30 September 2014

Overwhelmed? Let's Talk Priorities!

In Monday's post on feeling overwhelmed, my number #1 to help decrease that way of feeling overwhelmed was to prioritize.  Often when you are overwhelmed just figuring out where to start is difficult.  So I'm going to offer some suggestions - elaborate on just how to do the things I suggested. 

The first thing I suggested was to PRIORITIZE your life.   For me it wasn't that hard,  I already knew what my priorities were.  I just needed to see them again.  Remind MYSELF of what they were.  We get so caught up in just being alive that we sometimes let things get out of hand. 

So I sat down and made a list of just what matters to me.  Your list may change as things change in your life.  The list of a retiree will probably be different than that of a new mom or a mom with small children. 

I won't put my whole list up here but an example of my list would be:

  1. My family - includes husband, children & grandchildren
  2. Our home
  3. Genealogy
  4. Gardening
  5. Reading
As I said this is not my exact list but it gives you an idea of what I mean by prioritizing.   My family WILL ALWAYS come above all else.  Granted there are boundaries on that,  but we won't go into that here.  Last month when our daughter was injured in a car accident everything else went by the wayside while we stepped in to take care of her, the children and home that they share.  They were our priority.

Second on the list was OUR home.  No, OUR home is not all my responsibility, but I take great pride in taking care of our home.  I am a homebody, I love being here at home, surrounded by the photo's and things that make this house our home.  And I like it kept a certain way.  That's important to me.  So I make a window of time each day available for its upkeep.  I'm primarily an early bird so I'm up getting Mr Brown Eyes off to work.  While I'm up and he's headed out,  I plan dinner, toss in laundry, straighten up, make the bed and I'm done with housework and usually in my office by 8:30.  In the summer it might be later because I enjoy weeding and doing gardening when its cooler outside.

Third, fourth and fifth - the genealogy, gardening and reading really are flexible to me.  Alot depends on other factors.  If its going to be a beautiful day outside I might take my laptop and work on the patio, with breaks from typing to pull some weeds.  The only two items on that list that are locked in stone are #1 & #2.

It ALL boils down to PRIORITIES.  It really is that simple.  So what are your priorities?  Have you made your list?  What makes your list? 

29 September 2014

Overwhelmed? Here's Five Steps To Help!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of genealogy information being "thrown" at you these days?  A sense of being totally overwhelmed by the "information highway"?   It seems like everyday there is some new technology, something new to search, something new to try, a new website, a new genealogy Facebook page,  you want to look at them all but you've got kids to take care of, the laundry calls, someone has to make dinner and the list seems to just keep growing on both the personal and the genealogy sides?

I know how you feel!  It can be tough.  But I've learned some things so I thought I'd share them with you.  This is how I survive, can't swear it will work for you but some suggestions that might help.

  • Priorities  -  Sit down, step back and take a hard look at just what it is that is truly important to you.  Yes, I know you really want to find out who the parents of John Smith are.  We all do.  But the fact is, he's been dead for over 200 years.  He can wait.  Stop and take a good look at what really matters.  Then plan your time around those things.
  • Organize -  You would be amazed at how much easier life is when you organize your life.  Not just your genealogy but your day to day life as well.  I didn't say it was easy or that it would happen over night, but it can be done.  By having things organized, you can quickly get things done without spending half the time you wanted to use researching or doing household chores looking for things to help get the job done.  Make a place for everything and put everything in its place. 
  • Simplify - Again it really makes like easier if you learn to simplify things.  I enjoy cooking and baking as one of my "other" hobbies.  I sometimes see really great recipes with tons of ingredients and steps to making them.  Reading over the process I usually find a way to side step alot of the process and still get the same results.  There are alot of things that you can do to simplify things.  In genealogy, when doing some internet searches I search using ONE group sheet. Yep, just one family and search only for that family. No rabbit hole running.
  • Make Lists  -  Not just in your genealogy but in your daily life.  Sit down and make a list of the chores that you need to take care of.  Sometimes by multitasking & dividing you can shorten the time it takes to get the job done.  By making a list you can see what chores are the most time consuming and perhaps do one per day, combined with several smaller chores each day.  Everything gets done and you win with more time for doing the things you want to do instead of what you have to do. 
  • Learn to say NO -  Being a stay at home mom for all of our marriage meant that I was one of those who got asked to do EVERYTHING.  You know,  you are at home watching soaps and eating bon bons so of course you have time to be on every committee and do everything right?  I learned early on that if I accepted everything that I was asked to do I quickly had no time to do the things I needed/wanted to do at home.  So I stepped back, decided which things were the most important for me to do at school to support the activities I felt important and then adjusted my time to fit that in.  Everything else was "Sorry, I'd love to help but I'm already volunteering on several other projects."  
In the long run, it really boils down to one thing.  PRIORITIES.  What really matters to you?   We all love our genealogy.  It's addictive, it's challenging and I could go on and on.  But the fact of the matter is very few of us are "Islands".  We have people we live with, people who depend on us for other things.  And as much as we'd love to research 24/7 it really isn't possible.  At least not for me.  So take a few minutes, step back and take good hard look at your life.  Decide what things matter and then take it from there!  You'll be much happier and so will those around you!  

26 September 2014

Like Father Like Son

Academy Cemetery, Jefferson, Jackson County, Georgia

The Jackson Herald,  October 26, 1894 
 Andrew Ansley  
    Little Andrew Ansley, step-son of Mr. R. L. Dean, who lives about three miles above town, died of dropsy on last Sunday and was buried at the Academy burial grounds Monday.

The first time I knew that my ancestor William Ansley had a brother, Andrew, was the 1880 census for Jackson County, Georgia.  I had been searching for William for some time but until now had not been successful in locating him.  In fact I wasn't even sure it was him for quite some time. 

The 1880 Federal census shows the family as - Ansley, Mary, a white female, age 22, keeps house, can't read or write.  She was born in Georgia as were both her parents.  Ansley, William, white male age 3, son, single, born in Georgia and Ansley, Andrew, white male age 1, son, single, born in Georgia.  

Mary E. aka Marietta Waddel had married Joseph Ansley 17 NOV 1875 in Jefferson, Jackson County, Georgia.  
However, the newspaper clipping is the ONLY time, besides the marriage record that Joseph & Marietta are EVER together.  He appears on NOTHING, no census, no land records no NOTHING.

When Joseph disappears, sometime between 1879 & 1882, I figured I still had Mary, William & Andrew.  With no census for 1890, I couldn't track the little family during that window of time.  The 1900 census comes and Marietta/Mary has remarried and has been busy having babies with the new husband. William is living next door to his mom & her new family.  Only Andrew is NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!   First thing comes to mind is that possibly he is with Joseph, his father.  For years I search to no avail. 

Then one day Mr. Brown Eyes types Andrew Ansley into a search engine and up  pops the clipping on Andrew.  Telling of his death from dropsy, his burial.  Different circumstances, but still alot like his dad.  We know so much but we know so little.  Andrew's little snippet from the paper tells us he died of dropsy, that he was the step son, no mention of Joseph at all.  He rests in an unmarked grave in the cemetery pictured above.  Perhaps that too is like his father, perhaps Joseph rests somewhere in an unmarked grave?  We may never know.