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28 August 2015

3 Critical Tips about Preserving Your Family History

Preserve the stories behind the photos!
If you are not working to preserve what you have access to, it will be gone and you will kick yourself for the loss. Here are a few tips from my blogging pal at Genealogy Tip of the Day along with some of my remarks about the tip.

Save the Photo and the Facts Behind the Photos
For pictures, make certain to include identification if you have it, who made the digital image, where they got it, and who made identification.
Photos without identification are worthless to the vast majority of people. They will end up in the trash bin or in some random box at an estate sale for a crazy person to gather. Some of those crazy people have good hearts and want to reunite photos with families. However, their task is extremely difficult when there is very little information to go off of. 

Don't make your family choose between saving photos or tossing them because you didn't record what you knew (or asked someone)!


26 August 2015

Fab Finds: Proud 2B Canadian Kit

When you think of the color scheme red and white, what do you think of? 

Proud 2B Canadian Scrapbook kit
Proud 2B Canadian Scrapbook kit by Melissa Bennett

Now that I have visited Canada, the Maple Leaf flag comes immediately to mind when I think of red and white.

This kit was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for my Canada vacation scrapbook. Here's the front cover for the overall album:

25 August 2015

How do I research someone I know little about?

How do I do genealogical research about someone I know little about


After working with a variety of beginners, I have encountered several questions. The most common question begins this way...

"I want to learn more about my great-grandmother, but I don't know much about her. How do I begin?"

Today I will walk you through the beginning steps I take to discover someone's family history. Then I will follow up with a few other posts, so stay tuned!

21 August 2015

Are your related to the Gusslers?

I received a lovely email from Marcia Barnes as she stumbled upon my website and my Geiszler family lines. It reads:
"Gussler is my ancestry. We might be related. I have hit a brick wall, my  great  great great grandfather reason was  raised by a family in Larue County KY. I think I have found his father but not for sure....  Name changed from Gussler to Gusler due to become angry due to fighting in Civil war. Father upset with son and side he fought on. Does any of this sound like a story you have heard  in your research.Are you related to any of the Gusslers who brothers came to US in 1700. "

'Are we related?' is a great question to which I do not believe I have the full answer.

19 August 2015

Heritage Scrapbooking: Collage With A Purpose




Remember back in the hey day of modern paper scrapbooking when the "Creative Memories" philosophy was king?
Cut your photos into pleasing shapes and add stickers and die-cut shapes to a layout and you'll have your memories preserved forever. 
Although the company was big on preservation, they forgot one little detail. When you start chopping your original photos up, you're stuck with those shapes FOR-EVER! I can't turn back time and fix the shapes of my photos, but I can redo a scrapbook page to make the mistakes less of a problem.

11 August 2015

Tech Tuesday: How Not to Write a Collaboration Email

Writing Collaborative Family History Email
Collaboration is the name of the game in 21st Century Family History and I love when someone contacts me asking about research that I have shared on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, or FindAGrave. However, there's one little thing that folks can do to make their emails a little easier to respond to.

ADD A LINK OR ID

I know that seems too simplistic. However, I have received a number of emails asking about research pertaining to individuals and there is no link to the individual to help me refresh my memory. Here's one example,

I noticed that you had information about Jerry Lester stating that he was married to Sarah Quiggly and they had five children. You have him connected to James Lester as his father. Well, the Jerry Lester son of James from Massachusetts died before wedding and having children. I'm happy to find new information contrary to my research. Please let me know what supporting information you have for Jerry, husband of Sarah to Jerry son of James. 

While this email is extremely polite, what is it lacking?

Dates and places would certainly be nice. The email does mention Massachusetts but that isn't helping much (especially with common names). What is lacking is a link to who they are referring to. Let me say this another way.

A link is essential. 

In order to answer this email, I need some way to know which site was used to find the tree links. It really does make a difference which resourced was used.

First, my accounts on various websites are not always in sync. Perhaps I have new information that needs to be transferred to the other site. So tell me which site was used.

Second, I do a lot of volunteer work on various sites to 'pay it forward.' Sharing a link to Sarah Quiggly will quickly help me recognize if the person you are asking about is a volunteer project or a common ancestor.

Finally, I am a busy mother of five children. When I have free time, I spend it doing genealogy. If you want me to answer your email quickly, then make it easy for me to access the person you are asking about.

These are three of my reasons why sharing a link about an ancestor you want to collaborate on is essential. Other genealogists have different reasons why a link, or a person ID number, would be invaluable to quickly respond to your email.

Whenever I receive such emails, I attempt to politely ask, "Who are you talking about?" and request the website or link so we can start on the same page. Often, the person sending the first email is so gracious to respond, "Oh, yeah. That would be helpful. Sorry and here you go!" Others seem put off by my request and do not respond again.

Collaborative genealogy is nothing knew, it's just in a new format. For online trees and queries, let's all commit to better partnerships by sharing identifying information so the process flows just a little bit easier!

10 August 2015

One Name Place Study: Henry Townsend of Columbus

Townsends of Franklin County Ohio
It's once again time to investigate the Townsends of Franklin County, Ohio in an effort to find relatives of William James Townsend who was born around 1842 in Franklin County, Ohio.

The next individual listed 1880 US Census is Henry H Townsend. Henry indicates in this census that he was born around 1845 in Pennsylvania. His parents are listed as being from England. His occupation is a marble dealer.

Other household members include Anna M Townsend born around 1849 in England. She's 31 and again, her parents are from England. According to this document, they have a son named Grant Townsend who is 10 and a daughter Lulu C Townsend who is 7. Both children were born in Ohio.

At first glance, the birth place of Pennsylvania three years after William's birth in Ohio is making a close family relationship doubtful. Further, Henry states that his parents are from England and William has reported that his parents are from Maryland. Townsend is a common name so these little clues can help me quickly filter out likely connections. The important point to note is that some census information is incorrect, so I decided to investigate the family outside of this record set.

I discovered a will for Henry when I was searching through probate records for anyone with the Townsend name in Franklin County, Ohio. I discovered his will was dated 22 September 1886. I found a death date for F H Townsend on 22 September 1886 and discovered this was the same person, though his occupation was now an upholsterer. Using FindAGrave, I discovered that he's connected with his mother and siblings, though no father is connected. His mother is Harriet Burgess Townsend born in England. So, the census record does match these new findings and a likely relationship between Henry and William Townsend is doubtful.

Ulysses Grant Townsend
Thanks for traveling Ulysses! 


While investigating Henry's family, I discovered this photograph of his son Grant Townsend and learned more information about him.

Grant is actually Ulysses Grant Townsend who was born 25 March 1870 in Zanesville, Ohio. He took a trip to France in 1918, thanks to a passport I have this photograph. He's a smart looking man. I'm not certain what else happened to him.

Lulu C Townsend was born on 6 July 1873 in Zanesville, Ohio. She married Cory Ulen of Bainbridge, Ohio on 24 Jun 1903 in Franklin County, Ohio. She died eight years later in Columbus.

I had fun looking into this family but was so disappointed to not find a close connection to my Townsend family.


Previous Posts:
What I Know about William James Townsend


Additional Reading:

06 August 2015

5 Stories I Uncovered While Writing About My Ancestors

I have shared several tips and strategies for starting the process of writing a family narrative, an essay about the folks on your family tree. In writing these life sketches, I have uncovered several stories that I didn't know before I started the process. No one is alive to tell me these stories, just records we encounter during our early years of research (vital records, census documents, and city directories).

Here is a sampling of stories I uncovered during this process:

1. Great Grandpa's Family Shrinks between 1900-1901

My Great Grandfather Sherman Lewis Brown (father of Lewis Brown who I created a scrapbook for) lost several relatives in a an 16-month span. His father died 14 January 1900, his married sister Eliza Jane (Brown) Ranck died 27 October 1900. His mother Martha (Gordon) Brown died 9 April 1901.

At the time of his father's death, Sherman was 32 and married to Emma Virginia Townsend. They had one son Eugene Curtis Brown. The couple then had a daughter named Edna Irene Brown (their only daughter) born 14 December 1900. Sadly, little Edna died three days before her Grandma Brown on 6 April 1901.

How difficult it must have been Sherman to loose his parents, a sibling, and a daughter in such a short time period! Sherman and Emma's sons Eugene and Samuel (born in 1902) would only have one living grandparent: Mary (Clabaugh) Townsend.

Edna Irean Brown death
Brown Family Bible: Edna Irean's death

2. William and Mary Townsend may have an illegitimate child


Here's a paragraph of discovery about William Townsend who I have written about previously.
A 22 year-old nearly blind man with no parents to return home to [from the Civil War] would certainly consider himself fortunate to find a woman willing to marry him. Three months after his discharge, Mary Claybaugh, aged 18, did consent to marry William on 10 November 1864. They were married in a civil ceremony by a probate judge. In evaluating the birth date of their first child, Nancy Elizabeth Townsend, Mary would have been pregnant at the time of their ceremony.  It's possible that William and Mary knew each other prior to his leaving with Company K and that Mary learned she was pregnant while he was away. Upon his return, they would have made quick plans to marry and find a home before their daughter was born on 15 January 1865 in Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio.

Mind you, I don't want to defame my great grandparents, but it's not uncommon for such things to have occurred. Add this to a question I have for Great Grandpa when we meet on the other side of this life.

William James Townsend Gravestone
William James Townsend Gravestone

3. Andrew Nelson's Smith mother died and he soon had a step-mother.

Here's another story that did not become clear from the pedigree charts until I started writing events in story form:

Andrew Nelson Smith was born on 4 October 1855 in Central College, Ohio to Leon Philip Smith and Catherine Dague. The county for this town is uncertain and described in the footnotes.i Andrew's father was 21 and his mother was 23 at the time of his birth. They had previously lost a daughter two years before. Andrew's birth would have been a great joy to his parents. Three years later, his brother Charles Allen Smith was born in August 1858 in Blendon, Franklin County, Ohio. Six months later, Andrew's mother Catherine would die at the age of 27. This must have been a strange turn of events for three year-old Andrew to see his mother buried. He may not have understand what was happening but he would understand that someone who cared for him was no longer around. Then, four months later, Andrew's 25 year-old father would marry 24 year-old Mary E Smith in June 1859 in Amlin, Franklin County. Mary (Smith) Smith would assume the care of her three year-old and 10 month old step-sons. 

I do wonder what Andrew might have remembered about his own mother. Many people do not remember a mother who died when they were so young. However, his step-mother Mary (whose maiden name was also Smith) may have been the only woman Andrew really ever knew in that role, most certainly for his brother Charles.

Smith family plo
Smith family plot. No stone for Andrew's father, but a large one (right, cut off)
for his step-mother. Andrew and other half-siblings buried on this plot.

4. The Fickles and Browns might be further related

This excerpt is from the essay about Jane Fickle. It might be difficult to grasp the full context, but suffice it to say, that Samuel Brown (father of Sherman mentioned in #1) may be related to his Grandma Jane Fickle's family in another context.

At the age of 42, Jane (Fickle) Gordon should have witnessed the marriage of her second eldest daughter Martha Gordon to Samuel Brown in October 1846 in Hocking County, Ohio. Martha was 19 years of age and Samuel 25. A research mystery involves whether her daughter's husband Samuel and her her sister Mary Ann Fickle's husband William Brown are related. Records should that both Samuel and William Brown from Baltimore, Maryland. William was born in 1815 and Samuel in 1821. They both married related women (aunt/niece, but 'cousins' by age- Martha 19 and Mary Ann 22) from the same county. The relationship of the Brown men is currently unresolved, though plausible. 

So, if you can decipher the paragraph, which is understood better in the overall context of Jane Fickle's essay, you can see where I'm thinking I found a brother for my Samuel Brown (who is a brick wall for me!)

Jane Fickle Gordon's gravestone
Jane Fickle Gordon's gravestone in Worthington, Ohio Cemetery

5. Thomas Clabaugh has some explaining to do

I don't want to think poorly of the folks on my family tree, but a few things do not make much sense when I look at my 3rd Great Grandfather Thomas Clabaugh of Fairfield, Ohio. I hope you can follow this excerpt

Thomas Clabaugh's wife Polly (Nash) Clabaugh seemed to die in the 1840s but the death date is in dispute.d The gravestone in Dovel Memorial Cemetery in Pickerington, Ohio is badly faded. One attempt at reading the stone places Polly's death at 5 April 1848. This date is plausible but conflicts with the marriage of Thomas to his second wife Abigail Bonnell on 13 February 1848. With Polly's last known child's birth in September 1846 and the difficulty reading the faded stone, it's quite likely Polly died in April 1847 when her youngest daughter was 7 months old.   
I can not determine where Thomas and his new wife Abigal are living in 1850. What I can determine is that their household would be greatly reduced.  His 19 year-old daughter Fidelia married John Hamilton on 29 January 1850 in Franklin County, Ohio. In May, his daughter Julia, 18, married John Cartzdafner in Columbus, Ohio. It seems that his children Thomas, 13, and Martha, 10, are living in the Duval family home. According to family stories, the Duvals raised Thomas and Martha after Polly's death. Meanwhile, Thomas's oldest son Wesley, 20, was living in the Feasel home (the family of his future third wife). 
Those who could still be in Thomas' home are himself, wife Abigail, and children Harrison, Nicholas, Burgess, and Mary. To date, these Clabaughs have not been in the 1850 Census, which leads to more questions. 
In the family history, I wanted to give Thomas the benefit of the doubt an conjecture that the death date was 1847. This would prevent a shameful situation if he marries Abigail and his first wife dies two months after their wedding. However, if he did indeed marry Abigail before his first wife died, that could help explain why his children Thomas and Martha are with the Duval family rather than with Thomas and Abigail.  In 1850, Thomas' children Harrison would be 15, Nicholas 10, Burgess 8, and Mary 4. Where could they be? Are they also living with other families while he and Abigail go somewhere else? Or, is there a poor transcription that I have yet to uncover that keeps things more innocent? 

Give Narrative Writing a Try

It's Easier Than You Think

All of these stories and questions have developed since I took the time to write the stories about my mother's line, more specifically the line for her maiden name. Her maternal line has a lot of great documentation in the form of written histories and such that I'm finally compiling with discoveries similar to these listed above. I've also uncovered similar stories on my father's lines. 

What stories have you discovered as you've attempted to write a narrative for your family? 


05 August 2015

Heritage Scrapbooking: Use Busy Patterns to Hide Flaws

Once again, I'm sharing another page from my 70s era personal history scrapbook and it involves photos that were cut before I took the time to digitize them. At the end of this post, I'll link to some of the other page layouts that involve ways to downplay the damage I've done.

Use Busy Pattern to Hide Flaws in Scrapbooking
Party Girl

On this scrapbook page, I wanted to hide the edges of my photos on a busy pattern paper. However, I didn't want the paper to be overwhelming. It was a birthday party and the key colors I wanted to use were yellow and orange. Once again, I'm not a fan of orange but this layout needed it.

This birthday party was held at McDonald's back when the hamburger chain would host pre-arranged birthday parties. You and your guests would have a sectioned off part of the restaurant. A staff member would coordinate a Ronald McDonald cake, party games, and Ronald McDonald's party hats. We opened presents there and played on the small scale play ground out front involving rocking french fry thieves and hamburger heads. Back then, this set up was perfect for my working parents as we lived in a small apartment.

To balance busy floral paper, I clipped this to a circular shape. After adding a few more orange accents, the focus of this layout is more on the photos and story rather than the poorly cut photos. I'd love to see what you do to downplay some of your early scrapbooking mistakes. Share a link to your page in the comments section.

As promised, here is a list of pages where I overcame the short comings of my crop happy days:


There are many different ways to make a scrapbook page that hide flaws. What are your favorite ways to disguise your cutting errors?

For more tips on what goes into a Family History Scrapbook, order my eBook Creating A Family History Scrapbook Digitally in Twelve Simple Steps.

04 August 2015

From the Readers: Keeping Watch Over Me

One of my readers sent a lovely story about the discovery of a photo that is now on the piano in her living room.
Growing up, I always knew that my family didn't know much about our family history.  My paternal grandfather died in his mid-30s, so he didn't have a chance to pass on his knowledge and memories to his children.  We weren't even sure which country he had emigrated from! 
I tried for many years to find information on that side of the family, but I didn't have much luck.  A couple years ago, I attended a family history conference with Devon, and during one of the workshops I learned how to make an account on the website Familysearch.org.  I entered the information I had, planning to go back later and update it as I learned new dates and names.  
A few months ago, I received a Facebook message from a woman in Utah who had looked at my family tree and had an entry for a relative whose information mostly matched that of my paternal grandfather's father.  After a short exchange, we were able to confirm that he was a common relative for both of us.  She is a cousin through that great-grandfather's first marriage, while I descended from his second marriage.  She was able to fill in a lot of background information about his adult life as a Finnish immigrant working in a Utah copper mine. Best of all, she scanned and emailed a couple photos to me.  
Great-Grandpa Watching Over Me
On the left, Great-Grandpa Matts. On the right is his son Grandpa Kurt. 
As I opened the attachment, I realized that I was the only living person in my branch of the family to ever see a photo of our great-grandfather.  Of course, I quickly remedied that by writing up a short biography, attaching the photos, and sending it to my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  They were so excited to learn about his life and see his face for the first time. After I learn some more facts about him and his wife, I plan to create a heritage scrapbook.  Some days I still can't believe that Great-grandpa Matts has gone from being a mysterious brick wall to keeping watch over my living room from his framed photo on the piano.
Family History on a Piano
The piano in Kara's home with a variety of family members watching over her!


Every time I read Kara's story of success, I tear up. If you haven't set up your free FamliySearch.org account, please go and to it today.

I love to hear success stories like these. If any thing you have read on A Patient Genealogist or in my books helped you be successful, please let me know. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Google Plus.

21st Century Family Historian
Order your copy today. 


Kara also found my book 21st Century Family Historian full of wonderful tips and strategies for doing family history. Get your copy today at Amazon.com.

03 August 2015

Brown Family History: Lewis Sherman Brown

Lewis and his older brother Harry Brown
about 1920
Lewis Sherman Brown, my maternal grandfather, was born on 18 Sep 1918 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio to Sherman Lewis Brown and Emma Virginia Townsend. His birth certificate says that he was the ninth child born to Sherman, 51, and Emma, 38. To date, the names and dates of only 5 of the 9 children are known.

Birt Certificate for Lewis Sherman Brown
Scan of Original Birth Certificate for No Name Brown

Actually, he didn't receive a name when he was born. Once a name was determined, the couple had to add an addendum to his birth certificate so he would stop being 'No Name' Brown.
Birt Certificate for Lewis Sherman Brown
Scan of original document, for Lewis Sherman Brown, name update for birth certificate

In 1920, the family with four boys were living at 1888 Parsons Avenue. Lewis is 1 1/2, and his brothers are Eugene - 21, Samuel - 17, and Harry – 3. The family has lived in this home for about 3 years. Sherman is the proprietor of S L BROWN & SON garage for the same amount of time. The 'son' is Eugene, and occasionally Samuel.

Sherman Brown 1920 US Census
Family Search, United States Census, 1920. Record for Sherman Brown

Over the next decade, Lewis' older brothers would marry and move out of the family home.

In 1930, Lewis, his brother Harry, and parents moved to 438 Reeb Avenue. The family business is now simply Brown Automotive as Eugene and Samuel are pursuing other interests or at other businesses. Harry and Lewis are attending school.

Sherman Lewis Brown 1930 Census Record

Sherman Lewis Brown 1930 Census Record
Family Search, United States Census, 1930. Record for Sherman Brown


The next decade, which happens to include the Great Depression time period, had additional changes for his family members. First, his father stopped being a mechanic and became an ice truck deliverer.

In 1934, his brother Eugene's wife died and he married the sister of his deceased wife. In Jan 1937, Lewis' brother Harry married. In June 1937, father Sherman died at the age of 70. His mother would live another six years before dying in 1943.

Lewis started his family when he married Louise Eleanor Long on 27 Feb 1940. He and his bride cared for his mother until her passing, three years later.

Lewis and Louise had three daughters before he died on his 60th birthday of 18 Sep 1978 in Columbus, Ohio. Lewis met all of the 5 grandchildren belong to his oldest two daughters before his death.


This story is part of a lengthier piece about my grandfather Lewis Brown, who I have scrapbooked before. With the help of RootsMagic to organize my facts and supporting documents, I was able to follow my own a recipe for writing family history. You can do the same!

Further Reading:

Measuring FamilyHistory: Participation Versus Output

Many organizations in the genealogy world want to engage more participation in the work for altruistic or financial reasons. There is nothing wrong with wanting to increase the number of people involved in family history. For many years, I have sought to inspire more participation regardless of how it personally benefits me. I know family history has brought me many blessings and comforts and I want to share this with others. Wanting more individuals engaged in capturing and preserving their family's story is valuable. The question then becomes how should this be measured?

Family History Editorial


As I started thinking about this, two camps seem to have little overlap when put into practice ... increasing participation versus increasing output. My mind then filled with a few related quotes that drive this issue.
"That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially." - Karl Pearson 
"When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates." - Thomas S. Monson 
Right after my mind caught hold of these quotes, another one slipped in.
"The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do." Jack Sparrow
What? The measurement quotes support the topic, but the words of a fictional pirate seem out of place and make no mention of measurement.

Maybe I stopped the quote too soon. CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow continues,
"For instance, you can accept that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can't. But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you'll have to square with that some day." 

This would make sense if I were talking about accepting that not every tree is full of honorable stories we love to share. There are scoundrels and scallywags as well.  Some good people did scandalous things. But, in pursuing the rest of the quote, I feel like I'm on a tangent. How does what Jack says relate to the measurement quotes and the topic of participation versus output?

FamilySearch has hosted several Worldwide indexing events including an indexing event in 2014, a Spanish Indexing Day, and an arbitration drive in May 2015 event with FamilySearch. Many Latter-Day Saints face indexing challenges from their wards and stake.

What do nearly all of these difficulties measure? Output. How many names did you arbitrate or index? The challenges rarely measure how many people participated in the event. If the ultimate goal was to index a bunch of names, then mission accomplished.  If the goal was to involve more people in indexing, well, there wasn't anything reporting that outcome.

If the goal was is to index a bunch of names, what tends to happen? In a group of 100 people issued a challenge, 1-5% do 90% of the work. 50% or more do nothing. Additionally, to meet the output goal, the projects that will produce the most number of names in the shortest amount of time are targeted. Projects that have fewer names or take longer to process are ignored. It would be interesting to see the mean and median number of names indexed by each person during these challenges, as well as the average and median difficulty level.  I suspect that you would find the median is far below the mean (meaning that a small percentage of people are doing the bulk of the work) and the difficulty level is low for both  (meaning that most everyone is trying to do the easy names).

Measuring the output increases production. Reporting the output in a short amount of time increased the production exponentially. However, these metrics can not measure the difficulty (and perhaps the value) of the names indexed and arbitrated. The index of a birth certificate or marriage certificate with names, spouses, parents, ages, and even dates surely would have more genealogical value than a typed passenger list that contains only a surname and first initial. That does not mean that the passenger list is useless, but by itself, it provides few relationship clues and only a single piece of event information (i.e. the person was alive at the time the vessel sailed). No birthdate, no marriage, no family ties. But an indexed passenger list will net the person 40 names in 10 minutes while a batch of birth certificates may only provide 15 names in 10 minutes. So it would appear that these challenges serve to get the least valuable records available first.

I would love to see challenges that give weight and importance to the records that are more difficult to index and arbitrate. I'd like to see challenges that ask folks to index the script rather than the typed items. The typed items are great, but typed documents are a recent invention in the history of record keeping. If we say not everything is online, we must also start saying not everything is typed.

I'd also like to see challenges that invite increased participation. Many hands make light work. And, increasing the number of people who participate may lead to more 'genealogy bug' biting moments. FamilySearch has several billion records with many millions more added each year (it's hard to tell since you really don't know how many "records" you have until you index them - some pages may have 0, others may have 20).  I have seen estimates that at the current rate these would take anywhere from 30 years to never to index. That sounds like we need a lot more indexers. FamilySearch is reporting about 100 - 125 million records indexed each year.

I have witnessed how exciting a challenge focused on increasing participation rather than output can be. Not surprisingly, the overall output was even higher than I expected if we just set an output goal.

Additionally, I like the challenges that focused on steady participation rather than big pushes and the burn out after. I like the idea of A Batch A Week. What would happen if a genealogical society decided to ask all members to index a batch a week? This would be the ultimate 'pay it back' activity for such a group who know the value of the harder to read projects. If all members indexed A Batch A Week for a membership year, then they can all do something super fun to celebrate!

What would happen if the family members who 'aren't into genealogy' committed to indexing A Batch A Week in honor of the family genealogist? Then family members could work on the projects that match their skill set. A family genealogist would ADORE the gift as they won't feel alone in the work. It's an intangible measure, but one strongly felt.

I know that many people issuing challenges and measuring the work are good people. I know that we all want more records to be available and searchable online. I do know that if we take a look at the participation versus output debate, perhaps a mixture of both will be a better overall benefit than focusing only on one aspect of the issue.


I'm still struggling to wrap my thoughts around this issue. I would love to discuss this topic and see things from a variety of angles. If you wish, feel free to post a comment below. You can also send me a message through my Facebook  page or Twitter account.