I don’t know if I should have resolutions or goals for the new year. Never having been someone who has done exceedingly well with resolutions, I’m leaning towards goal setting to guide and direct my activities for the year, or at least, the first few weeks and I’m hoping that by writing them down I will at least have something to remind me from time to time of what I should be focusing on instead of what is exciting me at the moment.
Goal #1 – Source citations. My database has grown rapidly over the past year in large part owing to the collaborative efforts and sharing of information with other researchers, however I admit I have not taken the time to cite the sources of the facts connected to each individual in my ‘tree.’ I have always intended to return to each branch and complete the source citations but just never seemed to get around to it. I am currently using RootsMagic software and enjoy the ease of citing sources that it offers – so no more excuses. It’s time to start into completing this important part of the family history quest.
Goal #2 – Organize the records collection. I have accumulated an enormous number of records associated with the various branches of my family and Ellen’s family. The majority of these are in electronic format and are filed under the family surname, broken down by birth, marriage, death, census, photos, etc. In addition, I have a large collection of paper records that admittedly are not sorted, well, at all – but I admit to disliking the necessary evil of paper filing. And its not that I need a system for I’ve tried and failed at establishing several. I need to, simply put, just do it. I’m at the point of having to rely on memory, and too frequently simple good luck, to find documents that I want to re-examine so its time to find a better way.
Goal #3 – Deepen family connections. I have been amazed, repeatedly, at the new family relationships that have started over the past year. All have started with innocent enough inquiries about a common ancestor, based on information that I or someone else has posted on Ancestry or Genes Reunited, and most have lead to recognizing a family, usually cousin, relationship. I want to keep these new relationships alive and, in the busy-‘ness’ of at least my life, I know that I need to do my part by investing in keeping things going – staying in touch and not taking the relationships for granted.
Goal #4 – Continue collaborating. My knowledge of my family has certainly benefited through my ‘new’ cousins, and my genealogy skills have increased through helping those who have contacted me that maybe in the end, weren’t related to me. I would really like to find the time to really complete some good in-depth research collaboratively with all who are wanting to solve a few problems. I just have to keep myself focused!
Goal #5 – Get more involved locally. I do some volunteer work for the Ontario (Canada) Genealogical Society (OGS) but making the time is often difficult. I would also like to find time to join a local historical society in addition to the time needed to get to more local branch meetings of the OGS. Ellen and I didn’t make to the 2009 Annual OGS Conference while we focused on her recovery from surgery but this year we plan on attending.
I’m beginning to think that 36 or 48 hour days just might be the solution to meeting all these goals. Good thing I love genealogy!