More Genealogy Tips Based on Renovation Musings

Closeup image of notepad with pen.

If you’ve been following my Genealogy At Heart blog, you know that hubby and I have been in the “middle” of major home remodeling which we began the day after Thanksgiving. When I say middle I really mean it – we’re half way done. Through this chaotic journey I’ve been able to apply quite a few lessons learned from the experience to genealogy which I wrote about a few weeks ago.

On Palm Sunday, our adult kids planned to come over and we were going to take a much needed respite from the renovations to attend a local art show. To plan that in, we worked hard the previous day as we hoped that the hardwood floors would FINALLY be installed in the upcoming week. For that to happen, we needed to finish prepping; we had some minor holes to fill in the concrete and to tile the entry stoop.

I’m a list person – I love to organize via writing and then cross out items when the task is complete. I’ve used technology but for this major project, reverted back to a paper and pencil method. It’s quite motivating to cross out the completed items! I do this with my genealogy, too. Using Excel, I have a spreadsheet that lists the Who (surname), What (I’m going to accomplish – research, transcribe, analyse, etc.) When (the date I place it on my list), Why (the goal, either short or long term) and How (I brainstorm where I’m going to find the info or what I need to complete the task). Some items have been on my list for a long time and others I can quickly accomplish.

Like genealogy, home maintenance doesn’t end. I don’t put “clean up my work space” on my genealogy to do list just like I wouldn’t place “mow the lawn” on my home renovation list.

Some items on my genealogy list may be much more difficult to accomplish than others. I’ve been trying to locate the parents of my second great grandmother, Mary “Polly” Dennis for years and don’t expect resolution tomorrow but who knows?! Records show up in the most unexpected places. Likewise, the hunt for a new door threshold (seriously – cannot find one anywhere that fits our front door!) has got to have a resolution quickly or my power bill will be astronomical. Although there are other important tasks to work on, finding that threshold has to take precedence. Which leads me to flexibility…

I’m not holding my breath that my floors will be installed this week. When I called to verify that the floors were in, I was told the order was partially filled. It’s been nearly a month since we ordered and the company cannot explain why the entire order isn’t ready. I wasn’t thrilled or surprised. Like in genealogy, expect the unexpected. If the company cannot provide the missing items we’re going to have to look elsewhere. Sure, it will take longer to finish but in the end, I sure will rejoice just like I do when I’ve found an elusive ancestor.

Because I’m paying as I go with the house renovation, my initial list only took us to the hardwood floor install. I knew I had the funds to get to that point AND the house would be livable again. So late Saturday after dinner, hubby and I went back to the list and I let him do the honors of crossing out all of his specifically assigned tasks that he accomplished that day. All that was left for him was to grout the newly installed entry tiles. It was time to make a new list for phase 2. Although I’m looking forward to the day my home renovations are through, my genealogy to do list will never end and that’s just fine with me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *