2011 Genealogy Goals: Some Suggestions

As the year comes to an end, most of us are beginning to make (if we haven't already) our resolutions for the new year. If you are struggling to come up with genealogy resolutions, why not try one of these.

  • Make sure all sources are properly cited. Having information on your ancestors is good. Being able to go back to where you got the information is even better. Regardless of whether you're taking a fresh look at a source to see if you missed something or passing the information on to someone with the same research interests, it's important to make sure any source you use to build your family tree is cited. Otherwise, you're left scratching your head trying to figure out how you determined a relationship, date or location.
  • Pick an organization system that works for you and stick to it. If a system isn't working for you, try a new one. Everyone has their own way of organizing their genealogy research.  There is no right or wrong way. The important thing is to be consistent.
  • Learn something new. Take a class, join a mailing list, watch a webinar, read a book on genealogy, attend a conference or add some genealogy blogs to your reader. Every new thing you learn is another tool in your genealogy toolbox.
  • Write more. If you don't already have a blog or website to document your genealogy, consider starting one. In addition to helping other genealogists researching the same individuals, you may connect with a relative that holds the information you need to break down a brick wall. Writing things out can also help you see the holes in your research so you can design a plan of action to fill in those holes.
  • Volunteer and help make genealogical material more accessible. There are a number of sites that allow you to volunteer, whether it's sharing information you've found in your research, transcribing records, doing lookups, photographing local cemeteries or putting your research skills to work to find relatives of unclaimed deceased individuals. Unclaimed Persons, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, Books We Own, USGenWeb, Find A Grave, Low County Africana and the FamilySearch are just a few of the many volunteer efforts you can join.

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