Not so new – New Year’s Resolutions

Fireworks 2016 bIn typical fashion, it’s almost February and I am finally getting around to my New Year’s resolutions. Well, I bet some of you out there who made your resolutions in a more timely fashion have already fallen off the proverbial wagons. So perhaps I’m ahead of the game.

Here are my New and Improved resolutions for 2016;

  • Develop an organizational strategy that works for me
  • Focus my search for DNA matches
  • Get back to writing about my family history
  • Write about the process of genealogy research in Eastern Europe


Of course, I did not accomplish everything I planned to do last year. But I have made some progress and revisions in my approach to research. My resolutions for 2015 were;

  • Organize my research by following the Genealogy Do-Over plan
  • See what I could learn from DNA
  • Continue writing about my family historyFireworks 2015 b

I planned to follow Thomas McEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over plan to redo my genealogy research the right way. Well that lasted a couple of weeks. I may have learned something from the experience however. I am not sufficiently disciplined to stick to my to-do list. I am not going to stop chasing BSOs. But I am doing better at documenting what I learned from the BSO detours.

I am still trying to find a format for a genealogy research log that will work for me. McEntee recommends a formatted Excel spreadsheet. Geoff Rasmussen from Legacy Family Tree webinars uses an MS Word document and then copies his research notes to the general notes section in the Legacy periodically. I have always written notes in a spiral notebook so I have a record of what I have done but it isn’t very accessible. I review the notebooks periodically and sometimes find things that I didn’t see the first time through.

Today I started with Notebook 1 reviewing my notes and adding To-Do items into Legacy. This way I can actually find the To-Do items by ancestor or location.

The really big thing for me in 2015 was getting deep into DNA. I confirmed a family story from the 17th century and found some very distant relatives in the process. I will write more about that later.

I was surprised to find that I actually had some DNA matches. However they are all pretty distant and I have yet to find a common ancestor for any of my matches. Instead, I have refocused on traditional genealogy research to fill out more of my family tree so that someday I may hit the ancestor jackpot.

I have my work cut out for me, so I had better get back to it.

Here’s wishing you a Happy 2016, and may all your genealogy dreams come true!


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