Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Genealogy Butterfly Type of Day

I finally figured out what kind of genealogist I really am (see Lorine Schulze's post What Type of Genealogist Are You?) - I'm a Genealogy Butterfly!!

I love to flit around, doing many tasks during a day, or even an hour, moving from Gmail to Google Reader to Blogger to Ancestry to Twitter to FamilySearch to RootsMagic to AmericanAncestors to Facebook to GenealogyBank to Google Reader to Google Maps to Family Tree Maker 2012 to MyHeritage to CGSSD to Google Plus CVGS to Legacy Family Tree and back to Gmail and on and on, while listening to the radio - AM or internet.  And that's all in two hours!  Then I settle down to more pedestrian activities, like working on society By-Laws, presentations, or mining online databases for Seaver data or newspaper articles to help a CVGS colleague.

I try to avoid being a Genealogy Caterpillar - making to-do lists, writing/updating research logs, organizing my paper files, labelling digital images of photographs, etc.  I know that I should do these things, and they are necessary to graduate to Butterfly-hood, but they aren't nearly as fun as flitting around the Internet and my computer system to learn new things, find new information, etc.

Here is my day so far (times approximate):

7:30 a.m.  Read my email (I use Thunderbird to access my Gmail and Cox mailboxes)
7:45 a.m.  Read 110 posts on Google Reader, add several to my Best Of post for the week.
8:30 a.m.  Write the Treasure Chest Thursday post.  Tweeted it and G+ed it.
8:50 a.m.  Check out new databases on and  Not much to check out.  Did look at Belgium records on FamilySearch for CVGS colleague - her guy isn't there.
9:10 a.m.  Write the CGSSD post and set it for later in the morning.

9:20 a.m.  Get cleaned up and dressed.
9:40 a.m.  Look at Twitter and Google+ streams.
9:50 a.m.  Checked Google Reader and Email again - answered an email.
10:00 a.m.  Listened to Marian Pierre-Louis' BlogTalkRadio show - on the Fairbanks House in Dedham MA.  I don't have Fairbanks ancestors that lived here, unfortunately, but I still want to see the house.
10:15 a.m.  Worked in RootsMagic sorting out Alternate Names and Nicknames while listening to the show.  Created a small GEDCOM for testing sources and source notes.

10:45 a.m.  Checked in at Facebook, looked for Family items there, noted I still get few comments on my Facebook status or blog posts there.
11 a.m.  Went into GenealogyBank to find articles about Emilio Kosterlitzky for a CVGS colleague.  Wow!  262 articles, including 39 in San Diego Union 1899-1970.  Captured some page images for him to look at.
11:45 a.m.  Checked email and Google Reader again - answered an email about a lone gravestone overlooking the I-805 freeway in Sorrento Valley.  Who knew?  Didn't find anything after magnifying Google Maps satellite view of the area.
12:10 p.m.  Opened FTM 2012 and imported a GEDCOM to it looking for where source elements and notes go.
12:20 p.m.  In RootsMagic - didn't I add the 1940 census facts, citations and image for my Carringer families?  Did that!  Noticed that Carringer family members don't have any census facts, sources or images - did that too!  Noticed that I have "missing media" in RootsMagic because I changed some file names yesterday... arrggghhhh.

12:45 p.m.  Lunch?  did I miss lunch?  Yep - had two hot dogs (no bun), some grapes, and a choc chip cookie.  While reading Google Reader.
12:55 p.m.  Got into FamilySearch Family Tree - noticed that my Carringer data was sparse.  Got into RootsMagic and added Census and Occupation Facts for several families.
1:10 p.m.  Back to RootsMagic - added images for the Carringer family Bible and tagged appropriate Carringer events to the four pages.
1:35 p.m.  What should I write about?  I have nothing ... aha, I'm a Genealogy Butterfly, not a Caterpillar!  Voila.
2:10 p.m.  Post!

I just hope that the Genealogy Organization Police don't come along with a big Net to catch me and make me clean up the piles on the floor, the piles in the bookcase, the piles on my desk... thank goodness, Linda is not home - she'd want me to carry in the groceries, mow the front lawn, and get the wash out of the dryer.  Wait, I forgot to put the wash in the dryer - I didn't fly over there yet!

What to do now?  I think some serious database mining is in order - I've worked my way through my database to the BR surnames...trying to add facts and sources for folks that need it.  There are so many people with no dates or places at all - mainly spouses of siblings of my ancestors, and their parents.  Using Ancestry collections, FamilySearch collections, AmericanAncestors collections, and Find-a-Grave I've been able to add significant content and sources over the last few months to the databases.

This has been a Genealogy Butterfly day so far, and I want to keep it that way.  I've not been able to do much research or collection data mining or database entry for two weeks - we've had two five day stints of grandparenting that make more family history, but not much genealogy fun.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I'm with you, Randy! Sounds very familiar. A Genealogy Butterfly. I'll accept that, as well. Thanks! ;-)

Unknown said...

Randy, I love your genealogy butterfly description. I, too, am a flitterer. "Plodding ahead" genealogy doesn't do it for me. Now I know that if the genealogy police come and net me, I'll have compamy. (I suspect that there are alot of us buttetfly types out thete.) Keep flitting!

Emily said...

Good to hear I'm not the only one!

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

You made me smile with this...a butterfly is such an appealing creature ;-) Don't know quite how you fit it all in despite seeing the timeline.

Gerry Ann said...

My husband calls Adult ADD.. I rather prefer the butterfly analogy!

Nycnut said...

Giggle! Randy, You made me laugh too - exactly, my days are very much like being a butterfly...I also flit along outside on many local excursions here and there and back again - these familiar places become new again through a genealogy/history viewpoint. Thanks Randy!

Root Digger said...

I don't know how you do all you do...but I guess when you butterfly here and butterfly there (flit around) you can do a little of everything everywhere. ;-)