Short Term Memory


So, I’ve discovered in my two decades plus of delving into various family histories, that sometimes its best to have a short assignment than a long one.

Meaning, my aging brain does much better remembering all of the “aha” moments, and why they were aha moments, when I am only spending a finite period of time with a particular family line.

Like many genealogists (or so I assume), I fell into this vocation by way of my own family research, which is a never ending journey that is constantly being updated in both the past and the present.

I relocated to Australia a few years ago and am still gathering all of my bits and pieces of info after travelling for my other gig full time for 5 years.  What does that mean for me?

  • 4 computers;
  • several upgrades to family tree software;
  • piles of printed records and handwritten notes, letters and interviews
  • numerous thumb drives and external hard drives

I’m sure you get the picture.  Some of these materials are still in the US, waiting for a shipping date to come to Oz.

Once I got settled here in the land Down Under, I began to try to reacquaint myself with everything I at least had to hand, which is plenty to get on with to start.  I realized that there were several crucial bits of information that I knew I had corroborated with proper sources but now those sources were in various places, heck, various countries.  Add to that the downside to getting the newer, better software…which is that media items NEVER import properly.  Not all of them.  And the ones that didn’t never tell you until you realize they haven’t shown up for roll call.

I’ve decided to re-evaluate how much I depend on my digital aids to tell me what I have.  There are obituaries with bits of information that didn’t resonate for me when I first found them way back in 1995, but now, after further research (often in other directions), a new aha moment is just waiting for me.

Waiting for me to remember I have that document to begin with.

Not so when I have an engagement for a client.  We set an established timeline, with specific goals and limitations.  No one has a bottomless pocket, so it is finite.  Because of these very parameters, I almost feel as if I can remember EVERYTHING.  Every minute fact, and reference, and impact.

So, guess I’ll be spending some time re-acquainting myself with all my documents and sources.  I’m kind of excited – I have a feeling there are all sorts of new nuggets out there, that will finally fit in the puzzle.  They’ve just been waiting for me to come back and visit.

4 Comments on “Short Term Memory

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