Monday, August 26, 2013

Tika & A Really Good Research Plan

Years, ago, EWGS (the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society) had Patricia Law Hatcher as our Spring Seminar speaker. She was fabulous in every way. I still have some of the notes I took that day.

Pat explained the difference between A Typical Researcher's Cycle and A Top Notch Researcher's Cycle.

It's really quite simple............. think of a circle divided into four equal parts. In a Typical Researcher's Cycle, 1/4 of the circle is allotted to Preparation,  1/2 of the circle to Research, and only the 1/4 remaining is devoted to Analysis & Writing.

In a Top Notch Researcher's Cycle the divisions are much different:  3/4 of the circle is allotted to Preparation & Analysis & Writing and only the 1/4 remaining is for Research.

Think about the difference. An "ordinary" researcher spends little time in preparation and little time in analysis and the writing up of the findings or the story but spends the majority of their genealogy time in research.  A top notch" researcher spends fully 3/4 of their time in preparation and analysis and writing and a scant 1/4 of the time in research.

I've thought about this and pondered upon Pat's words for many years now and the truth of her words have become clearer and clearer to me as time has passed. To be an effective genealogist, you cannot just spend time in research. You must be specific in your research and really study what you've found. And you really must write up your findings in a narrative. There is no better way to "lay all the cards on the table" so to speak and see if you have really found all the correct answers. I encourage you to follow Pat's direction.

She ended the day with us by sharing this quote: "Writing, then pondering what you wrote is the best preparation for research." 

Well, you know Tika by now. She listened, but was not really interested in all of this.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tika & A Test

Tika says it's been much, much too hot for much heavy-duty thinking so she suggested we give you all a test today. (That's Dachshund Logic for you.) It's an easy test.............. answers next week. But Tika and I would love to read your answers posted as comments! And this is from your Google help!

1.  How long was the 100 Years' War?

2.  What country makes Panama hats?

3.  Which animal do we get cat-gut from?

4.  In what month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5.  What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6.  The Canary Island in the Pacific are named for what animal?

7.  What was King George VI's first name?

8.  What color is a purple finch?

9.  What are Chinese gooseberries and where are they from?

10. What color is the "black box" on commercial airlines?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tika & A Family Puzzle

Have you even seen a family group like this one? Welcome to the Samuel Wells Metsker family of Douglas County, Kansas. I invite you to spot what's really unusual about this family and then to post your comment. Who among you will be the first with the sharpest eyes?

Samuel Wells Metsker was born in 1838 in Blair Co, PA, and died in 1907 in Douglas Co, KS. He was the son of Jacob Metsker and Elizabeth Christian. The couple married about 1861 in Kansas and had eleven children:

1.  Alonzo Byron Metsker, 1862-1921, m. Nellie Capps.
2.  Clara Delvina Metsker, b. 1863, m. Isaac Hershey.
3.  Emma Florence Metsker, 1864-1884.
4.  Granville Harrison Metsker, b. 1866, m. Effie Martin.
5.  Ida Jane Metsker, b. 1867, m. William Warner.
6.  Kellie Leota Metsker, 1869-1940, m. Albert Jefts.
7.  Minnie Nevada Metsker, b. 1871, m. Edwin Jay.
8.  Oma Pierre Metsker, 1873-1873.
9.  Quincy Roy Metsker, b. 1874.
10. Sonora Tolena Metsker, 1876-1946, never married.
11. Urban Victor Metsker, 1877-1864, never married.

(This comes from the Fall 1994 issue of the Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists Newsletter. Submitter was Dolores Baker of Wichita, Kansas.)

Now Tika does not really care about puzzles or brain-stumpers or unusual family groups.  She never has.... even when she was a tiny puppy.  But we do!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tika & Family Ties

Sandy from Florida came to visit us and gained Tika's love and trust right away. Why not, since she is family?

Sandy is the ex-wife of the son of my husband's father and his first wife. (Can you figure that out?) So she is biologically aunt-by-marriage to my children and we are same to her son. Since all of our children share Phillips' ancestry, that makes us cousins!

After Sandy's visit I got to thinking about Collateral Research or some might call it Descendancy Research.  Whatever you term it, looking for the relatives-of-the-relatives-of-the-relatives, etc. is a worthwhile pursuit. The goal of any search is to find answers and/or new information. The goal of connecting up with a distant, shirt-tail, relative is the same: to find answers and/or new information. But the best part of this sort of research is that you often find "stuff and things" that you would never find elsewhere.

For instance, since Sandy's son comes from Chuck Phillips' first wife, Sandy could tell me more details about her life.... things I did not know. Things I had not looked for since "it's not my line"..... hubby comes from the second wife.

Another connection I've made this month with the descendants of the first wife was to get pictures that I would never have seen otherwise. It's sad but true that most of us only take the time to really dig into our own pedigree line and too often ignore those collateral folks, even close ones.

"Shape up!" Tika reminds us. "Think how great it was to spend time with a distant cousin and think what you both learned!" Tika is one smart little dachshund dogger.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tika & Perspective

This time I was explaining to Tika. "Perspective is everything," I told her. "From where you are looking makes a huge difference on what you see." Tika wagged her tail appreciatively.

We were playing on the grass in the front yard when I realized this perspective bit. The top photo shows how the yard looks atop her four-inch legs. The lower photo shows it from my standing-up point of view. The biggest difference, as I see it, is how far you can see... you only and mostly see near and far but not much of the center or middle. 

Do we do genealogy this way? Look mostly or only at the "grass" right in front of us as the only and main thing we see or do we "stand up" and look at the big picture?? Looking at the "grass" means you're stumped on a problem and just don't see a solution. But if you would "stand up", enlarge your perspective, you would get a different and likely clearer view of your problem. Doesn't that make sense?

By this point Tika was wriggling on her back in the grass............ and from her upside-down perspective she was not seeing much of anything. "Ah, little Tika dog," I smiled.