Category Archives: Genealogy Resolutions

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?



My Genealogy Bucket List – 2021

Recently, Julie Cahill Tarr published her genealogy bucket list. This topic comes up every once in a while, but I liked the format of Julie’s list, with its six categories.

It’s also a reminder of all the genealogy fun to be had when the pandemic subsides and we can get to non-virtual places like conferences, learning institutes, libraries and family visits.

It also got me thinking about my priorities once we can easily travel again, so here’s my genealogy bucket list.

Events I’d Like to Attend

SLIG – I have mixed feelings about SLIG. I would love to take the Advanced Methods course, either virtually or in person, but after last summer’s attempt to register in the first minute it was open and getting totally shut out, I’m hesitant to ever try again. It was an extremely frustrating and disappointing experience.

GRIP – I think I’d also like the Advanced Methods course offered here, too. However, getting to Pittsburgh from Tucson is a little problematic for my ears. One flight per day is fine, two flights get a bit dicey because landings are rough when my ears don’t pop. Three flights, which is what I would need, in one day would have me spending all my time in Pittsburgh looking for an ENT! If we meandered across the country, this is doable when the pandemic is done.

AmericanAncestors – Any kind of in-person learning experience! With all my early New England roots, the topic wouldn’t even matter!

Repositories I’d Like to Visit

New England Historic Genealogical Library – My last visit was in 1981. A port stop in Boston on our 2019 cruise was cancelled because of rough seas and docking, so I missed my planned visit.

New York State Archives – To work on Dave’s German ancestors who lived there and my Loyalists

Pennsylvania State Archives – To work on more of Dave’s ancestors

Ancestral Places I’d Like to Visit

Barbelroth, Germany – home of the Whitmer family

Langenlonsheim, Germany – home of the Stufflebeans/Stoppelbeins

Udol, Hajtovka, Ruska Nova Ves and Vysna Sebastova, Slovakia – home of my Slovak great grandparents

English towns – over 100 of them, which are ancestral homes to both my husband and me

Track Down Ancestors’ Origins

Phillip Crouse – born c1761, said to be from Zeeland, Netherlands

James Astle – born c1750, where in England was he from?

Robert Carlisle – born c1755, where in England, Ireland or Scotland was he from?

Solve These Family History Mysteries

Anders Molin – born 1738, Ystad, Sweden – master mason – when and where did he die?

Catherine (MNU) Carlisle, wife of Robert above – maiden name

Maiden Names – for as many other (MNU) ancestors as possible

Were there any Stoppelbeins before the unknown father born c1600 in Germany? The name means “Stubble leg” and he might be the first person with the surname because of a physical deformity. So far, Y-DNA hasn’t helped, nor has it tied my husband to any other surname in the area.

Other Items

Jump in and keep up with fixing source citations in RootsMagic software. I’ve done most of the other clean up activities already.

My bucket list isn’t all that long.

What’s on your genealogy bucket list?

Genealogy Goals for 2021

As 2020 (thankfully) comes to a close, I am not alone in saying that it certainly didn’t turn out the way anyone expected.  Having said that, being stuck at home instead of on a cruise ship sailing the high seas helped me accomplish the most dreaded of my four genealogy goals for this past year.

To recap, here is the short list:

  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.

How well did I do at accomplishing my four goals?

1. All went well with giving back to the genealogy community until March, when the world shut down. My teaching and volunteering came to a quick halt. However, through the year, I still faithfully found homes for vintage photos who had lost their families. Goal Accomplished!

2. The pandemic really helped with the renaming task – I had all images for both my tree and my husband’s family tree renamed and reattached by June! Goal Accomplished!

3. I’ve made excellent progress looking at long dormant research lines in the family trees. Evidence of my success will be seen in early January in my annual Ancestor Statistics post. Goal Accomplished!

4. I attended RootsTech virtually and also watched more webinars than I ever have in the past – and that’s a lot because I love genealogy webinars! The only disappointment was logging into SLIG at the exact moment registration opened and getting shut out in less than a minute. That was very stressful and I won’t be trying that ever again!Aside from that frustration, there were days when I had 4 webinars per day to attend. I also attended about a half dozen other conferences which went online for the first time because of the pandemic. I wouldn’t have been able to attend them in person if they had been traditional conferences, so I was quite happy.  Goal Accomplished!

What’s next for 2021?

Goals 1, 3 and 4 will continue, at least in the format created by COVID-19 conditions. I love finding homes for those old family photos, will continue to work on more brick walls, or at least the long time silent lines to see what new (documented) information is out there and I most certainly will be in attendance at upteen webinars and virtual conferences. I am a 2021 RootsTech Ambassador and this year’s event will be spectacular with its worldwide focus.

I plan to keep Goal 2 – the mind numbing goal – on my list once again this year. I am on a roll cleaning up my software so I am sticking with it. 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). I’ve already cleaned out all the alternate names and entered all of my Female (MNU)s into one format. Next, I am cleaning out all the extraneous facts that RootsMagic generated. I have no idea how I did it, but sometimes a Residence fact is listed 3 or 4 times in the same census year and alternate names for a husband include the spouse’s name and vice versa. I prefer to enter my own facts. Given that I see no travel away from home in the foreseeable future (read that as at LEAST until Fall 2021 and perhaps not even then), I will roll with the mind numbing software tasks and stick with it! I will be very glad to sign off on Goal 2 in a year’s time!

What genea-goals have you set for yourself?