Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Pre-ambling

I have added a number of blogs, recently, to chronicle my recent Family History Trip I took in August of 2008. The trip was from Arizona through Colorado and Nebraska with the goal of finding my family roots, specifically on my mothers side.

Plans were drawn up and this time, I tried to be very detailed, allowing for limited flexibility and marginality. The trip was planed to be a 9 day adventure into the plains of Colorado and Nebraska, searching in dusty back rooms for old legal land descriptions and driving across country to places my relatives lived over 130+ years ago.

I used a nice tool to chronicle the trip stops and have embedded the links here googlemaps. Each blue tack is a significant place that we stopped and is also an active link in and of itself.

View Larger Map

Pre trip readiness/Background/Preview
As has been the case in past trips, this was packed full of items that would need 20 days to complete and as typical, the days preceding the trip were also a bit challenging with a business trip to Taiwan the week before. Therefore, much of the preparation was limited to what was done a month earlier.

I expected that this would be a fun trip entangled with details and more details of what/where to go, but due to the schedule prior to departing, I didn't get a chance to print out all my detailed documents, in their usual organized format, of WHAT we needed to do... so I went "old school" and used a "pen and paper" (very messy technology and hard to erase). I managed to jot down my KEY OBJECTIVES of the trip and in enough detail as to understand them all. This ancient technology was a valuable aid, and thus allowed me to focus on another important task - navigating with your retired parents! This type of stuff is actually the FUN part of genealogy research, but it gets a bit monotonous. Find location, read hundreds of mostly dry and old records, document what you found, and go to the next location, and repeat a few hundred times.

I have managed to come up with a fairly efficient process where the data is collected quick and easily, then cataloged, organized, declassified, and eventually summarized, AFTER the event. The method is to take lots of pictures with a digital camera. This can be amazingly fast and effective, especially when you don't have a copy machine OR the books are too large to make copies, OR as I found in one stop this trip, they won't let you make copies due to the effect of the light and interaction with ink.

In this trip alone, Dad and I collectively took nearly 2500 high res jpeg pictures, recorded 5 mpeg videos, and 14 digital audio recordings. The total digital information storage space was over 3.6 gigabytes!

To see how this trip went, be sure to read the next blog - DAY 1.

No comments: