The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be: New Year's Resolutions! This year is almost over and a new decade is knocking on the door. This is the perfect time to make your New Year resolutions, goals, aims, declarations, intentions, aspirations, objectives, plans, targets, schemes, wishes, or whatever you want to call them! Figure out how you're going to approach your family history research next year, write it up, and share it with us in the COG. The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2010.
I didn't make any resolutions last year... in fact, I don't recall ever making any serious ones. But I did achieve some things I'd had in the back of my mind for awhile. First, I joined a genealogy society and come January 1st, I'll be joining one or two more. I also made some progress in my genealogy research, though I don't recall any major brick walls coming down this year. I also used a microfilm reader for the first time this year and went on my first genea-vacation/genealogy research trip. I also ordered a record from NARA, something I have been itching to do for a few years. On the non-genealogy front I lost 25 lbs., and gave up white sugar and soda (my 6 month anniversary of that is coming up soon) and I am working on eliminating hydrogenated oils and corn syrup from my diet (they put that stuff in everything so it is really difficult to get away from I am finding!). Blogging wise, I stuck with it which is an accomplishment in itself and I recently participated in my first carnivals. I'm also happy to say that once I started blogging in February, I never dipped below 10 posts a month (my minimum per month).
I did want to organize my research more than I did this year. I started off strong but by February the boxes and bags I'd meant to work on were sitting idle again and still are. I also came to a realization early in the year when I finally came to terms with the fact that binders and folders of genealogy just doesn't work for me. I wanted to be good and have a paper back-up to my digital files but honestly, I just can't be bothered. I never look at my paper research and indeed, the only time I ever add any papers to my research is when I get a new family picture, article, obituary or story. Otherwise, I keep all my research and family trees (yes, I have more than one) online or on flash drives. There are a few things that I'd like to do in 2010 but I wouldn't call them resolutions because I have no resolve or intention of achieving them in just one year, they are really just things I want to keep in mind more:
1. Be better at e-mail. I get tons of e-mail every day (not just genealogy related) and it takes a bit to get through it all so once I have, the last thing I want to do is start writing replies. So, I put them off and put them off until it dawns on me that I am now buried under a pile of them and then I feel overwhelmed and just walk away from it. I apologize to those who have e-mailed me and haven't gotten a response or a timely one, please don't take it personal.
2. Spend more time on my poor genealogy website. I had so many dreams and ideas for that site which is now sadly neglected. Hopefully 2010 will be the year when I start paying more attention to it.
3. Concentrate more on my paternal lines. I spend most of my research time on my maternal lines because they are generally really easy to research and because they all lived in California so it isn't as though I have to go out of state for the information. The challenge is my paternal lines who all came to the US fairly recently and never went further west than Ohio. I have a whole block of ancestors in the Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania area which I know nothing about.
4. Start work on my UELAC membership. This will be much easier than establishing the necessary links for a DAR membership because I have at least three definite Loyalist lines I can pursue while I have just two possible ancestors for DAR.
None of these are set in stone and I know full well that with genealogy, once you find an interesting tidbit it is easy to go off and running researching that to the exclusion of everything else. While I'd like to accomplish the things on my list in 2010, I fully plan on following the genealogy white rabbit wherever he takes me and if that means I get nothing on this list completed then so be it... there's always 2011!
(This post was written for the 87th Carnival of Genealogy)