Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back on 2013

2013 was a rocky year for me. Health problems in the beginning of the year caused lots of work to pile up. Which made the last months of the year incredibly busy as I tried to get everything done now that I am healthy again. I did get almost everything done that needed to be taken care of, but it also caused me to have next to no time for anything related to genealogy. The silence on my blog – no posts whatsoever in 2013 – stands testimony of this.

The good news is that while there have been no posts at all, there is some genealogical news to report.

I managed to establish contact with family in Canada. They’re the family of my grandmother’s sister and it’s been nice to have some contact with that side of the family again. I also established contact with a cousin here in the Netherlands, who’s interested in genealogy and has even helped me out already, supplying some missing dates and helping to identify people on pictures I have. It’s wonderful to have ‘added’ to the family like this the past year.

This Christmas holiday, I undertook the large project of organized my genealogy. I ordered archival materials so originals could be stored safely. I ended up filling 10 boxes, containing documents, pictures and some bound volumes and artifacts as well as newspaper articles (separated from everything else but too valuable to throw away). My other genealogical papers were filed. I’m not entirely done yet, as I still need to sort through 1 small box of photographs and an even smaller box of negatives, but on the whole I am done. I ended up with 5 different collections – each collection has a different provenance, making it unnecessary to note the provenance of every document as all the papers and photographs in a collection share the same provenance. I’ll finish this project this week, which will clear the way for the next big project: digitizing everything!

I sent out a Christmas letter which contained a progress report on my Mulder line. I’d promised the cousin I sent it to that I’d keep him and his wife updated on my research last year and finally found the time to write down what I already had entered into my genealogical program. I’ll admit to skimping on the source notes, sometimes making it a general note instead of a proper source note, but well enough to show I’m not making things up. Because I wanted to sent it out in time for Christmas, I didn’t have the time for proper, ESM-style source notes. I’ll do better next time, as I plan to keep them updated.

I took my first steps at going ‘international’ in my genealogy research. My research into the Knura line in the Netherlands has been finished – yes, I managed to find the entry of the two Knura women I was still looking for – and now it’s time to go a generation back, which means going over the border into Germany and Poland.

The last news on the genealogy front falls more on the side of bad news, for me at least. The archive of the town Voorschoten has been moved from the Regional Archive Leiden to the archive of the town Wassenaar, since Voorschoten and Wassenaar now have a cooperation on an administrative level. This shift is not very good for genealogists doing research in this archive – the new archive can only be visited when an appointment has been made, the scans of most vital records that were on-line are gone and the same can be said for the indexes. This has necessitated a shift in focus lines for me, as I am severely limited in doing research on those lines for which I need access to the Voorschoten archives. At least until the civil records are back online – as has been promised for months now – I’ll focus on ancestral lines with easier-to-access records.