Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fresh Start vs. Writing Contest = Same Results

The new year is here and it is time for a fresh start. People have made resolutions to learn a new language, clean out their closets and get fit. Genealogists have made their resolutions as well. I have been reading posts about bloggers who are scanning photographs, organizing documents and taking classes to learn new skills. It all sounds ambitious and exciting.

I have been reading other blogs about a Genealogy Do Over. These bloggers are taking a fresh look at documents and other sources that they have already collected. I can see the value of this and it sounds very appealing.

Thus far I have resisted the urge to clean off my desk top and join my fellow bloggers. Why? I didn’t want to get side tracked from a goal I set for myself.

Each year The Connecticut Society of Genealogists has literary contests. I have wanted to
enter for some time. This is the year to do it. I am entering the “Tell Your Family Story” Essay Contest. This contest focuses on families in New England. My goal was to write about my great-great-grandparents, Patrick and MargaretBrady Coyle who left Co. Cavan, Ireland and settled in New Haven County, Connecticut. I have lots of documents related to them and their children and want to share their story with a larger audience to possibly meet ‘new’ cousins and learn even more.


Along with my ten page essay I had to send along copies of my documentation. Ironically, in doing this I had to do many of the same things my fellow genealogists are doing. I had to get out my original documents, look them over with a fresh eye to insure they contain the data I wanted; scan them and organize the scans. Even though I have not joined group to get a fresh start on my research I have the same result. 

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations for entering the “Tell Your Family Story” Essay Contest and Good Luck!!
    I got the same fresh start last year while writing about my paternal ancestors for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I'm listening in on the group but have no plans to do-over what I have. Clean up, yes, where needed! ~ Cathy

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. I did the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks last year. It was a great challenge.

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  2. Best of luck in the contest. My friend Mary won last year (see http://growingupinwillowcreek.blogspot.com/2014/05/noah-agard-of-litchfield-connecticut.html) and found the process of preparing and writing very rewarding.

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    1. Thanks, Marian. Even if I don't win I still come out ahead because I refreshed my out look on the family branch.

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  3. Good Luck with your essay, Colleen. I'm sure you'll do great. Hope you notice something new when you write it up again.

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    1. Thanks, Dara. I won't hear till spring so I will just move on to another branch of the family and see what I can uncover.

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