What Have I Been Up To

Since I have not been blogging here lately, I thought I would take some time to explain what I have been up to in the past few weeks. Hoping that all of my readers will understand why I have been very quiet here and on my Finding Our Ancestors Facebook page.

To start off with, I have started a new project with my closest genealogy friends; Stephanie Fishman (also my genea buddy) and Jen Holik. In the past month, we have been spending most of our free time over at The In-Depth Genealogist. Which started a digi mag for all genealogists. It now is a digi-mag with its own website, facebook page and twitter account. This idea came to us one day and has been growing very fast. We are ever thankful to all of our friends, family and genealogy community for helping us grow so quickly. We have many great things planned for IDG and hope that you will follow us on this journey.

I am also three and a half months into the 18 month ProGen15 course. Last month, we had to create a research plan for our research. I chose to do mine on my German, Jonas line. I have spent so much time this past year researching this family, it only seemed fitting to create a research plan on the family. As an FYI, I had many small research plans on this family already created, I have many questions that I am trying to answer and to do this, I knew I needed to narrow the information down and focus. But, to put something together that my peers would be critiquing scared the crap out of me. I guess it is like a big case of stage freight. Would they think I had no clue what I was doing? Would they think I did not belong amongst them? These are the crazy questions that went through my head as I put this assignment off. But, on the very last day, I pulled myself together (thanks to the insistance of my genea buddy, Stephanie) and got to work. What I came up with was crazy, since I waited so long to do this! I spent three hours, pulling information from each source and creating a research plan, in the form of a timeline. By doing this, I was able to see that I had some conflicting information and would need to search for more primary sources to find the truth to the conflicting information. Mind you, none of the conflicting information had to do with what I was searching for. My research plan is to help me find the parents of Wilhelm / William Jonas. With this timeline, I added dates of that were given in each source and what it told me about Wilhelm / William. Then, I went back and sourced everything I could. The sourcing is what took most of my time on this assignment, which I am glad I did. Otherwise, I probably would have overlooked the conflicting information and where that information came from. Click the following link to view my research plan, research-plan-terri-oconnell. By the way, I worried about nothing. I got great feedback from my peers!

I also just finished reading Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. All I can say is if you have not read it. Please, put it on your to do list. It was definitely worth it!

Also, I have been watching all of the great genealogy tv shows currently airing, Who Do You Think You Are? which airs Friday’s at 7pm CST on NBC and Finding Your Roots which airs on Sunday at 7pm on PBS. I absolutely love genealogy on tv. I have just put a request in to hold African American Lives so that I can watch Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s older shows that I missed when they first aired. Hope to go and pick it up today.

Watching any of these shows, I watch for some sort of glimpse into the past of my ancestors, be it the same period of time, same place or, if I am lucky enough a common ancestor (so far nothing on my direct line, but maybe a hit on the hubby’s). Please support genealogy on tv, we need to keep the ratings up so that it gets renewed for another season. WDYTYA? will be digging deep into the southern roots of Paula Deen next week. Personally, I cannot wait! Paula reminds me so much of my Grandma Richmond (last face it, its the southern drawl). I will definitely be in front of the tv for this episode.



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  1. Very excited about IDG. Great to meet you at NGS (you forgot to mention that) and I’m going to click over and read about your research plan right now.

    1. Thanks, Kim! Have to laugh, I was not at NGS. But, we did meet at Jamboree last year, I roomed with Elyse.

  2. Terri,
    I like your research plan and how it draws all your information and what you want to follow up on in one place. A more organized approach to research has to yield better results!
    You’ve made me a believer! LOL
    Thanks for sharing your info! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Cindy! This truly was my first in-depth research plan. Now is the hard part, I have to start working it!

  3. Just started reading Hey America Your Roots Are Showing last night! I’ve been anxious to read it and now after reading your comments I’m even more anxious to get into it.

    We (ProGen 14) Did our research plans a couple of months ago. It was a lot of hard work but a great exercise. I’m going to check out your research plan now!

    1. Michelle, truly loved the book! Megan is a very giving person with all the work she does!
      The research plan was a great exercise and really made me look at things again (for probably the third time). Each time, I learn something more. So I definitely going to try and put together for any of my big research problems.

  4. Wow! you have been busy! Thanks for sharing what you’ve been up to; I need a big nudge to get moving on my own genealogy project and it helps to hear what folks are doing. Good luck.

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