching my Shaffrey line out of Moynalty, Meath.  Is that confusing?  Not for me but I do think that I have more research ahead of me for Kate.  My Shaffrey line was just begging for a peek since I've known about the LDS Film for the Parish of Moynalty since the beginning of my family tree quest.

In the next month, I will probably get to posting about the Shaffrey's which leads me to my second point of this post.   Life kind of got in the way from mid-November until the end of the year.  While I reserve only a few hours per week for my family tree hobby, those hours were sucked up during this time by sick children, other volunteer obligations, and social activities.  The "sick kids" were my own.  There were also more days off from school this year than expected because of various furloughs for the teachers.  That meant, my children were with me.  Let's just say, we had lots of fun together but family tree work just did not happen.

The dead ends that I've hit on my various lines, require me to now seek out information away from my home, my desk, my computer, and the internet.  I try to squeeze in time to visit the local family history library.  I only wish that they were open on the weekends but they aren't.

Making my research portable has been tricky.  That brings me to my third point in this post.  Carrying electronic research around is problematic.  On Monday, December 17th, I left the house with my preschooler buckled in her car seat headed for school and my thumb drive in my jacket pocket.  Everything went fine in dropping off my 4 year old.  I headed to Starbucks for some strong black coffee before heading to the library.

While in line for coffee, I reached into my pocket to discover that my thumb drive was gone.  I was not happy at all.  I grabbed my coffee and started to retrace my steps on this rainy Sacramento Monday morning.  After an hour, of looking high and low including tearing apart our car, I decided to call it a done deal.  That flash drive was gone!

It was time to regroup.  I went home and located about 75% of my Shaffrey/Maxwell research from the Parish of Moynalty Church Records.  What I had failed to do was to backup my most recent research from after Thanksgiving.  My only other consolation is that I still have access to the film until the end of February.  I guess rework is in order here.  Also, this is the second micro-film tape because there was something wrong with the first one.

When it comes to my family tree, I've got to remember to pace myself, know that there will be delays, and backup my research.  From my own previous post - Backup! Backup! Backup!


What luck!  Since I wrote this, someone turned in the flash drive to the preschool director.  They found it in the parking lot at the school.  I must say that I scoured that parking lot in search of it.  I'm just glad to have it back!


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