Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paperless Genealogy - Status Update

Even though I haven't been very active in the blogosphere lately, work HAS continued on the paperless journey.  Of course, I have had to remind my wife a couple of times that this is a marathon, not a race to the mailbox...  but overall things are going well.

A few key updates to mention:

1) (this is mostly for my wife if she stumbles across this blog :) My paperless journey started with genealogy because that's where the bulk of my papers come from. I do continue to have paper in and around my desk, but FAR less than before. Once we get the genealogy system ironed out, other things will fall in place.  For now though, I will still have some work papers floating around, a few emails I've printed off and of course, my most favoritest paper... bills.

2) I have had great progress on the genealogy front. In the past serveral weeks I have printed only 4 new papers, despite working on a new 30 page section on our family history for Christmas gifts.  In past years, when taking on a project like this, I type, print, edit the hardcopy, make changes, reprint, etc.  This year, I've taken a new approach.  Using One Note, I write a paragraph at a time in a "block."  I can easily treat each paragraph as it's own entity and move it around at will until it fits the story just right.  For a particularly difficult passage, I have found it helps to add a new page and look at that section on it's own without anything else distracting me.

3) (this is mostly for my wife if she stumbles across this blog :)  I'm still hoping for a FlipPal scanner for Christmas.  I see great progress in my future with the Flip Pal in my life.   Just Sayin'...

So, the obvious question on everyone's mind (everyone that cares, that is) is... "After annoncing to the world a little over 2 months ago that you were going paperless, is there any significant change?  Is it working?  Are you sticking to it?"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Birth Mother's Letter

In my last post, I mentioned how I was working on writing up a new "paper" to share with the family this holiday season, but I wasn't sure what to focus on. I finally decided I need to share the current state of my search for the birth families of my Great Grandmother, Frances Marion (WILLIAMS) KNOWLTON (DOW) MONTGOMERY.  So... yeah, I'm not quite sure the proper way to put that on paper.  She was born Frances WILLIAMS.  Adopted by a KNOWLTON family when she was about 2 years old. Later, she married Raymond A. DOW, but Raymond died before their only child was born (my grandmother) and then she remarried Floyd MONTGOMERY.  I don't really expect anyone to follow all of that. It's confusing enough for me sometimes, but it sets the stage for what could be a messy research project.

Frances was born in 1914 in New Jersey.  All the rest of my mother's family was from Maine... all the way back to 1790 and earlier, so in addition to the adoption, this is my first project where I've had to do some long distance research.  It's been a long road, and I think I may have found the right family, though I am still trying to get some supporting documentation.  What's made it more "fun-strating" (that's my name for something that is fun and uber frustrating at the same time) is that this whole time, I've been guided by a letter from my GGrandmother's mother, Louise HARDING to my GGrandmother written sometime around 1930.  For anyone that's researching adopted children's ancestry, this letter would seem like a gold mine, but until recently it has raised more questions than solved problems.

As I think about the Geneablogger's blogging prompt, Amanuensis Monday, and my most recent project to document what I've been able to find, it seems only fitting to share the context of this letter today ...