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Friday, 28 July 2017

My Personal Prompt: Focus Friday - With Updates

How do you remain focused  when researching and writing your family history?

I  have to confess - I am a flitter, jumping from one aspect of my family history to another, easily distracted by another blog, or Facebook feed, or news of an interesting website, plus  reading, replying and deleting e-mails, and other aspects of life getting in the way.

The result, I have three major topics on my "to do" list and they have been there far longer than I care to admit.

But as a former boss was fond of  pronouncing  - "It is not a question of 'no time' but how you manage your time".  

So I am setting myself a personal blog prompt - 
Friday will henceforth be Focus Friday,
when I will set out to work only on my three main targets.

  • Finish the final part of my Danson narrative about my mother's family from Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. I have written up to the end of the First World War, so surely it doesn't take much to write some chapters on my mother's siblings, especially as I have written profiles of them already on my blog?    So this is top of my list.

    My mother Kathleen Danson (right) with her sister Edith, c.1916

  • Finish the final part of my husband's family history narrative - this section is on Donaldson Sidelines with the surnames Hawkyard,  Iley White, Hibbert and Moffet. They were mainly mariners or miners from South Shieds on Tyneside in the north east of England .  Again I have already drafted most of this on the computer, but need to focus on the final family name.

  • Research in more depth and write up my father's Weston and Matthews family narrative. This is my " far more shadowy" ancestry, as I am finding it  difficult to get beyond the basic names and dates information to discover some interesting stories.  For reasons of geography,  I had far less to do with   this side of my family, have only a cousin as a contact and very few photographs to help me gain a picture of them. 

So there we have it in black and white!     Hopefully this will help me come to grips with my self imposed "brick wall" on action.  

Watch this space!  

UPDATE  Friday 28th July:  A good start to my new Focus Friday resolution. I looked back at my Danson narrative and I had more work to do on it  than I thought.  I updated the chapter on the search for my grandmother's background, recording the  detailed information received  after  i posted  queries on two  websites.   The brick wall however, remains standing!  

UPDATE:   Friday 4th August 2017:   Slower progress this week, largely because I failed to check through my draft on what I had actually done months ago and repeated some sections - a lesson here!  I  copied  and developed from my blog the post on my grandfather's house  purchased in 1926, and then did likewise for  the blog post on my Feisty Aunt Edith.  However despite the stumbles, I feel I am making progress. 

UPDATE:  Friday August 11th:   Spent a long time o.n a section on Aunt Edith's life in teaching, copying tributes to her form the school Facebook page (once I found it).  Seqrched Lancashire Archives for informative but do not appear to hold school records for Burn Naze School, Thornton nor Sheaf Street School. Poulton.  Posted a query on Genealogy Addicts re pupil-teacher training.


  1. I must say I am guilty of flitting! While looking for info on a certain ancestor, I find something for another in a different line and country, and on it goes! I need to make a todo list and stick to it! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Thank you, Dianne, for sharing your similar work style. I make plenty of "to do" lists but then I get caught up on ticking off the smaller tasks and the regular prompts I write for - and my main projects never seem to get tackled. However after two weeks, of Focus Friday, I am making progress - weekly updates at the end of this post.


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