Staying Home: The April Genealogy Blog Party

Elizabeth O’Neal has delivered a most timely topic for the April Genealogy Blog Party: Staying at Home.

Tucson Saguaros
Pixabay: No Attribution Required

How are we making use of this newfound and unexpected time that we are sheltered at home?

Elizabeth has suggested a wide range of topics:

  • New ancestors you’ve added to your tree
  • Breakthroughs in your DNA research
  • New-to-you databases, research tools, and websites you’ve tried
  • Projects that you now have time to work on (scanning, writing, crafts, etc.)
  • Books you are reading
  • Webinars you’ve attended
  • How your groups are transitioning from in-person to virtual meetings
  • Tips for maintaining focus and staying on task

I had no trouble at all deciding how I was going to spend my stay-safe-at-home time (aside from the fact that my yard has barely a weed to be found anywhere. :))

My impetus for my project was Janine Adams’ 30 x 30 challenge on Organize Your Family History. I often join her challenges because they help me keep on track.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may be familiar with my massive renaming and reattaching images in my RootsMagic 7 software. A couple of years ago, I purposely stripped all the links out of the program so I would be forced to re-do them all.

I’ve made several attempts at diving into this project, which, honestly, is quite boring. Mind numbingly boring, as I’ve described it. This project has even made a couple of my New Year’s goal lists for 2019 and 2020. I’d love to strike it off the 2021 list of resolutions!

First, it took me a few false starts to determine the pattern I wanted to use to name the images. I finally decided on one and I’m very happy with it. I want those after me to be able to easily locate what they’re looking for and this works well:


I also decided that now was the time to really focus on getting this job done. Being at home with no outside commitments presented a perfect opportunity for me, as I would have few excuses to put it aside. I began at the start of March and by the end of the month, I had finished all the surnames through the letter K. Today. I have finished all the alphabet letters, save for a handful of surnames.

After 5+ weeks of working all day every day on this project – for 6-7 hours daily – this job is down to being manageable!

Yes, I’ve made terrific progress, but if you think that I’m almost finished – not quite!

Today, I am adding a few odds and ends to RootsMagic 7 covering some findings that for whatever reason never got entered.

Beginning tomorrow, I will be on the home stretch with just five surnames left, but they are the biggest files in my family tree.

First, I will tackle the Williams people, which encompass a 20 year project sorting out over 100 years of family members. I am estimating 5 days to finish with the Williams clan.

That leaves four surnames that begin with S and the files are massive. My maiden name is Sabo, married name is Stufflebean, my mother-in-law’s maiden name was Sturgell, and my paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Scerbak. I have prolific digital files for all of those names.

Oh, did I mention that I have 15, 000+ images?

That’s okay, though, because my appetite to finish this project has definitely been whetted and I’ve made huge progress after putting this off for a couple of years.

My “finish up” plan is to work in this order:

1. Williams
2. Scerbak
3. Sturgell
4. Sabo
5. Stufflebean

My goal is to be finished by summer, but we shall see. The Sabo and Stufflebean files are massive. Hey, if I don’t finish by 20 June, I will have something to keep me busy during the Tucson summer. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Staying Home: The April Genealogy Blog Party”

  1. If I wasn’t working from home, I’d be doing more…but I have been taking part in the 14 day Research Like a Pro mini-challenge 🙂 I’m still writing up my final report…

  2. A worthwhile project for this period of sheltering at home. Mine, as you know, is to participate in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. Not only does it help me get photos scanned and stored, but writing about fond memories from childhood is soothing at a difficult time. I have no doubt you will be able to finish your project by summer. Best of luck and stay safe and well.

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