At this time of year it seems like everyone is taking a final look back at 2011 and then looking forward and making resolutions for 2012. Genealogy bloggers are no different.
I’m not really a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made them in the past and I did really well for a month or two and then… This time I think I’ll set some goals—realistic ones that I have a hope of actually accomplishing!
1. Finish a Project
At any given time, I’ve got several genealogy projects going on. These are only tangentially related to the actual family research I’m doing so they often get sidelined. Unfortunately, these are also large projects. They also tend to be somewhat tedious—indexing, abstracting, or transcribing—and I can only take so much before I need a break. The tedium and magnitude of how much more I have to do…well, it doesn’t exactly encourage me to pick it up where I left off.
So, this year to reach the goal of finishing just one project, I’ll set up interim goals—breaking the project(s) into smaller, more manageable chunks. And instead of waiting until the whole project is complete to publish it, I’ll release each section in whatever format I finally choose (print, ebook, and/or online database), then put them all together once I’ve finished the complete project. That leads me to #2.
I’ve been compiling information, building and expanding my knowledge base for a while. It’s time to start sharing it. I’ve done some of that by producing PDF files and sharing them through this site. I even published a book I’d written several years ago with marriage and death information for central Pennsylvania residents from the Harrisburg Chronicle from 1820 to 1834. But I’ve got quite a bit more. The trick will be deciding what will be useful to other researchers and what’s the best format.
3. Combine Passions
I’ve been working as a web designer for years. I’ve designed and programmed all of my own sites, as well as sites for family and friends. I programmed a special page template that allows me to easily link parent and child pages for my family groups. (You can see it in action.)
Why not formalize that into a WordPress plug-in that other bloggers can use, too? Why not go a step further and develop themes for genealogy bloggers who use WordPress to publish their blog? Combining my design and WordPress skills with my love for genealogy? Sounds like fun to me.
4. Family Research
There’s so much to do regarding my own family research, it’s hard to tell where to start. But here are several areas that need attention:
- Hacker/Hocker Book:
I’ve been recreating the manuscript for my great uncle’s book “A German-American Hacker/Hocker Genealogy,” reformatting it match genealogical standards and adding reference citations. I need to continue this project. It, like my other projects, is a huge undertaking, so I may need to break it down along family lines and tackle it in smaller sections.
- Hoover Brick Wall:
While I’m pretty certain that my ancestor Christian L. Hoover was the son of Philip and Hannah (Thomas) Hoover of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, the evidence so far is only circumstantial. I need to think of some creative ways that I can prove/disprove the connection.
Once I can make the connection, I can trace my Hoover family back to the immigrant—Michael Huber (thanks to Richard Hayden for assistance in straightening out the research). The next step will be in tracing Michael Huber’s family in Germany.
- Matrilineal & Collateral Lines:
As more records become available online, I want to document the information my grandfather Greulich gave me about my his family. I also want to continue to collect documentation and information on all my family lines, especially those that are further back in my pedigree that I haven’t researched. At this point I have quite a few names on my family tree. It would be nice to add some of the details and experiences that made up their life stories.
So, there are some goals for me to shoot for in 2012. Knowing me, I’ll probably get distracted along some tangential line of research or project work along the way. But at least I’ll have this post as a reminder to get myself back on track!
What are your genealogy goals for 2012?