I fell off the Do-Over wagon :(
I'm going to make more of an effort to focus on my Do-Over and genealogy again. Looks like it has been a year and a half since I last posted - and that time found me doing haphazard research and wishing that I'd kept better track of where I'd researched and what I'd found or not found.
So, here we go again. Since I last fell off the Do-Over wagon, it has changed from a weekly to a monthly format. Maybe I'll have better luck sticking to it this time around :)
I fell off the Do-Over wagon :(
Yeah, you read that right, I ended up sitting out the rest of Cycle 3. I had analysis paralysis. I was stuck on how to "prove" my own birth and parentage. My birth certificate is signed by Mrs. Thelda Musgrove - my mother was named Thelda, but a Musgrove she was not! My mother had an affair with a married man. My father is listed on the birth certificate, and he did give me access to his Social Security benefits, he was 63 when I was born, but he was never in my life. I only have one photo of the two of us together when I was around four. I never saw him or heard from him again, he died in 1980.
In 2003 I was contacted by a relative of my father's, ,who had seen my family tree on Ancestry and basically wanted to know who I was and why I was listing my father as my father. I explained the story to him, and he took it at face value and shared some photos of my father and his siblings. This event really shook me, as it showed that my father never acknowledged me to his family. I mentioned this to my sister, and her comment was "Why should he, you aren't even his.". This shook me further, and I asked my Mom about it and she admitted that there was a possibility that I wasn't, but she felt in her heart that he was my father. This information resulted in me completely purging the paternal line from my tree on Ancestry and figuring that I would never know for sure.
Fast forward to 2014, and I did my DNA testing on Ancestry.com figuring it would be fun to know my ethnic background, but not expecting anything else. When I got my match listings, the surname that kept coming up was Ketchum - which I knew was my Father's mothers maiden name. I could now put my paternal branch back on my tree.
Or so I thought, before I started the Do-Over. After starting the Do-Over, I became mired in how to source it and how to "prove" it, since it is anything but straight forward, and so I did nothing. It has kept nagging at me, - that I am not going to be leaving a well sourced and proven tree for my descendants - so I decided to try again and just do my best. I'm not going to worry about sourcing it 100% and proving myself 100%. For now, I'm going to write the story out and leave it for my descendants along with the documents I have and call it good. Hopefully that will be enough bread crumbs for them to follow, if in the future they feel the need to "prove" me.
I am WAAAY behind on my Do-Over. I think we are heading into Week 7 and I am stuck on Week 2. I started writing out my biography, but I have such a convoluted story that it makes it hard to put into words - so I sat that aside. I also have a TERRIBLE memory when it comes to my childhood, so I thought I would try the When I was Young Geneameme
- Do you (or your parents) have any memorabilia from when you were a baby? (ie. baby book, lock of hair, first shoes etc.) I don't have anything from when I was a baby. There used to be a photo of me being held by my Grandfather, and as far as I know that is the only photo of me as a baby - but I don' t know where that is currently.
- Do you know if you were named after anyone? I was not named after anyone? I was not named after anyone in our family.
- And do you know of any other names your parents might have named you? The story goes that my Mom was going to name me Victoria Lynn and my oldest sister Vivian took one look at me and said "That isn't a Vickie Lynn that is a Kimberley Ann"
- What is your earliest memory? I have some memories from around Kindergarten in Phoenix, AZ. I remember walking to school with the Sawyer boys and remember going to a Trampoline park with my sister June.
- Did your parent/s (or older siblings) read, sing or tell stories to you? Do you remember any of these? I don't remember.
- When you were young, do you remember what it was that you wanted to grow up to be? I wanted to be in advertising or be a photo journalist, this was in Jr High/High School. I don't remember before that.
- Did you have a favorite teacher at school? I really loved most all of my teachers. My favorite would be Mrs. Coker from 1st grade. We knew her and her husband outside of school, so I have fond memories of them.
- How did you get to school? The bus picked me up, or if I felt like it I would walk. I was within walking distance of the Elementary and Jr. High Schools. In High School, I took the bus up until I was old enough to drive myself.
- What games did playtime involve? Tetherball, Four Square, Wall Ball.
- Did you have a cubby house? No
- What was something you remember from an early family holiday? I don't remember a lot from early holidays, but I do remember family gathered around to play Uno after holiday meals.
- What is a memory from one of your childhood birthday’s or Christmas? I remember arriving home for a birthday party with my friends, think I was around 4th grade, and no one was home and we were locked out. Don't remember how that ended up being fixed, just remember playing tetherball in the yard with my friends.
- What childhood injuries do you remember? My nephew wrapped my hair in the rope of a tire swing and twisted me around and let me go. I stepped on a nail in the horse pasture of our friend the Irwin's, I think it was Thanksgiving. My purse strap got caught in the front wheel of my bike and flipped me over. Someone pushed me on the ice at the tennis courts at school and I ended up with two big black eyes and had to have a big bruise lanced on my forehead. M y horse bit me on the arm.I tore the ligaments in my ankle when I was in 8th grade during a basketball game.
- What was your first pet? I don't remember my first pet, I remember we had a Chihuahua named El Toro, and a scruffy Mutt named Shaggy and a cat named Tom. I also had a horse for awhile in Jr. High
- Did your grandparents, or older relatives tell you stories of “when I was young ..?” Not that I recall, although my grandmother did fill out a memory book that I sent her, and my Mom started filling one out as well.
- What was entertainment when you were young? I spent a lot of time outdoors, riding my bike or spending time at the park down on the river.
- Do you remember what it was it like when your family got a new fangled invention? (ie. telephone, TV, VCR, microwave, computer?) I remember our first microwave - it was HUGE and dimmed the lights whenever we used it.
- Did your family have a TV? Was it b&w or colour? And how many channels did you get? We had a Color TV, we got 3 channels 19, 25 and 42.
- Did your family move house when you were young? Do you remember it? We moved from Phoeniz, AZ to Irrigon, OR when I was around 5. I remember we lived with friends until Mom bought the house that I grew up in.
- Was your family involved in any natural disasters happening during your childhood (ie.fire, flood, cyclone, earthquake etc) We were visiting in Kansas when there was a flood. When I was in Jr. High Mt. Saint Helens blew.
- Is there any particular music that when you hear it, sparks a childhood memory? Not really.
- What is something that an older family member taught you to do? I don't recall.
- What are brands that you remember from when you were a kid? Rocky Mountain, Pulse
- Did you used to collect anything? (ie. rocks, shells, stickers … etc.) I used to collect mugs and unicorns. I don't have any of them anymore.
- Share your favorite childhood memory. My favorite memories have to do with family gathering. All of the siblings and their families would gather at one place for holidays and monthly birthdays. I loved being surrounded by family. My Mom always made up individual bags of goodies for all the grandkids and she made flannel shirts for the guys for Christmas and fleece jackets for the girls
As you can see, my memory is sketchy. I have started a FB group for my family and will be asking a question periodically - to see what sort of memories we can come up with.
I was in the midst of organizing all of my genealogy files, both paper and digital when I came across Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over group on Facebook. Perfectly timed, Cycle 3 was starting in the next few days. This left me time to continue digitizing my paper files and renaming and organizing my digital files using Sassy Jane Guide:Organizing Genealogy Research Using Archival Principles in preparation to set it all aside for 13 weeks. Gasp!
Genealogy Do-Over Week One topics:
- Setting Previous Research Aside - I renamed all my digital files using a consistent approach, I scanned in all the loose documents that I had floating around, kept originals and tossed the rest. I am going for a wholly digital approach where possible.
- Preparing to Research - I bought a digital version of Evidence Explained, I have downloaded some great forms that I will use to make a plan and record research, and I have cleaned up my Evernote and FTM in preparation for new files.
- Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines - I have read over blog posts from several previous participants detailing their Base Practices and Guidelines and have come up with my own set that I will continue to tweak as I go down this do-over path. I am an all-in participant!
- Create a research plan
- Track ALL work. Use a research log
- Cite Sources. Use GPS and EE.
- Be intentional. Work slowly, thoroughly and consistently.
- Don't assume accuracy, verify for myself.
- Get living relatives stories NOW!
- Back up information and make a future plan for my research.
- Don't share online unless verified.
- Use Social Media and Genealogy Groups & Societies for ideas, education & camaraderie.
- Have fun connecting with my ancestors!
So now I'm ready to head on into Week 2!