Category Archives: Genealogy Resolutions

Deciding on Those 2023 Genealogy Goals

With the close of one year and the beginning of a new one, it’s time once again to focus on my genealogy goals. I’ve learned through the years that specific, somewhat narrowly defined goals work best for me and I generally have met most of my past goals.

Therefore, it’s obvious to me that my four categories of past goals work well in helping to formulate new goals for 2023, so here they are:

1. Continue to give back to the genealogy community.

I am very happy that my Anquestors group has felt comfortable starting up once again in 2022 and meeting in person, so I will continue to teach my genea-friends about new resources and techniques for adding leaves and branches to the family tree.

I will most definitely continue to re-home vintage photos and postcards to descendants of the original subjects. I get a thrill every time I find a possibility and realize that there are descendants today. It’s actually quite sad to find a pretty/cute photo only to learn the person has no direct descendants today.

I follow and read many blogs and choose many posts to include on my Friday Finds. However, while I occasionally leave comments, I think I’ve left fewer this last year than in previous years. I’m going to make an effort to leave a minimum of one comment per week.

2. Continue to expand the family trees.

This year, I am going to focus on writing family sketches of the women in my family tree. I mentioned it several months ago and, although I wrote a few in 2022, there will be at least two per month posting in 2023.

Rather than expanding the number of leaves on my family trees this year, it will be more about expanding my knowledge and understanding of the ancestors’ life circumstances.

3. Continue my genealogy education.

RootsTech  2023 will, for the first time ever, be a hybrid event.  My heart wants to attend live and enjoy the in-person fun, but my head still warns me to take care.

I will definitely attend, but whether virtually or in-person will be a last minute decision. I’m not much of a risk taker and will probably stay home, but we’ll see as the event draws closer.

I’ll continue watching one-off online webinars, but have become more selective in those I view. That’s because I’ve watched so many that I recognize repeats of a talk given to more than one organization.

I can’t think of any in-person conferences that I’d be attending, but if an interesting one is offered online, I’ll register.

4. Clean up my source citations in RootsMagic.

This is the goal that will most definitely fill my time! I decided last year that, with the learning curve in RM8 and my previous reluctance to take on this project, that I am better able to stick with this clean up using RootsMagic 7.

When I finish, I will then create a gedcom, load it into RootsMagic 8 and then learn the nuances and outright changes to be found in RM8.

This project is much bigger than it might seem because I decided it also means adding in the ancestors, mostly collateral, that have accumulated in multiple Word files that I’ve created in the past – Adams, Astle, Miller, Whitmer and Molin all come to mind.

Updating those files before adding them into my database is something I’ve been busy with since early summer 2022. And, I’m no where near finished with the Adams document. Because I took the Applied Genealogy Institute class on Advanced Swedish Methods, I have updated the Molin file. That still leaves three other files that I haven’t even looked at yet! I will be busy, but I’ve finally accepted my own challenge to get busy cleaning up my documentation.

Those are my 2023 goals and I’m feeling quite confident in being able to meet them.


2022 Recap: How’d I Do with My Genealogy Goals?

It’s time to review those 2022 genealogy goals I set for myself last year at this time. How’d I do?

Well, I kept it simple with a list of just four goals and they are the kind of goals that can be recurring.

Here they are:

1. Continue to give back to the genealogy community.

I was very pleased to be able to re-start local Anquestors genealogy group, which I’ve hosted/taught since 2010. We went on hiatus in March 2020, but being a small group, we decided it was safe to start in-person meetings once again. We began with a planning brunch in May, on my back patio since May is pretty perfect Tucson weather. We’ve met each month since, except for December. For whatever reason, the Tucson area had way, way higher numbers of flu, Covid and RSV infections than any other area of Arizona. We’re all seniors, so we decided to reschedule our holiday luncheon as a New Year’s lunch instead, keeping in mind the infection rate here.

My second giving back activity – sending home vintage photos – has been very successful this year. I regularly scout out reasonably priced vintage photos with ID’d subjects in smaller American towns and match them up with today’s descendants.

I actually hit a dry spell during the summer, as there didn’t seem to be many well priced photos. I’m not sure why someone feels an ordinary photo of someone is worth $25 just because it’s old – so I expanded my repertoire and added vintage postcards with signed messages to my re-homing list.

I don’t expect to receive any feedback from the lucky recipients, but it absolutely makes my day when someone does respond with enthusiasm at the unexpected gift.

Lastly, two societies to which I belong asked for volunteers to help out and present programs. I offered to help each and presented, for free, one program on how to navigate the FamilySearch website and one on how/where to find digitized books online and understanding the formats in which they are saved. Presenting Zoom talks wasn’t on my list of things to do, but both programs were well received and I was happy to help out in a pinch.

2. Continue to expand the family trees.

I found Jacqi Stevens’s 12 Most Wanted for 22 idea to be a lot of fun and devoting several concentrated weeks of research produced some interesting and unexpected results. My best find, I think, was learning that William Tarbox died in the state hospital in Augusta, Kennebec, Maine and not at home in New Gloucester, as indicated by his death record and burial in the New Gloucester cemetery. Even more astounding was finding his hospital record digitized ad available online for free.

I’ve also been very fortunate to expand some of the early family tree branches because of scholarly published articles on several of my ancestors, taking them back into the late 1400s!

3. Continue my genealogy education.

As I expected, I attended absolutely zero in-person genealogy conferences. I did not get to Sacramento for NGS, which was a big disappointment because that conference isn’t held in the West very often.

However, I did attend a number of virtual events. I was a regular attendee at quite a few one-off monthly genealogy webinars hosted by a variety of societies.

I especially enjoyed programs hosted by two societies to which I belong – the Chula Vista Genealogy Society in California and the Essex Society for Family History in England.

RootsTech 2022 was another fun event, although I do miss the in-person excitement in Salt Lake City.

I think the most interesting and educational experience I had in 2022 was taking my first class on Advanced Swedish Research methods with Jill Morelli through the Applied Genealogy Institute. Classes will always be virtual, it was much more affordable than the other big genealogy institutes and I learned a lot.

I definitely acquired some new research skills in 2022.

4. Clean up my source citations in RootsMagic using RM8.

This is the goal that I’ve procrastinated on and put off for several years. NOT in 2022! By June, I was hot at work cleaning in RootsMagic. I adjusted my plan slightly, by staying in RootsMagic 7. I decided with the amount of work to be done, and needing some motivation to keep going, I’d be more successful staying with a program I knew well. I have RootsMagic 8, but I understand there is a learning curve so I’ve decided to wait until about 99% of my project is done before I import it from RM7 to RM8.

I’ve put in hundreds of hours so far and this goal will extend well into 2023 because there are a number of Word files I have with Adams, Astle and Whitmer descendants that need to be updated.

I’ve cleaned up source citations back through my 2X great grandparents and have some of the 3X great grandparents finished. You’ll here more about adding the families in Word files to my software with next year’s goals.

However, I consider myself as having achieved this goal because it’s the first year I’ve stuck with it and have been motivated to keep going!

I’m pleased as punch with myself with my progress on this year’s goals. All have been achieved, although #4 will take many more hours of work in 2023 to actually complete.

How did you do on your own genealogy goals?

Reviewing 2021 Genealogy Goals & Creating Those for 2022

I honestly feel like 2021 has flown by. that might be because I took on 2 big projects that became full time jobs – literally 7 days a week – for 3 months each – my county history project and my one-place study of St. Dimitry’s Church in Udol, Slovakia.

However, the end of December means it’s time to review my 2021 genealogy goals. Even though the days went by quickly, I also have to admit I don’t even remember the goals I set for this year. I remember they were modest, so I dug back in the posts for December 2020 and found my list:

To recap, here is the short list I set for 2021:

  1. Continue to give back to the genealogy community.
  2. Continue to work on brick walls in both family trees. 
  3. Continue my genealogy education.
  4. I use RootsMagic 7 and have decided to focus on cleaning up my source citations (which may or may not be with those darned templates).

How well did I do at accomplishing my four goals?

1. Having compiled links to all the thousands of digitized county histories I could find and providing links to them on this blog, I think I made an excellent contribution to the genealogy community this year. I have also completed my one-place study of Udol, Slovakia. Even though that is much more specific to a smaller group of family historians, there are thousands of descendants in the U.S. who have roots back to Udol and Hajtovka, Slovakia. I also returned about 6 rescued ancestral photos found online to family descendants. I’m pleased with my accomplishments for Goal #1.

2. Thanks to The Register, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, several of my ancestral lines were documented back as early as the 1400s. I take no credit for that work, but it did extend several more of my early Massachusetts settlers. On my husband’s side of the family, I did crack open several of his Scots-Irish ancestors, who migrated into early Kentucky and had ties to Daniel Boone. Therefore, the ancestor count has gone up in both family trees. Goal #2 accomplished.

3. Covid has continued to impact our in-person activities, so there was no travel to any type, near or far, of in-person events for me this year. On the other hand, I attended 100+ online webinars and several virtual conferences, including the Texas State Genealogical Society and the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society. I really enjoyed both of those and learned a lot. I also met new genea-buddies online.  I also decided to mix it up a bit this eyar and joined a couple of new societies, the Carpatho-Rusyn Society to supplement my knowledge of my Rusyn roots and the Chula Vista (California) Genealogical Society because (1) I have greatly enjoyed their programs online this past year and (2) even though I now live in Arizona, I still miss SoCal! Goal #3 accomplished.

4. I will admit upfront that I spent very little time working with those source citation templates. There were just too many other much more fun genea-activities to do! It also crossed my mind that with RootsMagic 8 coming out that I might not want to go through the frustratingly boring activity of those source templates in version 7 when there was a possibility that RM8 would introduce an easier and less painful (to me) way of using the templates. RootsMagic 8 was finally released in 2021, so I guess the day of reckoning with those templates will arrive in 2022 for me. Miserably little progress has been made on Goal #4.

Goals for 2022

Although I accomplished three of my four goals in 2021, they are general enough that each can still be pursued in 2022. I don’t see the need to change any of them, so here they are:

1. Continue to give back to the genealogy community.

One of my favorite activities is rescuing orphaned photos for sale online. I will continue to scout out photos to re-home. I also plan to actively help those who reach out to me and to offer suggestions and help to others as the opportunities present themselves, likely through conferences and genealogical society events.

2. Continue to expand the family trees.

Given the dearth of records in the time periods in which I am researching, cracking through brick walls in any major way is unlikely. However, I really like Jacqi Stevens’s 12 Most Wanted for 22 plan on A Family Tapestry to focus on one family per month to see what new details can be uncovered about the life of that family. My January focus is going to be the Patorai family, who might not be Patorais at all and it has nothing to do with DNA discoveries! I’ll choose my other focus families as the year goes on, following those who strike my fancy!

3. Continue my genealogy education.

While I love one-off monthly webinars and will continue to add many of them, I am going to focus more on selected conferences. I was looking forward to an in-person NGS conference in Sacramento, California this spring. However, I am not a risk taker and I somehow doubt that Omicron will be finished – and if it is, will likely be replaced by whatever the next version of covid turns out to be. That means I will probably not attend any in-person conferences this year.

If NGS offers a virtual format, attending that conference will be high on my list, in spite of the cost.

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society conference will also rank high on the list because I learned so much about Rusyn history and life at their 2021 conference.

RootsTech  will be totally virtual again in 2022. That is a no-brainer in terms of attending because there are so many excellent speakers and it has the best price of all – free!

I had considered SLIG in Salt Lake in 2022. However, since it was supposed to be in-person and I was unsure of covid implications, I didn’t try to enroll in any class. Now that it’s switched to virtual, there are no seat available in the session I would attend, so SLIG remains a possibility in some future year.

I will decide conference by conference, based on sessions offered, as to which others I will virtually attend in 2022.

4. Clean up my source citations in RootsMagic using RM8. I will heavily rely on lessons and experiences posted by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings and Marcia Crawford Philbrick on Heartland Genealogy. Both have shared experiences using RootsMagic 8. I really need to get this source citation stuff cleaned up this year. Once I get going, I hope I will be motivated to keep at it since there won’t be any fun travel to disrupt my work!

That’s it for 2002. Those goals will keep me busy. 🙂

What do you have planned for 2022?