Friday, June 5, 2015

The Genealogy Do Over and Me

An old acquaintance Thomas MacEntee (the only genealogist that I know from outside of genealogy), who runs the insanely popular Geneabloggers website, proposed something of a New Year's Resolution late last year.  Knowing that he, like all of us, began with bad habits (and some, like me, continue with them), came up with the idea of the Genealogy Do Over, a sort of genealogical bankruptcy where he put aside all of his work except source materials that are hard to locate and he started afresh doing things the right way.

An entire community of genealogists has adopted his proposed program of recreating their research anew, and it is something that I have been thinking about a bit.  As I mentioned last week, I need to get better organized.  And the whole point about Genealogy Do Over is go get reorganized the right way.

Okay, this is where things always bog down for me. This is a great opportunity for me to dedicate myself to a new organizational structure and new software. But as I have suggested before, my struggle is with which one.

Do I continue with my tried and true, but somehow not quite satisfying, Family Tree Maker?  Do I switch to Roots Magic like so many others, and if so, do I resist the temptation to sync away with FamilySearch.org, and what will they do about my marriage if I try to sync?  Do I make my central focus MyHeritage.com?  Do I play with the nice software Heredis, made in my favorite French city, Montpellier?  Do I overlook the fact that Legacy hates my marriage, because it is otherwise a really nice program for doing serious genealogy?

Do I finally break down and really invest myself in Evidentia, which is an evidence based system and if so, how do I incorporate it into my research?

Anybody who has known me for a while knows that I go through this sort of angst with many major decisions. After all, I have five graduate degrees in five separate disciplines. I spent more than two decades going through my "should I go back and get a doctorate in physics" phases.  I cycle through hobbies fairly regularly, with genealogy being the most consistent in a long, long time.

I will figure it out. Then I will second guess myself. It's all good.

I think it is time for a Do Over.