Over the past few weeks I've been neglecting my blog in order to work on parts of my fall genealogy to-do list and then some. I'm happy to say that my work in the often over-looked "little things" is progressing along nicely.
First off, I updated my main family tree. In order to keep myself better organized, I separated branches of my ancestry into a series of smaller trees. It is these smaller trees that I make public and work on. By separating my tree, I can compartmentalize the families and surnames to better remember who is related to who. The problem with this strategy, however, is that my all-encompassing tree can quickly become outdated. I recently used Family Tree Maker 2012 to update it by first copying my smaller trees' files, then merging these copies into my large tree. Because a lot of individuals don't have much detail, there were many duplicates I had to go through and delete, so the process took a number of hours. It was worth it though, because I use my main tree to identify distant cousins through Ancestry DNA.
Secondly, I purchased a book for my Kindle by Pierre Berton called The American Invasion of Canada: The War of 1812's First Year. Although I'm not too far into it yet, it's a funny and exciting read, and it's not at all like a history book. I'm looking forward to reading about Fort George in particular, because I know an ancestor of mine who served in the British military there and then remained in Québec with his family.
Of course I've been furthering my genealogy research as well, delving into families I had not researched at all. My family tree is growing quite nicely, and I'm getting to know more about my direct ancestors. Once I have "enough" (realistically, that would mean when I hit all the brick walls I can find), I'll branch out to siblings and cousins in order to help better connect with other distant relatives and gain a broader picture of my ancestors' lives. (This is part of a larger plan that's still in the works of looking more carefully at my DNA matches and cleaning out my "shoebox.")
Finally, I purchased my first smartphone and immediately downloaded the Ancestry app. I'm able to view my family trees, individuals' events, and records connected to those events. Recently there was an update to the app, but I haven't had the chance or need to explore it further. I thought the app could help me if I venture to another cemetery or make it to the state archives.
With a lot of odds and ends out of the way, I should be back to regular blogging!