Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cure for genealogy ADD?


I am writing today to admit that I have a full-blown case of genealogy attention deficit disorder. I do not mean to make fun of the actual disorder, but I can come up with no other way to accurately describe my research methods other than to say: Look, a squirrel!

Here is a typical day in the land of genealogy ADD:

Today I think I will conduct a search on the civil war service record of Philip Kuhn. Hmm, nothing on Footnote.com. Why doesn't Ohio have civil war service records on Footnote? While I'm here I better look for Isaac Riffe's service record. What unit was he in? (opens family tree to check) That's right 4th Missouri Infantry. Oh look (distracting ad catches eye)! New Revolutionary War records! I wonder if they have anything on James McGuire (opens family tree to check service dates). Maybe I should write a blog post on Ohio civil war records. Oh, but today isn't military Monday...

As you can see I have a lot of sweet ideas on any given day, but don't really get much accomplished. I could blame Sesame Street. I mean, I did grow up watching that show every day. A show which is designed to entertain short attention spans, but I believe that it helped me to keep the attention span of a four-year-old. Of course, it isn't fair to blame a TV show. I think it comes down to loving the hunt. I am on the constant hunt not for more ancestors to add to my tree, but more "meat." Meaning, I am always looking for stories, photos, etc. that will better highlight who these people were in their lifetimes. I am more interested in ensuring that the history of each individual is well-rounded, than finding a link to the Queen. Although, that would add some terrific history. It is this craving to fill in the blanks that drives me to genealogy ADD.

I'm not sure there is a cure. I have a research model in place, I even created a checklist to follow when researching someone, but I don't use it. The tools are only as good as the artist and this artist sees another squirrel.

11 comments:

Jill said...

From one ADD afflicted squirrel to another, I can only say that I sympathize with your dilemma! I'm exactly the same way.

I'll start out with the best of intentions, but keep getting distracted by little tidbits of information that wind up taking me down a completely different road than the one I originally meant to travel. I sometimes exasperate myself.

Like you, I have checklists and other research tools that are supposed to help me stay on track, but they only work if I actually use them.

Thanks for letting me know that I'm not alone!

Jill G.
(Genealogy Diaries)

by FamilySpecialist said...

I enjoyed this post so very much that I became a follower. I look forward to visiting your blog frequently. Great blog keep up the good work

Donna Hanson said...

Love it.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Jill, I know! So comforting to know we are not alone!
Family Specialist, thank you for your kind words.
Donna, Missouri is calling us. Perhaps that will focus my focus!

Angie Mood said...

Yep, and then there's Facaebook, "I'll just check over there for a few minutes while I ponder what to do next!" Great post, thanks for being transparent :) Angie Mood

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks, Angie. It's been two years since I realized my "issue" and still no cure. ;)

Cellista said...

I came here from Geneabloggers and laughed so hard at this post! Your typical day could be my typical day as well! I seem to keep reading lately that to be more effective, one should focus on one person or one family at a time, but I just can't do it! So many squirrels to chase! Thanks for the laugh.

Kristiana
http://goodwins.wordpress.com

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

I'm so glad you liked it Cellista! I did try to focus on one family line for a while, but it wasn't half as fun! I figure I'll keep my ADD...the squirrels make me laugh!

Marcie Garnett said...

Heather, just wanted to let you know I mentioned this post in my blog post today: http://geniemomsmusings.wordpress.com/

Marcie

Nancy Shively said...

Loved this post! Don't think you can blame Sesame Street though. I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo and I still have this problem! :)

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thank you so much, Nancy! Come to think of it, I watched Captain Kangaroo, too. Still haven't found a cure!