Thursday, July 26, 2012

Keeping Things Simple

There seems to be a great deal of commotion about what is needed to actually do genealogy.  What computer program, what computer software...what latest program, what type of laptop, i-phone, and all the gadgets...what's the cost, and what's the start-up time...all seem to be part of the present day equation for "doing genealogy".   Well, keeping things simple has been one of my approaches.

To do genealogy is to "think", and to "thank".  Who am I, and where did I come from usually, starts things off.  Who were those before me who left their mark upon my flesh and bones.  That random combination of Y and X chromosomes that survived down through the ages helped form me.  A "thank you" to those folks who came before and lead the way, with a name added, is one factor to keep the generations connected.

For me, doing genealogy is as simple as a three ring notebook, blank paper, and a pencil.  Nothing fancy, just functional to provide a record of my tree climbing.  The picture shows some of my notebooks.  One inch, to 1/2 inch, to heavy duty, to any thing that will hold my hunt.  Easy to store, easy to find, and easy to use.  Nothing to plug into except my brain.  Keeping things simple...a goal of genealogy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Keeping Things Straight

Stacks and stacks of papers, family trees, research information, documents, records...on, and on it goes.   After so many years things seem to pile up, and you begin to spend more time looking for that information than obtaining new information.   Keeping things straight or organized will help.

I have started a new blog titled: The Jones Genealogist Research Notebooks.  This has been my method to help me keep things straight.  After 50 years of tree climbing, there are a few things I would like to be able to find, and use, if needed connecting loose ends, or getting around the next brick wall.  This has been a series of notebooks organized by topic/subject.   They are grouped generally by subject and numbered in sequence.  I have also developed a list, by number and subject title, so that I can look something up if needed.

The notebook's # and subject are given in the blog. A general content is given.   I hope to be able to list the content of all my notebooks, and give the genealogy world the record of my research now some 52 years.  The notebooks are physically stored at the Joseph Wheeler Jones Memorial Library, Danville, KY.   They are available to the researcher if any subject or topic would seem of assistance.  Please let me know ahead if you would plan a visit.  Keeping things straight...what a deal.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Digging Roots

Placing your surname into its language origins will often provide additional insight into your family tree.  Language has a way of explaining the roots of words, and the derivation of their meanings.   Many surnames take their meaning from trades, crafts, or activities that were first the way of life for the family.  The surname "Smith" for instance derives from the labor of the hammer and anvil.  The Saxon word "smytt"(1) means "strikes" which would certainly be the main activity of those pounding the iron.

The figure to the right shows the language derivation for my surname Jones.  It took a number of years to put all this language stuff together, but it has a history all to itself.  From Hebrew to modern English.  Who would have thought.

Digging roots can be fun.

(1) Corson, H., Hand-Book of Anglo-Saxon, Henry Holt & Co., 1873, p.447.