Genealogy Do Over – To-Do Items

doing-research

Yesterday I wrote about using Legacy’s To-Do Lists as a research log for my genealogy research. Thank you for your requests that I give you some screen shots of how I created my To-do Items that shall now make up my research log. So here goes.

In all, I have so far created 12 To-Do Items.

GenealogyDoOver-0

At the top level I have one Item for my Genealogy Do Over Research Goals. This To-Do Item for my Research Goals shows that my Research Goals consist of four elements – George Watts, John Bourke Ryan, Scrapbook of Chart examples and Squattleseamere Pastoral Run.

GenealogyDoOver-7

I haven’t really started as yet on three items. The fourth is for my three greats grandfather George Watts. The To-Do Item for George Watts sits between my overall Research Goals and Individual To-Do Items for a particular piece of research. This To-Do Item explains, in general terms, what I hope to achieve with respect to George Watts over the course of the Genealogy Do Over. The first part is to confirm my connection to George Watts through, for the moment at least, using evidence found on birth, marriage and death certificates.

GenealogyDoOver-6

From George’s To-Do Item I have raised several To-Do Items for specific pieces of research. These Items aren’t necessarily connected to George Watts’s record. For example, to establish my connection to my three greats grandfather, George Watts  I used my Grandpa Baulch’s birth, marriage and death certificates to substantiate his relationship to his mother, Eliza Ann Porter.

GenealogyDoOver-2

Now I expect to have many, many of these specific types of To-Do Items. A bit like rows in a spreadsheet based research log I suppose. So I created a template just to remind myself what matters should be considered here and what issues belong elsewhere in my genealogy database. This is what my template looks like:

GenealogyDoOver-1

One of my goals for Genealogy Do Over is to get into the practice of doing Sources First. So I then added the Sources I would look at for this To-Do Item.

GenealogyDoOver-3 Finally, I have recorded my results under the Results tab. In this instance I simply referred to the Media files of the Sources used.

GenealogyDoOver-4While I was creating my to-Do Items I noticed that the Categories roughly matched the folders the main folders under my Media folder so I have done a little tweaking to get these to match.

I do hope that this helps a little to explain what I have decided to do.

Genealogy Do Over – Week 3

Land Registers at the Public Record Office of Victoria
Land Registers at the Public Record Office of Victoria

TRACKING RESEARCH

Why is it necessary to track my research?

Mainly because I have unwittingly doubled up on my research. More often than I care to admit. Often more than twice for the same information. Also, I have ignored obvious sources of further research. I have frequently been distracted by those Bright Shiny Objects (such as my favourite Land Registers pictured above). So let me just admit it. My research process has just grown haphazardly over the years. And it shows. If I had only taken more care updating my processes for keeping track of my research I would have saved so much time.

Genealogy Research Log

In 2014 I set aside my pen and notebook for a tablet and Legacy’s To-Do List.

So I have been rather dismayed to read of the enthusiasm for using a spreadsheet based research log. Just something else for me to lose track of I thought. My sister agreed. Keep everything in the one place she said.

What in ever was I worried about? In listening to Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do Over webinar for Legacy Family Tree I found my post decision justification.

With very little tweaking I have now created a general Legacy To-Do Item template containing all the elements I wish to include in a research log. Particularly new is the note to remind me to add any relevant file names or links. Thank you Thomas MacEntee for that tip.

Now it’s just a simple matter to copy the template to a new To-Do Item. This is analogous to a creating another line in a spreadsheet based Research Log.

Furthermore, I have done a couple of other things to clean up my research process. First, I have aligned the To-Do Item Categories to the names (or Categories) of my top level Media folders. Well, mostly. If necessary, this adjustment should make it even easier to find my Media files. Next, I have the one place – in Legacy’s To-Do List – for the three levels of my planned research:

  1. The top level To-Do Item will outline my research plan for a three month period. My current research plan, for example, is my plan for the Genealogy Do Over. One element of this plan is to establish my connection to my three greats grandfather, George Watts.
  2. The second level To-Do Item is more specific. For example, the goal here is still to establish my connection to George Watts. But at this level I have listed the birth, marriage and death information I am relying on to establish this connection. These include birth and marriage information for myself and birth, marriage and death information for:
    1. Donald George Baulch,
    2. Parke Egbert Baulch,
    3. Eliza Ann Porter and
    4. Lydia Watts.
  3. The bottom, or more detailed, level of my To-Do Items is creating a To-Do Item that is equivalent to a line in aspreadsheet based Research Log. At this level I have a To-Do Item for each step in establishing my connection to George Watts. These are:
      1. in my record, a To-Do item for establishing my connection to Donald George Baulch,
      2. in the record for Donald George Baulch, a To-Do item for establishing his connection to Parke Egbert Baulch,
      3. in the record for Parke Egbert Baulch a To-Do item for establishing his connection to Eliza Ann Porter,
      4. in the record for Eliza Ann Porter a To-Do item for establishing her connection to Lydia Watts and
      5. in the record for Lydia Watts a To-Do item for establishing her connection to George Watts.

    I like that, at this level, my Individual To-Do Item (or line in my Research Log) is attached to the relevant Individual in my family database for easy access and not in a spreadsheet somewhere else.

Conducting Research

So, with all these To-Do Items created I was ready to conduct my research. New in 2015, and as part of this Genealogy Do Over, is my resolve to apply one of my Genealogy Golden Rules to assign SOURCES to the relevant To-Do Item FIRST. I then assigned Sources and linked Media to the relevant Individual Events. This is done as part of the initial research process and before any further consideration. No more leaving Sources and Media until last. In the past leaving Sources and Media to last has meant that information I am relying upon has been lost somewhere on a computer drive or somewhere in a box of papers! Such a practice is now history.

Family Interview – Shearing at Dunmore

Dunmore Tally Board 1917
Dunmore Tally Board 1917

For a few short years as a child I was able to observe and absorb the romance, the noise of the machines and the hustle and bustle of the shed hands in a big shed. And, if I believed Grandpa Baulch, everyone at some stage shore at Dunmore.

So it was, some 20 years after my grandfather died, I went to Port Fairy to have an afternoon’s chat with Bill Meade. Bill had started picking up wool in the sheds in 1923. As it still did when I was a child, shearing started in the Riverina in July and the teams worked their way south until Christmas. Then the work was processing the potato and onion harvest until it was time to head north again the following July.

My interview with Bill nearly came fell apart right at the beginning. Bill said that he hadn’t worked in the Dunmore shed. That’s confirmed by the records I have for Bill Meade isn’t listed.  Rather, Bill said, he worked in the Alanvale shed for Art Baulch. This can’t have happened until at least the 1925 shearing season as both Art at Alanvale and Stan Baulch at Rose Park and, to a lesser extent, Frank Baulch all used the Dunmore shed before then. This meant around 20,000 sheep a year were shorn at Dunmore.

Nevertheless, it was a most interesting afternoon with many insights into the shearing conditions at the time. Also Bill was able to mention many who had worked in the Dunmore Shed.

He also talked about the gun shearers – of Arthur Turner from Ararat and George Young of Orford as two men who could shear 200 sheep a day without much trouble. And of course Bill Edwards. Someone had said that it was impossible to shear that 200 sheep a day. Bill Edwards is reported to have said “Oh I don’t know whether it would be impossible or not but you can see them shorn tomorrow”.

It is certainly true that Bill Edwards shore more than 200 sheep in the Dunmore shed for I have been able to identify the following as his top tallies in the shed:

  • 211 shearing from Pen 8 on 14 Nov 1919
  • 185 shearing from Pen 7 on 20 Nov 1923
  • 183 shearing from Pen 9 on 16 Nov 1922
  • 182 shearing from Pen 2 on 4 Nov 1924
  • 182 shearing from Pen 2 on 3 Nov 1924

However, I haven’t, as yet, been able to identify who was shearing from Pen 9 in 1917. Perhaps Bill Edwards as he was shearing at Dunmore that year. Perhaps not. These are the top tallies for that pen that year:

  • 200 on 21 Nov 1917
  • 198 on 5 Dec 1917
  • 192 on 20 Nov 1917
  • 187 on 19 Nov 1917
  • 184 on 4 Dec 1917

Bill Meade was a life time member of the Australian Workers Union (AWU). Which reminds me of the shearer’s strike on 25 Nov 1887 when my great grandfather Samuel Baulch was at Glengleeson. But that’s a story for another day.

And of course the sheep were held in the Woolly Paddock before going into the shed and counted out on their way to the Shorn Paddock afterwards.