Saturday, December 30, 2006

My New Year's Genealogy Resolutions for 2007

Having already done some reflection on my genealogical accomplishments in 2006, it's time to look ahead to the New Year. Here are my resolutions:
  • To continue and to improve my process of recording my research, especially when I search online databases. It's so easy to quickly enter one search term after another, without stopping to record which spelling variation or soundex code I used in each search. I know I waste time by repeating searches later on. I think I'll create a form to help me.
  • To cite my sources properly. It's a lot of work, especially to go back and re-cite 20 years' worth of information that I used to enter in note form on my computer. Now that I have RootsMagic, its computerized source citation forms will ease that process, but it still will be time-consuming. My goal for this year is to get all the sources I currently have for my children's father's and my direct ancestors through our great-great-grandparents' generation cited properly. This includes printing up a lot of census records that I have accessed on, but have not bothered to add to my hard copy files.
  • To photograph and log my genealogical "treasures," items that have once belonged to my ancestors and late relatives. My friend Beverly Smith Vorpahl once wrote a terrific article about the importance of documenting these items, so that they will not be carelessly disposed of in the event of your death. I also plan to continue to take steps to preserve these items and to educate myself in areas where I am not sure of how to do so. I have already ordered two books by Maureen Taylor, Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs and Preserving Your Family Photographs: How to Organize, Present, and Restore Your Precious Family Images that should help me in these areas.
  • To begin to slowly change my hard copy files from a file folder system to a notebook system, using archival-safe, acid-free page protectors. Currently, I have all my hard copies for each surname I'm researching jumbled together within one (or more) file folder(s). This is not very organized, and downright messy. I have so much information now. I want to organize it by generation. I already started this project for my HOEKSTRA files. It's going to be time-consuming and expensive, but I have to think about the big picture: having hard copy data stored in a preservable format. I plan to color code the D-ring notebooks: blue for my father's lines, red for my mother's, green for my father-in-law's black for my mother-in-law's, and white for my Location and Subject files (county and state resources and research topics such as probate, land, military records, etc.).

  • To continue to blog at this location, and when I am lacking in time, to at least record my research in my Notepad Research Log (see my entry of December 29th). Also, to be consistent in writing both prompts and responses for my new blog, AnceStories2 (hope you'll join me!)

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