Monday, October 8, 2012

Motivation Monday - Time to Reorganize

The past 2 months I have totally set aside my personal genealogical pursuits to become acquainted and comfortable with my new found family. I have seen my brother and sister every week since our first meeting and we talk on the phone in between visits. Until now we have just gotten to know each other. Now, I have decided, the time has come to learn more. The fact is I have missed 53 years of my brother's life and all of my sister's life. They grew up in a small southern influenced town and I grew up in and around Chicago. We had very different lives and influences. It will take so much time to catch up but I have formulated a plan for us to learn about what we have missed and hopefully make it fun.
Now with these additional family lines to pursue, I find the need to really organize myself and prioritize a list for each family line before I become totally unorganized and overwhelmed. My websites are all in great need of my attention as well. It has been quite some time since I have made any updates or added records and information. I have had extractions and several years of marriages for Montalto Uffugo, Italy to put online, but have not done so. In all honesty, I have been distracted by many things going on in my life. The time has come for me to get it together. With my new found Huffman family, I need to do what I do with my family - put my research online. I have decided to revamp my website Early American Ancestors to add my Huffman family lines. Most of this family's lines date back to the 1730's or much earlier in the United States so this site would seem an appropriate place for them. So as I prepare to write the story of the Huffman and Smith lines it has occurred to me I am at both a great advantage and disadvantage. The disadvantage is I did not grow up hearing the old family stories. I did not even know my grandparents, or my biological mother. I have no personal memories of any of them and never will. I have seen many pictures. Some of those pictures tell their own story. And that is part of my advantage. I am forced to look harder and think deeper with each picture and story I hear. This family has deep southern roots and my brother and sister both have memories in Kentucky and family that stayed there. I have taken nothing for granted and have fresh eyes. Little things no one normally would think much of have been huge for me. So now that I have gotten to know my brother and sister more, it is time to begin asking questions, gathering stories and of course, getting more pictures. First on my agenda for the Huffman and Smith families is to gather information from everyone I can and learn the stories that have been passed down, try to document these stories and if possible, prove them. Once that is done, I can begin putting them and their stories on my website for future generations and other family members. It is a huge task that will take a lot of time, but since I have learned from past mistakes, I am hoping to document this family well. I am hoping to split my website Early American Ancestors by northern regions and southern regions to accommodate my 2 family lines. Which reminds me of how incomplete that site is. I also need to work hard on adding town and surname information to my New England families there. This entire website needs to be worked on before I can add my biological families.

As I look at the Huffman family I realize some of the things I took for granted with my Napolitano and Dewey families. My parents loved to tell tales of the past and although some of those stories I was curious about and I actively researched, many other stories I took for granted and did nothing with them. Some stories you just cannot research, but I realize now that most of those stories I have not documented anywhere. It now occurs to me that it is long overdue that I write these stories as soon as possible to preserve them for future generations. Once I do that, I need to compile all my documents, photographs and GEDCOM files and send them to my cousins or their children on flash drives.

Lastly, I need to look at all my websites and update them. I have complete years of records I never extracted to put online to share for Cosenza Exchange. I also have records I extracted but never put the extractions online. With so much to do, I have decided to create a schedule for each website to help me stay on task with reasonable deadlines that it is manageable and not overwhelming. My goals will be to work on each website once a week. Because I have so much going on in my personal life now, I will try for now but begin in earnest January first. It will be an exciting new year for me!


  1. Cathi, I would also ask you siblings if they have any family items that were handed down, and the story that goes with that item. You know the saying, If only it could talk. You can help them draw out the story as those items are physical reminders of their time here. I have a piano as my largest reminder! Good luck, I know that reorganization is not fast or easy and I tend to over think these things!

  2. Thanks Leslie! I already have some great stuff! The hardest part will be organizing my time so my websites are not neglected. Splitting my time between 3 families will be a challenge especially since I just want to work on these new biological lines. :)