What are some resolutions that can be made? One of the most important is to get your own information in order. Get a copy of your birth certificate and, if applicable, your marriage certificate. If you are married, get a copy of your spouse's birth certificate. If you have children, get copies of their birth certificates. Be sure to have copies of your parents and grandparents birth and death records (if they have died). By having these copies, you will have three to four generations of information on hand.
Another resolution may be to organize your information. Whether you organize your records the old fashioned way with manila folders and notebooks, or you put the information on some of the more popular software programs, you need to get the information in one place. You also need to make it understandable. You want to be able to get information quickly and easily. This resolution can also extend to your genealogical material collection. Over the years, you may have collected a lot of information on other family members or people with the same name. This is a good time to put that information in a logical order so that you or somebody can use it in the future.
A third resolution could be to contact all you living relatives that may have information that can be useful. When you do this, don't overwhelm your relatives with requests. Ask for specific requests for information. If you write, be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. If you conduct an interview, be sure to take a tape recorder, so you can go back over the information.
Another resolution may be to plan a trip to a local historical society, state or national archives. This trip may be something that you have putting off for years. Get your information together and decide what you need to know. Research the internet to find out if the institution you are visiting has an online catalog. With an online catalog, you will have some idea of what is there, thus saving time. Although a lot of information is available in various formats on the internet, much of it still needs to be researched the old-fashioned way.
What are some goals that can set for the new year? One could be to finish one of your genealogical lines. You could pick a line that you are trying to get back to Europe, or you could pick one that has you completely stonewalled. The goal would be to concentrate your effort on that one line to get it finished.
A second goal might be finishing up a record for an hereditary society, such as the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), or First Families of America, among others. Societies based on hereditary lines cover all eras, ethnic groups and walks of life. Go on the internet and find that you want to join.
A third goal to set for 2007 might be to get your information filed with a library or online. This means that you will have to organize your information. What better way to continue your research than to offer it to other people? Not only will you be helping others, you may inadvertently help yourself. No matter how careful you are, there is always the possibility of a mistake or flaw in your research. Providing it for scrutiny by others is a great way to double check your work.
Another goal that you may want to set is to join a genealogical organization in 2007. This can be a local, state, regional, ethnic, national or international organization. There are many throughout the world. Check your local library for listings in genealogy books, and check Cyndi's List and Rootsweb on the internet. By joining a genealogical society, you will have an opportunity to share ideas with others as well as to ask for help and support. Most genealogical societies provide workshops that will aid you in your genealogical research.
Resolutions and goals in 2007 do not need to be complex. Just a little work and organization will make your genealogical research much easier to access and to use. Begin planning now so you will have a great year looking for your ancestors and recording their data.
Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2007.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.
*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.
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