In addition to New Year’s resolutions in my personal life, I have compiled the following list of resolutions for my genealogy life:
Read more scholarly genealogical journals and periodicals, such as The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. I subscribe to all these journals but often, because of time constraints, they get put on my bookshelf and are forgotten.
Add more sources to my online tree. I must confess that in the rush to add ancestors, I sometimes neglect to add sources. Fortunately, I keep paper records of information I have added. I’ll have to go through my surname binders and update my tree.
Finish the genealogy program at National Institute for Genealogical Studies (http://www.genealogicalstudies.com). I have taken 16 courses so far. I need to ramp up how frequently I enroll in classes so that I will graduate before I become an ancestor myself.
Utilize a variety of genealogical databases. I like Ancestry.com and tend to use it the most. However, I also subscribe to FindMyPast.com, MyHeritage.com, WorldVitalRecords.com, Americanancestors.org, Archives.com and more. If I don’t use the other subscriptions more, then I should cancel them.
Take the time to order more microforms from the Family History Library (https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlc/). I have had great success in the past with microfilm and microfiche I have ordered.
Discipline myself to always prepare research plans before researching a family line. Although this step takes quite a bit of time, in the long run it is well worth the trouble. Research plans keep you organized and on track.
Use wildcards and search operators more frequently. Because wildcards and search operators vary from database to database, I often fail to use them because I can’t remember which one is appropriate. I need to compile a “cheat sheet” that will quickly show me which wildcards and operators work on each program.
Explore my Southern lines more. Thanks to my dad, I have many ancestors from Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina and Georgia. Perhaps because I grew up in the Northeast and have lived in Northern cities, I have tended to focus on my New England and New York ancestors. I need to spend more time on the following Southern surnames: Allred, Beall, Bean, Bowie, Brashear, Horner, Kimbrough, Magruder, Prather, Russell and Turner.
Watch educational videos, such as:
- American Ancestors Online Learning Center (http://www.americanancestors.org/learning-center)
- FamilySearch Learning Center (https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/home.html)
- Youtube.com (search for "genealogy")
- National Genealogical Society Videos (http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/videos_online)
Read more genealogy books. I have piles of books I have ordered but, for lack of time, have not read.
That’s it! Wish me luck.
Happy New Year to all my readers!
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Full-Color Holiday Vignettes, 2001.
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Full-Color Old-Time Vignettes, 2002.
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1100 Pictorial Symbols, 2007.