Saturday, January 31, 2015

SNGF: Bright Shiny Genealogy Objects

Randy Seaver, author of the GeneaMusings blog, has come up with yet another interesting Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) challenge this week:

1) Do your research activities get sidetracked by Bright Shiny Genealogy Objects (BGSO?)  You know, an email, a record that pops up about an ancestor, something that you just have to look at?
2)  Provide an example of a recent BSGO and what you did with it.  How much time did you spend on it?  Was it worthwhile?
3)  How do you deal with them?  Do you always follow them, or do you pick and choose, or do you have the discipline to put it aside and finish what you planned to do?
4)  Share your responses in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook or Google+.

The short answer is "Yes, of course."
I get sidetracked in numerous ways.
An email from a potential DNA match for me or the 4 other people I have tested will send me off on a multi-hour (or day) research tangent.
A call or email from a tangential cousin will send me off searching for an answer.
A newspaper obituary for a name or person in a location will get me researching their family (and trying to tie it to mine).
Every trip to the Family History Library I've ever made (at least a dozen) reveals records not connected to my direct line that I just "have to" search.
Obviously, I am not a very focused researcher.
And I'm fine with that.

I get Legacy obituaries sent to me daily for several surnames and one location. On Tuesday I got one for a QUIGG who died in Michigan and ended up spending a good 5 hours trying to connect this gentleman to my indirect Quigg line. As it turned out, I was able to make the connection and sent the information off to a 4th cousin once removed (a direct Quigg descendant). She was thrilled to learn about another cousin and will be calling the man's window in a few weeks (although it's going to be hard for her to wait that long).

I almost always follow up on questions from cousins, curious obituaries, and new record sets.
I'm getting more disciplined in my responses to potential DNA matches. I send them information on my line, but don't research theirs for them any more. I rarely hear back from them.

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