Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Genealogical Musings

Was it really 4 months since I last blogged?  No point in wondering where the time went because we know Christmas got in the way and then I was busy making decisions what to do about this Do Over for my family history.  It didn't help that the software company was pulling the plug on my software; that my attempts to change some of the event types to match those in Ancestry was an absolute disaster and all of a sudden I had a new contact to exchange family genealogy on my maternal side.  I wanted to research more to exchange, answer her questions and yet sort out new software at the same time - not easy.  I was also trying to sort out all my genealogy images into a new system on the laptop too.  I don't do things by halves!!

Somehow I managed to juggle the new research and yet get new software too (Family Historian) but I have only been tinkering with the software and not really started using it yet.  I need to bite the bullet but something is delaying me......... well, three things really.

Firstly I signed up for a six week free online genealogy class with Future Learn but that is finishing this week so I can't use that excuse again (maybe I can use another excuse that I have signed up for another class starting next week !!).

Secondly I really want to create a direct line ancestor journal to pass on to my children and I might be better only entering those people into the new software first, creating any charts needed and then expanding the software. 

Thirdly the dilemma of importing a gedcom and sorting out the problems or do I just re-enter afresh and give things a good check over as I do that.  Hmmmmm.....Go-over becomes Do_over.
I want to keep an expanded paper file for me that has all the information I know about my direct line ancestors, rather than the abbreviated version.  If either of the children are interested in later life then they can have the full version when I have to give up research.  Part of me also wants to keep a paper list of basic details or maybe a card index file of anyone in my tree.....yes I am collecting as many distant relatives as I can.  At least with paper based records it is a valid alternative to the electronic though you can't beat the software for all the reports and charts it produces at the click of a button.  I am struggling with how to organise my expanded paper file though.  I want to make it by relationship; so having all my grandparents in one, all great grandparents in another, great great in another and so forth.

So have my musings helped me make decisions ...... no, not really.  I just need to stop some of the other hobbies and apply myself to the family history :)

Friday, 11 December 2015

Cuckfield Christmas Tree Festival - The Little Yellow Duck Project

Little Yellow Duck Project - Cuckfield Christmas Tree Festival 11th-13th December

Do visit this Festival in Sussex this weekend and take a duck from under "The Gift of Life" tree.

"The Little Yellow Duck Project is a global initiative highlighting the life-saving random acts of kindness of blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donation.  Whilst every random act of kindness has the ability to brighten someone's day, these donations have the ability to literally save or transform someone's entire life."

More can be found at their website here

The tree is decorated with card ducks with the website url on oneside and on the otherside is a quote from some of the comments left when ducks are registered on the map. There are also lots of little salt dough ducks painted yellow; these were made by my little grandchildren. My husband cut out four white polystyrene ducks and hung them and there are also some fluorescent ducks in pink and yellow telling people to take a duck from the boxes below. There are also  pink flourescent circles with the statistics about donations. I made a crochet "duck" angel for the top of the tree and bought some gold lights and gold lametta (gosh that lametta took me back to my childhood!!) I started off with the explanatory note beneath the tree but in the end moved it up onto the tree itself where it could be read more easily.

One third of the ducks are in boxes beneath the tree for visitors to take as a random act of kindness; made with love for the cause and for the recipient.  The ducks have been donated for this purpose from friends and fellow supporters around England and the boxes will be replenished throughout the event.

I have already handed out several ducks to people who were decorating their own trees. Hopefully the ducks will start to be registered and should soon appear on the map. I know I will be watching the map and ticking off any Cuckfield duck that appears (I have a list of all the duck names.)

 Do visit the tree, take a duck and register it on the map.  Linger a while on the website and read about the project.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Genealogy Do Over

You might well wonder what that is all about; to be honest, so do I.  I am slowly and methodically entering my data into Family Tree Maker and also trying to sort my paper files which are a jumble of jotted notes, copies of emails and online trees that might be useful at some point, odd jottings down from various parish registers at the East Sussex Record Office, old postcards or relevant places and so much more.

I found a blog that was encouraging people to do a "Do Over" with different topics each week for 13 weeks.  Aha....that sounds like a good plan because somehow I get started on the same one file and never get to the others.  That file is my Weston line as my mother, who is in her 90's, is still alive and she remembers more about her father as they lived in the same village.  Perhaps the Do Over will help me divide my time between my four ancestor lines and come up with a suitable paperwork system.

 It is already onto week 3 and I haven't finished week 1.  I think I will be joining quite a number of people in being a permanent student of Do Over.  They are very useful topics but it can take a long time to do them.  I am hoping to get a few gems throughout the cycle and put them into practice but the rest I will discard and maybe do another time or even not do at all.  At the moment I am trying to sort my paperwork in a logical order and also making sure that the information for every person in my Family Tree Maker file is correct but I think that is too big a goal and so am fine tuning the FTM work to do it generation by generation over all four ancestor lines.

There is a very help Do Over group on Facebook and people are coming up with great ideas and I have learned many things, including how to make custom facts....now I can mark up each individual that I have checked the correctness for data.

Yes, I have started with my grandfather, Frank Horace Weston.  I remember quite a bit about him and have family resource material as well as my mother's memories so it seemed the logical place to start.  I don't have anywhere near as much for my grandmother, Rose Ellen Clark, but that is to be expected as she didn't work after marriage and never served in the First World War.  I have yet to look for newspaper cuttings which I find very interesting for filling in details of the social history side of research.  Once I have done these two I will start on my father's parents.

Of prime importance at the moment is to find the elusive system for storing paper records of my closest family lines.  Whilst it is interesting to find more twigs and leaves on far flung branches I want to make sure I have paper copies of the closest family because nothing beats looking at paper and it is yet another back up method.

I am currently toying with the idea of having folders divided up into grandparent, great grandparents, g great grandparents etc and that means that each generation will double the number of family names inside the divider...hmmmmm will it work.  My great grandfather, Albert Weston married Annie Elizabeth Gadd so in the generation earlier I will have dividers for the Westons and the Gadds.  That generation of Westons married a Newick and Gadd married a Keeley.  In the next earlier gneration I will have dividers for Westons, Newicks, Gadds and Keeleys and so on down the generations.  The easiest way of thinking about it is as filing like a pedigree chart shows.  Unless, of course, I come up with a different system  LOL

Saturday, 18 July 2015

July swap parcels

Gutted!!!!  My friend's daughter kindly....or not so kindly, shared her chickenpox and so I have not been able to go over and craft with her this month.  I had to tackle the parcels all on my own with no little tweaks that I often do when meeting with Terri.  Get well soon Terri.

This is the card that I made from Pat's parcel using embossing.  I embossed the tag that I added to the paper from Pat's parcel and I used some of the included glitter strip to add to it.

This is the card that I made from Terri's parcel using a digital image.  I used ribbon and a paper from Terri's parcel; it is a really fresh light colour which I love.  I used a digital image from a previus swap parcel and then coloured some card candi to add to the corners.

And finally the card that I made from both parcels using all three techniques.  I paper pieced the owl with papers from both parcels and the striped paper was mine.  I embossed the backing paper which had come from Pat's parcel and then added a digital image of Happy Birthday to it.  I'm really quite pleased the result.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Rushing to share

Once again I have got behind in blogging the cards I have made this month.  There seems so much to do at the moment and not enough hours in the day.  I am working on a church kneeler, knitting for an imminent grandchild, making little yellow ducks for the Little Yellow Duck Project; volunteering in SCBU at the local hospital (which also involves creating the rota for 12 of us to do that in turns twice a week and going to my U3A family history group once a month.  Where is the time to actually do the Family History?

This months cardmaking parcels gave plenty of scope.  I enjoy trying to use a different technique for each parcel.

These cards were from Pat's parcel and I chose rubber stamping for the technique.  The first one is a stamp I bought ages ago and have never used.

And this card was for Pat's grandson, Eli.  I stamped the train for this one.

These three cards were from Terri's parcel and I chose diecutting  for the technique

My Christmas card for the month.

And finally my card using three techyniques and something from eachh parcel

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

May Swap Parcel (Terri)

The backing paper, image and fancy diecut came from Terri's parcel so it wasn't difficult to decide I would diecut for the technique for this parcel.  I found a snippet of card to put a scallopped circle behind the image and de cut a plain white circle to go behind the fancy diecut.

I loved the muted colours of the spotty backing paper which, sadly, was the only thing from the parcel for this card.  Still, rules is rules and it met the criteria.  I rummaged around in my stash and found this double sided spotty/olive green paper.  A snippet of what card for the greeting and for the two dots on the tag and job done!!  I am entering this over at the Playground.

May Swap parcel (Pat)

Our techniques challenges were: die cut, heat embossing and water colours.  I could have used both heat embossing and de cuts on both parcels but I dutifully chose a different one for each parcel but what I haven't done yet is my personal challenge of all three techniques on one card using bits from both parcels.  I will get there but whether I can incorporate my other challenge of a Christmas card from them as well .......we'll see.

Anyhow up .... here are the cards I made from Pat's parcel and I used the heat embossing for my technique.

The first one I just heat embossed the greeting. I found a small bit of toning paper in my stash for the greeting and the layer behind the image.  I am entering this over at the Playground

The second one I heat embossed the red background paper. This was my favourite card of all of them and it sold very quickly after church on Sunday too.