Monday, December 5, 2011

Why I Now Plan Trips I Might Never Take

The other day my husband mentioned traveling out of state to look at a car he wants to buy. Since the trip would take us within an hour or so of where my Boling and Sanders ancestors lived, I immediately put in for a stop so I could research. The location I wanted to go research in is right on the Kentucky-Indiana line and a little over three hours from the car. We worked out a plan for him to drop me off in Kentucky in the morning, go on into Indiana to look at the car and then come back to get me in the evening.

Since I hadn't figured on traveling to Kentucky any time soon, I hadn't planned for it, which meant scrambling to put together a list of places to visit and things to research. In the process, I've learned something. Even if the likelihood of researching somewhere is slim, it pays to go ahead and plan.

I have a number of places I would love to visit and research in. These include the DAR Library; the National Archives, the Family History Library; the state archives for Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio; the Allen County Public Library and a number of libraries, cemeteries and courthouses all over the eastern US. And that's doesn't even include foreign locales I want to research in.

Only time will tell whether I actually get to research in all these places. I plan to be ready in the future. As you may recall from my post about my new system for genealogy organization, I have set up locality folders and each of these folders has a subfolder for visits.

Starting this month, I'm setting a goal of choosing one locality per month to focus my attention on. I plan to research courthouses, libraries, cemeteries, museums, historical and genealogical societies and anything else in the area that might be helpful in my search for ancestors. By the end of the month, I should have a comprehensive research plan put together. Then, when fate will have me traveling in or near the area, I'm ready. I can just pull that locality file and adapt my plan to the time I have there.

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