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Summer Goals Update

A few friends contacted me to check-in on the status of the blog since they had not received any updates in their Google feeder from kinsman of mine. I have to admit it’s been too long since my last post.   I apologize for the recent inactivity with the blog and thank you for your interest and support.  Over the past few weeks I’ve worked on a number of projects, including meeting my summer genealogy goals, that kept me incredibly busy.  Alas, summer is over and it’s time to review my goals and how many were met.  Let’s see how I did…

1. Scan 500 photos – INCOMPLETE.  I only managed to scan 145 photos.  I realize that my attempt to properly scan 500 photos in a matter of weeks was advantageous to say the least.  Meeting this goal was difficult because I live in Brooklyn and our family photos are dispersed amongst several households in Baltimore.  Despite spending nearly a week in Baltimore this summer, I had to decide whether to devote the week to scanning photos of relatives or actually spending time with them.  Obviously, I decided to spend time with my family and do as much scanning as I could when they weren’t around.

2. Reading 3 of 4 books – INCOMPLETE.   I managed to complete two books on my list: Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball and Crossing the Boulevard by Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan.  Both of these books included interviews in which individuals shared their personal experiences which often reflected larger social-political controversy and conflict. This was particularly helpful in considering how I might work with relatives to document their stories.

3. Conduct 5 Interviews – COMPLETE!  Conducting and experimenting with interview formats was a major goal because it will bring focus to my family history research.  Since, I’m still a novice at studying family history I plan to follow a trajectory that begins with my parents and moves back from one generation to the next.  Although I never plan to stop collecting information from living family members I believe documenting their lives will enable me to gather more information about their immediate ancestors and so forth.

I managed to interview relatives using a number of methods including audio recording, note-taking, and a form I created to capture basic biographical information.  Interviewing my mother, maternal aunt, paternal first cousin, paternal aunt and paternal grandmother let me to make some interesting discoveries not only about the these individuals but other relatives who have passed away. I look forward to sharing a few of there stories in later posts.

4. Create a plan for purchasing recording equipment – COMPLETE! Thanks to a few friends and the sales associates at B&H I found video and sound equipment that I hope to purchase before the winter holidays.

Despite not meeting all of my summer goals, I’m proud of what I accomplished! The books, interviews, photos and even window shopping helped me to flesh out some of the priorities in researching and documenting the lives of my family members.

Also, I’d like to thank everyone who supported my efforts this summer! I truly appreciate your help and encouragement.

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