It’s not surprising that Thomas MacEntee’s proposed Genealogy Do-Over has been popular with hundreds of people, even before we get going. As we approach the start in the new year, he has posted some Golden Rules, both his own and those of blogger Alona Tester. I don’t disagree with either list; in fact, they are excellent reminders of how we should be thinking about this project, and our research generally.
So here are my own Golden Rules for the coming year and the many hours I see it taking to rebuild all of my family tree:
1. Go slowly and savour each discovery. I remember the thrill I have had in the past with each nugget of information I uncovered. I think there will be moments like that ahead of me and I want to appreciate them.
2. Fresh thinking requires a fresh mind. I need to get enough sleep and take enough walks in the woods to let my brain be creative. Sitting at the computer alone is not going to cut it.
3. People before things, living before dead. I use this mantra when I need to prioritize just about anything. The people in my life, in this project, and in the wider world, are more important than papers, certificates and even books. And the living people and pets around me deserve my time and attention every day. I need to keep a healthy balance between working the project and living my life.
That’s it! What’s next, Thomas?