2019 Review & 2020 Genealogy Goals

Last year, I read Susan’s End of Year Review – 2018 Genealogy Goals and loved her format. Although I couldn’t write a complete review of my 2017 goals (because I hadn’t kept track of all the details in Susan’s format), I did set up my 2018 goals template with Susan’s as my guide.

Here is my review:

2019 Genealogy Goals

  1. I am a RootsTech 2019 Ambassador (and very proud of it!) and plan to post lots of news about the conference before it opens and provide daily updates as it is happening.
  2. Continue to give back to the genealogy community. This is a 3-part resolution. I will continue to teach my Anquestors group once a month. We have a good time and I hope they are learning a lot. RootsTech 2019 will see four of us attending this year. 🙂 Next, I will continue to post items for the Slave Name Roll Project, in the hopes that clues found in court documents and tax records will help a descendant connect to his/her ancestor. Lastly, I will continue to troll eBay for orphan photos with identified people in them, purchase the photos and return them to descendants. It’s a very personally rewarding activity! I absolutely love hearing back from descendants to whom I’ve either cold-called or directly mailed photos to. Everyone has been thrilled to have the pictures arrive out of the blue and I am thrilled the photographs are once again in the hands of descendants.
  3. I am extremely proud of my unbroken chain of daily posts on this blog now since September of 2014! I plan to continue with daily posts through 2019. Empty Branches will celebrate its 5th blogiversary in 11 days. 🙂
  4. Continue to work on brick walls in both family trees to extend them further back in time and identify more of those elusive England and Southern American families.
  5. Make a new attempt at the mind-numbingly boring task of renaming images and reattaching them in new family trees. I can find all of my images and they are sorted into surname folders. However, they aren’t named in any set pattern. I have about 12,000 images, so I am not sure how dedicated I will be to this task, but I can’t seem to let it go. Time will tell!
  6. Keep track of the expenses for my hobby. The genealogy expenses won’t be too bad, but then come the blog expenses and it adds up.
  7. Continue my genealogy education through conference classes and RootsTech 2019 and perhaps the FGS summer conference in Washington, DC, along with attending webinars.
  8. Pursue DNA leads now that I’ve jumped in and tested not only with ftDNA, but also Ancestry and MyHeritage since they had such spectacular sale prices on Black Friday.

So, how did I do? For all those goals highlighted in green, I have succeeded in meeting. For the two goals highlighted in blue, not much progress has been made, but for two different reasons. On the renaming tasks, I’ve made several feeble attempts to get going and have renamed several hundred images, which is a far cry from the 15,000+ that I need to do. That will be on the 2020 goal list.

No that it’s an excuse, but in place of the brain numbing activity, I did accomplish a LOT of research this year on both branches of the family so the ancestor statistics tables will show some nice increases this year. 🙂

Pursuing DNA leads is a task I would love to do more, but most (probably 99%) of my matches, and my husband’s, are distant cousins. On top of that, very few of them have trees. I just am not interested enough in tracking down 5th cousins who don’t even bother to share surnames to look for commonalities. Also, there have been absolutely ZERO surprises in our DNA test results.

I will continue to look at DNA matches, but Dave even took the Y-111 DNA test this year and he doesn’t have a single close match!

Volunteer Activity

Anquestors – My Anquestors group is one of the highlights of every month for me. We began in September 2010 and are still going strong with new lessons. My “students” have progressed to the point that they are asking for case study problems to work on together and solve!

Sun City Vistoso Genealogy Society – I joined SCVGS in October. I don’t live in Sun City, but in 2019, they changed club guidelines to allow some non-residents to join groups. I wasted no time because the meeting room is about 7 minutes from my house. I also trained to be a room monitor, which means I can unlock the computer room and library so members can research. I also volunteered to be a mentor as many of the club members seem to be beginning-intermediate level researchers. I am looking forward to 2020 meetings.

Genealogy Purchases (not blog related)

I have started a spread sheet to keep track of both straight genealogy purchases and blog expenses. Rather than sharing dollar amounts, I’ll say that my expenses aren’t a particularly cheap hobby, but they aren’t anywhere near the realm of exorbitant either.

Goals for 2020

Blogging is pretty well ingrained in me as a daily activity, so it doesn’t really need a spot on my goal list. Same for the tracking of expenses because the spreadsheet is set up. All I need to do is update renewal dates and costs as they occur.

  1. Continue to give back to the genealogy community, through teaching, volunteering with SCVGS and finding homes for orphaned EBay vintage photos.
  2. Make a new attempt at the mind-numbingly boring task of renaming images and reattaching them in new family trees. 2020 may be the year since I was on quite a roll in the fall before we left on our cruises to New England and then Hawaii.
  3. Continue to work on brick walls in both family trees. I am really pleased with and inspired by my successes at revisiting long dormant research lines. Not only am I able to document new information, but my findings provide fodder for blog posts. A double win!
  4. Continue my genealogy education. I am sad that I won’t be at RootsTech 2020 in person this year, although I am a virtual ambassador. However, there are many other conference opportunities and webinars available through which I can extend my genealogical knowledge and skills.

That is it – just four goals for 2020. How about you?

 

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Did Genea-Santa Bring You and Your Family?

Hard to believe, but we are at Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post #52 for 2019!

Randy Seaver has provided one more holiday themed challenge this week:

1)  What genea-gift did Genea-Santa bring you and/or your family this Christmas season?

2)  Tell us in a comment to this blog post, in your own blog post, in a Facebook post, and be sure to leave a link to your post.

Since Genea-Santa knew I am the only genealogy addict in the house, only one genealogy present was left under the tree – for me!

It was a goody, though.

Zmizely Svet Podkarpatske Rusi (The Lost World of Sub-Carpathian Rus) is a collection of over 200 photos taken by Rudolfa Hulky (1887-1961) of the many peoples of Subcarpathia Rus in the early 20th century.

This is exactly the time period in which my Nana was living in Europe, although she was born in New Jersey.

This is a beautiful hardcover book published in Prague in 2019 by the National Library of the Czech Republic – Slavonic Library.

My paternal grandparents were both of Carpatho-Rusyn heritage and I spent time this year researching and writing about various Rusyn customs.

The text, thankfully, is bilingual, in both Czech (which I don’t speak or read at all) and in English.

Genea-Santa couldn’t have brought me any more special gift this year!