Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sorting Saturday - Tackling the Plastic Storage Box

I have a plastic storage bin problem. I've hauled this bin, containing paper copies of family history records (and other useful things, such as old mobile phone chargers), through three moves, across the country twice. It is well past the time to look into the box and actually start to sort through what is worth keeping and what deserves to go in the recycle bin. So, I have aspirations on this potentially tropical Saturday to start sorting the contents.

I know from previous attempts at sorting that the box has some file folders that used to be arranged by family name. I'm pretty sure they've been jumbled together, between moving the box and careless returning of contents. As I am starting fresh, I want to separate the files into my "eight great" families - the family lines of my great-grandparents.

My Eight Families
1. Jones
2. Oyler
3. O'Brien
4. Lamon
5. Reid/Read
6. Whitley/Wheatley
7. Campuzano
8. Portillo

Because the box probably also contains information on my wife's side of the tree, here's hers.
Spouse's Eight Families
1. Havens
2. Duncan
3. Boston
4. Fleig
5. Freyling
6. Kuester
7. Halter
8. Umbach 

In order to help transition from storage of contents to assisting in family history research, I also want to note the locations for these families. From a starting point I'll use the location of the family at the time of my great-grandparents, but I should also put some method for tracking their progress and migrations. Others have written about Uencounter.me, I have not tried it yet.

As a starting point, I'll put the county locations here for my eight great families in the birth year of each great-grandparent:
1. Jones - In 1896, Boone County, Indiana
2. Oyler - In 1897, Boone County, Indiana
3. O'Brien - In 1884, Shelby County, Illinois
4. Lamon - In 1887, Gibson County, Indiana
5. Reid/Read - In 1897, Barren County, Kentucky
6. Whitley/Wheatley - In 1901, Warren County, Kentucky (I'll note, they were on the border of Warren and Barren, really in both)
7. Campuzano - In 1900, Altar, Sonora, Mexico. Frequently between Altar/Pitiquito and Pima County, Arizona
8. Portillo - In 1906, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Frequently between Nogales and Pima County, Arizona.

I know that each of these eight can quickly be broken down further into additional family lines and locations. I have that on my family tree. For purposes of sorting the box, I want to keep it to these eight families. However, for purposes of writing and scanning, and transitioning materials from paper to this blog, I will dive deeper into individual family lines. In fact, I've already done that on a regular basis on the blog. This is also a reminder to be better organized in writing and selecting which stories to publish.

The patterns above are useful, because it also suggests which libraries to consult for potentially new information. Here's an example I am currently using. On the Jones side, they were in Boone County, but living close to the border with neighboring Montgomery County. Several earlier branches of the family were land owners in Franklin Township, Montgomery County. So when I go back to Crawfordsville to speak at Wabash in October, I'm going to try focus some research energy in that location. I have already started the conversation with the Crawfordsville District Public Library, and am checking other sources too.

Now I feel that I'm off to a good start. Time for breakfast. Happy sorting.

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