Sunday, December 28, 2014

Getting Ready for my Genealogy Do-Over

I see that everyone is prepping for the upcoming Genealogy Do-Over and they all look great! If you haven't heard, Thomas MacEntee announced on December 15th that he would be doing a Genealogy Do-Over. He setting aside his 20 years of research and starting from scratch and I have decided to do the same! For more information of this project see ( and be sure to join the interactive group page on Facebook at

I have decided to keep birth, marriage, land, military and death records because I don't see this information changing. I am going to clear off my desk, stock up on printer ink, box up my old research notebooks and files, set up new research notebooks and take a deep breath. I am really looking forward to this "do-over". I am trying to go to an all digital format but I just can't bring myself to go cold turkey! I like filling out family record group sheets and coordinating pedigree charts.  

One of my favorite blank forms is this family group sheet found at Ancestry Both of these forms are in a landscape format which makes it easy to attach to a file folder. The Ancestry pedigree chart does the does the numbering for me which I consider a big help.

I also like this Family Group Record that I found years ago inside one of my copies of Family Tree Magazine. I can record all the information for a family including names of the husband & wife, their parents names,occupations, religion and up to 12 children and their spouse's name, date and place of marriage. You can find this chart at this link Both charts can be downloaded in a pdf document for free.

I take the blank ones to the local copy place and I have each printed on one piece of paper and I also have them enlarged. I plan to spend tomorrow filling out family record group sheets and coordination pedigree charts. I will then place them on the front page of each notebook I use for my research of these families.

I really like the concept of a spreadsheet for a research log but I have a difficult time with them because I can't really write down immediate questions and notes that come to mind. Looking through my old research notebooks I realized I am very consistent in how I record the information I find. I am one of those people who needs to "see" what I have done and what I need to do. I also like to make notes, jot down questions and sources as I work which is why I will probably stick to a paper for now. An example of how I write my information as I go can be found at

When I started my blog, Dawning Genealogy back in June I built a tree on Ancestry to go along with it. I have made sure to document it well and it is my direct line. I see no reason to change this right now. My "do-over" also includes my children's paternal lines so I have decided to start a new tree on Ancestry for these lines as well. 

I am still debating which software I want to use. I have been playing around with free versions of Ancestral Quest, My Heritage and Roots Magic, to see if I like them over the two software programs I already own, Legacy and Family Tree Maker 2014. All of these programs have features I like and dislike but I am most comfortable with FTM 2014. For now, I will probably stick with FTM 2014 and in my spare time add information to the free versions to see which I like best.

I wish everyone good luck with their Genealogy Do-Over!

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