Good morning! and a good question!
I have been trying to identify a good topic to use as my client report. I don’t have “real” clients so I was trying to decide what I could do pro bono, a situation that is acceptable to the BCG. I thought about doing an analysis of movement patterns of the occupants of a street in Ostfriesland where my great grandmother was born. The pastor recorded the house numbers in the parish records for every BMD. That information could be used to trace movement patterns in the 1800’s (I suspect they moved more than we think). Another option was to take a list of the women that my sister-in-law used in her thesis for her Master’s in History (Historical Wyoming Women) and trace the genealogy of one of them. Then it fell into my lap! This weekend my friend visited from Iowa. She wants to know more about her great grandfather who fought in the Civil War and I wanted her to do a quilt for a wedding present for a couple of friends of mine. Perfect! Trade! We figured the value and expenses were about the same for each. And, we both think we got the better deal.
If you are struggling with this decision as well, or will be in the future, you might just keep your mind open to opportunities while always thinking about what might be good projects. Some questions to ask yourself might be:
- What do I want to do? (Don’t do a project you do not feel some passion about)
- Do I belong to any organizations that might have a research need? (ask them. It doesn’t have to be about a family)
- Do any of my friends have interesting problems that might be fun to do? (try something different: Native American, African American research, Latino or some other ethnic group you have never worked on before)
I am excited about doing some work on her family because the immigrant served in the Civil War, was wounded and was imprisoned. My ancestral family did a concerted effort to avoid the draft including two families that immigrated just for that reason so I have very few ancestors that served in wars before WWII. I have already sent for the Civil War records (military and pension).
What I have done since the last post: completely rewrote the Case Study. I consider it now in a mid-draft state and will put it aside for now. Negotiated a barter deal with my friend for the quilt for genealogy services. Ordered the Civil War file of her great grandfather, started the new project in my software program (TMG) and did some basic census work on his family from 1870 to 1930.