Data Clean-Places: Finally Getting Organized


Data Cleaning your family tree program is a must to keep yourself organized. If you do a monthly data clean on your tree, it will help reduce duplication as you proceed. It will also pace your clean up of your older tree, as you work forward. I know that my, FTM2014 and Legacy, still have clean up needs from when I first started putting information into them. I was overwhelmed with the repairs that were needed. Pacing myself makes it manageable. Choosing one type of Data clean at a time.

Doing the first five generations with last years Genealogy Challenge from DearMyrtle’s and Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over/Go-Over, helped me learn the importance of starting from my root person, me, and working with my known family members first, moving on to lesser known families members gave me the confidence to pace myself. I will always find new information on my ancestors. I will add that information, to the best of my abilities, into my research excel to-do list with proper citation, links and notes, so that when the time comes to add them to my family tree program of choice, it will be the most accurate. Doing the monthly Data Clean, reminds me of the importance of recording correctly in my To-Do list. It will also limit the number of tree in my database. I should not be adding people to my database until I know their family relationship. I will have the information at my fingertips when needed.

Dear Myrtle may not have mentioned this in her getting organized blog, YET, I’m sure she will for whatever family tree program you have. I have down it for my other two programs; FTM2014 and Legacy. I just uploaded my “My Heritage” family tree GEDCOM to my Roots Magic tree. I have been working on this tree, so I felt confident it was fairly accurate in its files.  When I did the Data Clean overview, as per the webinar instructions, I found my Place names were not that bad. A good place to start.

However, missing information Data clean will be a challenge that will take several days, if not weeks or years to resolve.  Many are unknown surnames for the wife, date of birth, date of death and/or marriage/divorce. I knew my distant generations were missing information, but 23 pages of missing information surprised me. What also surprised me was that I have 46 trees in my database. I thought I only had one tree. When I saw 46 I was in shock. Then I thought about it. I have several people I found that I believe are related but was not sure how. Each person is not linked in my tree, but are in my database. It make sense why I have 43 trees, most with 1 – 5 people (a family.)

Data Clean-Places: Finally Getting Organized

Places Data Clean
Places Data Clean

I decided while waiting for RootsTech 2016 to restart the afternoon Live streaming I would check my RootsMagic program place names for errors.

I watch the Cleaning Your Family Tree in RootsMagic webinar #7 previously. I started with the Data Clean drop down menu under tools. I had 53 Place problems. [Sorry no photo.] I corrected the places; mostly were missing United States, had an extra punctuation marks, and the Street Address was not in the description.  I did have a few with duplicate county entries (Hillsborough and Merrimack Counties for the same location.) I noted the time period for that record added the current county it is listed by and placed the Historical/Parent County in the description box. I pressed clean places, closed out when it was done and finally re-did the Data Clean search for places. I did a, Happy Dance, when the screen popped up without problems.

Source citations:

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.


#Wk5GenealogyDoOverBlog: Building a Research Toolbox

Genealogy Toolbox additions
Genealogy Toolbox additions

Week five of my Genealogy Do-Over was a slow one for me. Life decided to invade on my research time. That is okay. Thomas MacEntee reminds us that the do-over is to proceed at our own pace.

I have continued to add to my Genealogy Toolkit, both, online and with books. The photo above shows some of the new tools I have added. I’m excited to utilize the Google Earth to create video tours of where my ancestors lived. I know the younger children in the family will enjoy learning this way.

My IPad will be more efficient when I return to my research trips around the state. I will be link with my home computer and not have to take time to upload the information a second time.

Applied Genealogy book is not a new tool. It is a reminder to me to not forget what books I already have available on my bookshelf. Town Histories, history books in general and some published genealogies will aid in creating a full picture of my ancestors lives.

My online research is growing daily. I add website links to my new Excel research log.

The research log is still a challenge for me. I am learning how to add a column, add a line along with keeping track where I have researched the time, date and transcriptions. It is a slow process. I am improving with each use of the log.

I have been using the research log to do list to keep track of those BSO’s (Bright Shinny Objects) that keep tempting me. I add the link or a note to the “TO Do List” keeping myself on track.

Citations this week for me includes taking my handwritten source cards, from my previous research, entering them into the computer with the proper format. Yes, we are to put previous research aside. I feel by the sources are still valid for future inclusion of my ancestors.

I have completed (this will be ongoing as I find more information) my own basic profile with proper citation of birth, marriage, nursing licenses, residences and photographs. All cited and named properly in my database Research log.

I will leave my research on the log until it is time to add them to the Genealogy program I will use. I currently use FTM2014. I have Legacy 8.0. I haven’t decided which I will use for my final option or if I will enter them into both.


Here are my 5 W’s and How

Who: Me, June Lee Stearns Butka and my ancestors

What: My life in review

Where is: Find the supporting documents

Where in: Cite the location of those documents

When: Past and current residences, occupations, life happenings

Why: For future generations and to document my life and my ancestors

How: Slowly, carefully, citing, documenting each step of my ancestral journey


My plan:

  1. Continue improving my skills
  2. Follow the GPS Standards (Genealogy Proof Standard)
  3. Update research goals as needed
  4. Prepare for family interviews
  5. Continue scanning records and photos
  6. Track all my research
  7. Conduct my research one person at a time
  8. Continue to build my Genealogy Toolbox
  9. Properly cite my sources


A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community
A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community


#Wk4GeneanolgyDoOverBlog: Managing Projects and Tasks, Tracking Searches



A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community
A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community


Week #4 Goals:

  1. Managing Projects and tasks
  2. Tracking Searches

You will see how I manage my time and projects as I review and update you on each week’s goals for the Do-Over.

Let’s start with an update of my Do-Over:

Week #1 went along easily enough setting aside previous research, preparing to research and establishing base practices and guidelines. It is an ongoing project.

I set aside an hour each day for paper filing. Once I have all my files where they should be, one hour will keep me up to date and on target. I was feeling overwhelmed at the amount of research that had not been filed, so I decided to dole it out into manageable size. It still allows me time to do my research, homework, spend time with family and friends, with maybe a little time for housework, if I so desire to spend my time that.

Anyone who is a genealogist or family historian must know that housework is always at the bottom of the list unless it is related to feeding, clean clothes and walking the dog, right?

My digital files are also an ongoing project with the new naming system. I decided as I need the file for my research- it will be renamed in a modified version of Diana Ritchie’s naming system. (STEARNS June b19XX birth certificate, STEARNS June B19XX marriage certificate, and so on.) It not only places all my records related to each person together, I can quickly see what file I haven’t added yet.  An easy way to track progress at a glance.

Preparation for research is always on going. I will make every effort not to follow BSO’s (Bright shinny objects.) When I find something in my reading or even on Facebook post, it is added to my ever growing “To Do List.”

I WILL NOT research when I am rushed, distractible or fatigued. This only leads to errors.

I WILL slow down in my research making sure I capture all the document, story, or photo has to offer.

I WILL learn new methods of tracking my research, new places to research and new tools will be added to my Genealogy Toolbox.

In regards to best practices I will continue to tweak and improve them.


I WILL follow my research plan:

  1. Find the person; write what I know; write I hypothesis I want to prove; identify the sources and my research strategy. Answer my Who, What, Where is, Where in, When, Why and How questions.
  2. Keeping in mind the GPS standards: a reasonably exhaustive search; complete and accurate citations of sources; analysis and correlate collected evidence; resolve any conflicting evidence and write a reasonable, coherent written conclusion.
  3. Follow the Thomas MacEntee’s 10 Golden rules of Genealogy: remember there is no easy button; research from a place of “I don’t know;” track my work and cite my sources; ask for help; I will start my research-no blank pages; think like my ancestor; share my information (I don’t own my ancestor); be nice-play well with others; remember to divide your information into required, important and optional.

The hardest one so far is sorting information into categories. I’m greedy. I want it all. I need to remember the purpose of why I am researching, that way I can add the facts but keep the “fluff” for later. The fluff is important when telling your family stories. It give your ancestor personality but it can distract you from your research. Document it, source it so you can go back later, add it to the “To do list” for later.


Week #2 Goals:

Setting my Research Goals were part of my preparation I mentioned in week one.

I conducted my self-interview.

See for my goals and my self-interview obituary.

Family interviews will be conducted when weather permits. I did send out a worksheet of questions that I will ask for them. Hopefully they will find photos and documents to back them up with. I have my portable scanner, IPad and worksheet with a written interview release form all set up in a packet for each family member I will interview.


Week #3 Goals:

Tracking research- I attended Thomas MacEntee’s Boot Camp on using an excel worksheet and citing our sources. In becoming proficient in the use of the Excel worksheet, I have watch the video multiple times. I also watch Dear Myrtle Wacky Wednesday Excel Worksheets video #1, #2 and #3.

Last week, I posted that learning the worksheet was easier using ourselves for importing the information. I hit a little roadblock when I tried to advance my learning but adding to the spreadsheet my own section. I froze myself out of my worksheet. I had to start again. Entering the information into the second worksheet did go faster, but I still not sure how comfortable I am with excel spreadsheets.

I will continue to use the spreadsheet and research log spreadsheet through the thirteen week Genealogy Do-Over. If by the end of that time I am not comfortable with them I will return do my word document type of documenting my research. The goal is to make research easy, cite all source, track your progress, follow GPS standards, answer the 5 W’s and how questions, follow your research plan and share with others.

Bottom line is what makes you most comfortable in adhering to them is the best plan for you. I have noticed that I did cite my sources, tracked my progress, and followed the GPS standards prior to the Do-Over. Yes, my citation are improving. I have slowed down in my research but I think it is more because of the learning curve than to not taking time to mine the records for all data.  I was documenting everything I saw on a document or in a photograph prior to the Do-over, just in a different manner.

Conducting research- I am learning new website and resources as to where to find my ancestors. Everyday there is something new to learn. I will grab every bit of information that people are willing to share. I will also share what I have learned with others.

I have mainly been researching my immediate family records. I have found little tidbits of memorabilia that have yields past residences, birth, marriage, death dates and brought back floods of images and memories I had forgotten about. Items found-recorded-sourced and tracked properly for future use by others.

Week #4 Goals: Managing projects and tasks; Tracking searches

Managing projects and tasks- I watched Thomas MacEntee’s video on project management. I have put his method of managing on my “to do list.” I am having enough of a struggle with the spreadsheets now without adding another one into the mix.

That doesn’t mean I am not tracking my project and tasks. I am scheduling a certain portion of each day and some times a day of the week for each task on my list.

Daily task include: upon waking take scheduled medication/vitamins, check bank accounts and e-mails for 30 minutes, check Facebook for 15 minutes,(Facebook and e-mails get checked again at lunch time and dinner time), take Ninja Buddy (my Italian Greyhound) out for a walk, feed us, take next round of medicine/vitamins, 15-30 minutes filing, repeat- meals, walk the dog throughout the day, before settling in for the night final e-mail and Facebook check, walk the dog, snuggle in for the night.

Sunday: Scanning documents and photo day-at least 1 hour at some point during the day (sometimes 3pm EST with Facebook group when home), Family and friends day.

Monday: clean the Bathroom, watch Monday’s with Myrt, plan research goals and task for the week. Work 1-4 hours on research of my husband’s line, read any homework chapters of current classes or Do-Over (1-2 hours,)

Tuesday: clean kitchen, research on my mother’s line 1-4 hours, read or watch video/webinars as needed for research/education goals, CARD NIGHT with the ladies (usually finish around midnight) I’m glad it is where I live so I don’t have to travel that late at night alone.

Wednesday: Laundry day while watching Legacy Family Tree Webinar at 2 PM EST, currently also watching Beginning Genealogy with Dear Myrtle at 12 Noon EST and Dear Myrtle’s Wacky Wednesday at 9 PM EST, Research 1-2 hours either side.

Thursday: clean bedroom, research Dad’s line 1-4 hours, grocery shopping, relaxing from the long days of Tuesday and Wednesday, and maybe starting my Blog post for this week.

Friday: prepare weekly meals in individual servings and freezing them for later use, this is my open research day depending on how I feel, what needs to be followed up on from the week’s previous research, CARD NIGHT with the ladies. Post my weekly Blog post.

Saturday: family day, open research day, or whatever I feel like day, Watch Genealogy Game night with Dear Myrtle 9 PM EST if awake and home.

Once warm weather returns and the roads are passable I will add research trips to my schedule during the week. Most of our local historical societies are closed during the winter months.

Tracking searches is an ongoing process. Currently using a handwritten log book and word document for the person I am researching. I have a word document for each person or subject I research. I’m starting to add them to the excel spreadsheet along with my other research. SLOW learning curve with the Excel spreadsheet continues.


Reading material for Blizzard Juno
Reading material for Blizzard Juno

This week we had a visitors on the East Coast call Blizzard Juno. Where I lived we were lucky not to lose power. I was prepared with emergency food, water and reading material by flashlight or battery operated lanterns. Our snow total in Merrimack, Hillsborough county, New Hampshire in the historic Reeds Ferry district was 22 inches of light, fluffy, crystalline snow. Easy to sweep and shovel as needed for Ninja Buddy’s walk.  I posted updates on my Facebook Pages June Stearns Butka and Where in the State is Mom.


Blizzard Juno visits
Blizzard Juno visits

#Wk3GenealogyDoOverBlog: Out with the Old – In with the New

A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community
A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community



I wanted to show the way I once researched. I have posted the index cards of a self-interview from 2001 (some sections removed for privacy reasons,) an index card of my “to do” list, various Bibliography cards and a family data sheet. I still use family data sheets for family interviews. Slowly progressing to digital for all my research now.

My 2001 self interview card Front and back

2001 self interview card page 1
2001 self interview card page 1
2001 self interview card page 2
2001 self interview card page 2


My Research log index card

Research To Do List
Research To Do List


My Bibliography index cards (you can see the difference of documenting over the years)

Bibliography card
Bibliography card
Misc Stearns research Bib card
Misc Stearns research Bib card
The Haverhill Emersons Vol II Bib card
The Haverhill Emersons Vol II Bib card


My Family Data Sheet ( I will still use this for family interview intake)

Isaac Stearns Family Data Sheet
Isaac Stearns Family Data Sheet


Bye! Bye, old friends.  I’m getting ready for my new computerized version of you. Improved citations! Improved resourcing! Improved Tracking! Her I come.

This brings back the old Girl Scout song: Make New Friends

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

See complete lyrics that were submitted by Sue Lynch   at the Girl Scout Song Book

#Wk2GenealogyDoOverBlog: Self Obituary Interview

A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community
A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community


Genealogy Do-Over Week # 2 Self-Interview or sorts

I know what I wrote is presumptuous. It’s how I roll.


  1. What do I want people to learn about me?

I want people to know that I’m a lover of life, a survivor, but more than just a survivor, I grasp the positive side of life. I am a person who sees the glass half full not half empty. Family always comes first.

If I had to write my own obituary it would go something like this:

The Silent Reaper spread his wings over our community of Merrimack, New Hampshire, last night and took to his home above our beloved neighbor and friend, June Lee Stearns Butka. Mrs. Butka, although strong in mind, she was weak in body for a great many of years, suffering from multiple other health issues, including breast cancer, succumbed to her final sleep at the Lord’s side. June was born 23 August 1954 New London, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, the daughter of Nelson William Stearns and Shirley Beatrice Pease, who are waiting to greet her on her final journey home. Her brother William Nelson Stearns will also greet her at her parent’s side. She is survived by her husband, Michael Daniel Butka of Merrimack, New Hampshire; daughter Tyna Butka; her significant other Josh  of, Massachusetts; her son Michael  Butka, his wife Jennifer Butka and her grandson Blake Butka of Wisconsin; her sisters Vickie of , New Hampshire; Marjorie of  New Hampshire; Eleanor of Oklahoma; Susan  of New Hampshire and brother Nelson  Stearns of  New Hampshire.  She is also survived by 14 nieces and nephews, 7 1/2 grand nieces and nephews, multiple cousins (9 first cousins) and her sisters in life, not by blood, Claudette Dufrense of Australia and Crosleen Powell of  Texas.


She attended grammar school in Monmouth, Maine, Lynn, Massachusetts, and Saugus Massachusetts; she attended middle school at Emerson school Saugus, Massachusetts. She started her high school years at what was the new Saugus Junior High School transferring her freshman year to Pembroke Academy in Pembroke, New Hampshire during a freak October 1969 Blizzard where she graduated in the last class before the school became public. She attended the first drug and alcohol counseling program at Dartmouth Hitchcock in Hanover, New Hampshire during the mid-70s, continuing her education, at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, New Hampshire, New Hampshire Hospital School of Nursing, Concord, New Hampshire until the illness of both her parents sent her home to care for them and her younger siblings; graduating from New Hampshire Technical College, Portsmouth, New Hampshire with a diploma in Nursing. June was a lifelong student taking courses at various Colleges in the medical field, Human Service administration(Springfield College) and in later years online expanding her knowledge of genealogy, history and whatever else grabbed her interest.

On 20 April 1978  Sherrill K Moulton, Justice of the Peace of Kittery, Maine united June in marriage to Michael Daniel Butka. They move within three months to Randolph, New Jersey for the next 6 years, giving birth to both her children, before returning to her native state of New Hampshire for the reminder of her lifetime.


She worked in various cities and towns throughout New Hampshire, as well as in Morristown and Dover, New Jersey. She began her medical career with Mary McKerley, founder of the McKerley Nursing homes, as a companion in Pennacook, New Hampshire. Do to a disability she ended her nursing career of over thirty five years with the Rockingham Visiting Nurses Hospice Program on 10 Sept 2001 to her great sadness. June provided care from birth(Parkland Medical Center, Derry New Hampshire Maternity Ward in the mid 1980’s) to death. Her favorite saying was “I did from birth to death including the nuts and bolts in-between. Now I’m finding my roots.”  She was very active in the communities where she lived. She served as a member of various human service counsels, Red Hat Society, Nursing Societies, American Red Cross instructor, an advocate against child abuse, for early cancer detection, a participant in the inaugural Breast Cancer 3 Day-60 mile walk against Breast Cancer for both New York City (a Media Walker) and Boston, Massachusetts (crew coordinator.) She also volunteered for various charities including Miss Derry, Miss New Hampshire, and Wolverine Football Association at the local bingo hall or answering phones in the office for Miss New Hampshire. Even in her youth she was a member of her local church, Rainbow Girls, a 4H member and participated in displaying her creations at the Topsfield Fair, Topsham Massachusetts and in later years at Deerfield Fair Deerfield New Hampshire where she won various ribbons.

Mrs. Butka was a kindly neighbor, always ready with a cheery word of greeting and ready to assist others whenever the need was there. Although not able to visit as much as she liked she was always happy when friends and neighbors called, her door was always open to everyone. June Butka was the symbol of what a friend really is.

Funeral Services were held at the Veterans Cemetery, Boscawen New Hampshire surrounded by her family and friends. In lieu of flowers the family requested that donations be made to your favorite local charity in her honor. They wanted to continue her tradition of giving to those in need, it did not matter to her where the need was, and she would support them as much as she was able. Please pay it forward in her memory, as she paid it forward in her lifetime.


June Lee Stearns Butka
June Lee Stearns Butka

Genealogy Do-Over: Family interview questions

Genealogy Do-Over Week #2

A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community
A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community


Because of the private information in my self interview I decided that I would post the questions I use for the interview. I plan to use these questions for when I interview family members. Before doing my self interview I completed the Family Data Sheet with the facts as I know them to be. Documentation will follow later to support those facts.

The goals for week #2:

1. Setting Research Goals (based on interviews)

2. Conducting Self Interview (done using these questions)

3. Conducting Family Interviews (scheduled for future dates)


Compiled from various sources: Parenting Magazine, the Book of Me, and a few of my own thrown in.

  1. What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did you have a nickname
  2. When and where were you born?
  3. How did your family come to live there?
  4. Were there other family members in the area? Who?
  5. What was your home like? Was it an apartment, house, duplex, farm, a tent, etc.? How many rooms? Was the more than one bathroom, did you have indoor plumbing, telephones, electricity? What type washing machine did you have?
  6. Whether any special items in the house that you remember?
  7. What is your earliest childhood memory?
  8. Describe your family members. What personality traits did they have? What did you like most about them? What did you like least about them? Why?
  9. Kind of games to play growing up? Cards, board games, outdoor games, or were you the one that like to read?
  10. Did you have a favorite thing that you’d like to do for fun? Movies? Camping? Hiking? The beach?
  11. What was your favorite toy and why?
  12. Did you have chores? What were they? Which one did you like the most? The least?
  13. Did you receive an allowance for those chores? If so, how much? Did you spend it or save it?
  14. What was your school like as a child? Did you go to more than one? What was your best and worst subject?
  15. Did you participate any school activities or sports?
  16. What fats were popular when your child? Clothes? Hair?
  17. Did you have any childhood heroes?
  18. Did you have a favorite type of music? A favorite song?
  19. Did you have any pets? What type? What were their names?
  20. Did you have a religion when you grew up? Did you attend church? What type?
  21. Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper? For what?
  22. Who your friends when you were growing up? Are you still friends with any of them?
  23. What world events had an impact on you when you were growing up? Did they affect your family and anyway?
  24. What was a typical family dinner? Did you have certain foods on certain nights? Did you eat is a family at the table? Who did the cooking? Did you have a favorite food?
  25. Did you have any family recipes handed down? Would you care to share them?
  26. Did you celebrate holidays? Birthday’s, Christmas, etc.? Were there any family traditions?
  27. How is the world different today than when you were a child?
  28. Who is the eldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them? Who is the youngest?
  29. What you know about your family surname?
  30. Whether any naming traditions and your family? Marriage traditions?
  31. Were there any traditions or stories handed down in your family? Where they about close or distant relatives?
  32. Do you have any famous or infamous relatives?
  33. Are there any physical characteristics that run in the family?
  34. Are there any special heirlooms? Photos, Bibles, journals, handmade items or other memorabilia?
  35. Did you have any siblings? What were their names?
  36. How close were you to your siblings?
  37. Were you ever engaged? Married? Divorced? Annulled?
  38. What was the full name of your spouse? Parents name? Siblings?
  39. When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?
  40. Who propose to who? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?
  41. When and where did you get married? Church? Outdoors? Justice of the peace? Common law?
  42. What memory from your wedding day stands out the most?
  43. Describe your spouse or significant other? What you my most about them?
  44. What do you believe is the key to a successful relationship?
  45. How did you feel when you first heard you were pregnant with your first child? Subsequent children?
  46. How did you name your children? Family tradition? Look at the baby book of names?
  47. What was your proudest moment as a parent?
  48. What family activities did you enjoy?
  49. What was your occupation, if any? Did you choose it or did it choose you? Were you influence by a family member in your choice?
  50. Looking back now, would you choose the same profession? What profession would you choose? Why?


Bonus questions:

What lesson did you learn from your parents that you feel was the most valuable? Why?

What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

What one thing you want people to remember most about you?

We had one do over, what would it be?

What would you put in your memory box for future generations?

Family Reunion Trip 2012
Family Reunion Trip 2012

Genealogy Do Over Week 2: Overlaps will Happen

A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community
A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community


It is now the 4th day of Week #2 in The Genealogy Do-Over. I have not been sitting idle these past days. I completed my last task from Week #1 goals I set for myself.  I created a Genealogy Do-Over Notebook.  My Facebook posting for 12 Jan 2013 was:


Finally finished my notebook for my Genealogy Do-Over. It is organized for Shortcuts on Word documents & Evernote; Checklist with the blank forms as a reminder of answering the “Who, What, Where in, Where is, When, Why and How questions;” Family interview Question worksheets, tradition recording forms, Artifacts & Heirloom form, photo inventory form, Ancestors Surname variation form, Blank census, military, deed forms and many other reminders of records I will check. I even have a timeline, source summary, research logs and of course a Table of Contents for each individual of what is in their file. 

Tomorrow I will do my self-interview based of “The Book of Me 2014” prompts by Anglers Rest, Julie Goucher. I feel confident that the time I spent the past three days was worth it.”

Family Tree Interviews
Family Tree Interviews

Our tasks for Week # 2 include:

  1. Setting Research goals
  2. Conducting Self Interview
  3. Conducting Family Interviews


My progress on these goals are as follows:

  1. My Specific Family Research Goals will be made after I complete my self-interview and those of my family members. The goals will be based on information from each individual. The research goals I have set for myself at this time are:
  2. To gather photos to complement my self-interview with a completed Family Group Sheet ,
  3. to provide original documents complement each interview I do, whenever possible,
  4. to cite properly those documents, artifacts, documents, as well as the interview itself,
  5. to establish questions for family interviews and complete a family group sheet for each person
  6. to the side which method of interviewing will make the interview we most comfortable,
  7. to become familiar with the equipment involved in each interview, i.e. camera, recording device, Evernote audio note, Skype, or FaceTime,
  8. to utilize the Excel research log provided in the files from the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook group
  9. I will add research goals as needed, along with a to do lists to keep me focused on the task at hand
  10. I will continue to pace myself, slowly, making sure that the Genealogy Proof Standards will be met, when I began documenting my family research goals: I will perform a reasonably exhaustive search; creating accurate and complete source citation; analyze all information collected; resolve any conflicts that might occur from the oral interview and documents found; and write a well written, supported conclusion for each person and task.
  11. Above all else, it is important to remember we are the storytellers for the next generations, the quality of our work should provide a strong foundation for them to continue on telling our family heritage to their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren onward.


  1. I mentioned above I was going to follow prompts from “The Book of Me” after reviewing the prompts I felt that I would take a different approach. I had already completed the 52 prompts with private written responses. This is a Do-Over after all, so why not also make a do over for my oral interview as well. I chose 50 questions that I will answer. I’m using myself as a guinea pig in preparation for my family interviews. I’m hoping that these questions would take about an hour two to answer. By becoming comfortable with the questions I will be asking my family, my goal is that it should make both of us more comfortable during the interview process.


  1. My family interviews will not be done this week due to scheduling conflicts. I will most likely be doing phone interviews because of the New England winter weather. My family does not have Skype, Facetime, or Google +, and when asked if they would be interested in setting up these free accounts they were not open to the idea. I will most likely use Skype for the interview with my son and his family. I do not have any direct line relatives older than myself to interview. In the spring, when traveling to the North country of New Hampshire will make my journey less stressful, I will interview my mother’s half-brothers wife, in regards to my parents, grandparents and uncle. She is the eldest on my mother side. The eldest on my father’s side would be my cousin, who will be interviewed by telephone, hopefully followed by a trip to either her house, where she has many photos and artifacts from her mother, who was my father’s sister.


June Stearns Butka 12 Jan 2015 update for week #2 of the Genealogy Do-Over hosted by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame.