Happy New Year everyone! 2021 is in the rearview but a lot of our family genealogy research goals and plans lay ahead of us. Normally, on New Year's Day, I try to formulate how and when I plan to tackle certain portions of a family tree.
Each year the list is different and each year I try my best to hit all the marks. I credit the difference to having grown in this field of study from a beginner in High School to that of a professional having studied much of it in and outside of colleges. From beginner to expert have a look at the suggestions below with helpful New Year's Resoultions for Genealogists.
If you're just starting to research consider building a tree starting with you, your parents, grandparents and family members you know. Researchers can even consider the advantages of taking a DNA test and learn about great deals being offered by sites like Ancestry, My Heritage, 23-and-Me, and others.
This next suggestion is crucial when starting family research, but it can also be fun. Consider visiting your local library for great books on genealogy research, topics, how-tos, and more. Chances are once you're there someone may also know how you can become involved in your local genealogy society. Connections are a great way to get started too, the expertise of experienced researchers can be invaluable.
Speaking of experts, another great New Year's genealogy goal would be to interview older relatives. A wonderful resource for questions, suggested interview topics, & information is The Legacy Recorder on Twitter. Followers can also visit their website. Older relatives can share a great deal and may even have primary documents such as photos, newspapers clippings, or even vital records like death certificates. My grandmother had not just her Family Bible but also her mother's, both have helped in some way over the years during my own research.
Social media can be an amazing resource. The Dividing Ridge Genealogy team has enjoyed the interaction from Facebook to Twitter and making connections & helping others with their research along the way. Joining a genealogy social media page can be a goal, and also help you reach yours. Some example are groups on Facebook dedicated to researching various lineages from Ireland, Scotland, German, and even Russian ancestry. Within those groups are so many researchers who are not just sharing their stories but who are also helping others to build upon theirs.
For more social interactions online check out Twitter durung #AncestryHour on Tuesday evenings hosted by former guest blogger Paul Chiddicks of Chiddicks Family Tree.
There is always someone interesting on our family trees so diving into that one person's story can also be a New Year's goal. Once a month pick an ancestor who you feel is interesting, or has more of a story to tell and begin their narrative. It is even possible to expand on this and later visit the town or home of the ancestor(s) you decided to have a closer look at. These family genealogy field trips are great not just for us but sometimes for the family too.
Probably one of the most important goals for researchers & genealogists is to document our history. Just as it is important for us to learn more about where we are from, it is equally important for our heirs to know where the information we gathered came from too. This year I am hopeful to do exactly this. Of course I realize this is a big undertaking for any of us, but I also know it is one that can only help us to grow in our understanding and love of genealogy.
What are some of your New Year Resolutions or goals for your family tree this year? Let us know and tag us on Twitter.
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