Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Year’s Genealogy Research and Blogging Resolutions

Carnival of Genealogy, 63rd Edition: What plans do you have for your genealogy research next year? How about for your blogging? No groaning or whining now. Write 'em up and let us know!

I wanted to have some sort of exciting goal or resolution for next year, but as I reviewed my research this year, it became apparent that I had been a bad girl, Dear Genea-Santa – oh, wait, wrong Carnival. There was too much collection and not enough assimilation of the collected materials. Therefore, my number one genealogy-related resolution – boring and pathetic as it is – is to TRANSCRIBE MORE MATERIALS. If I made a list of all the documents I need to transcribe and if I had any verse-writing talent at all (that’s an awfully big “if”), I could probably produce a list that could be sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”: 300 newspaper articles, a dozen Civil War service records, two Confederate Pension applications, 50+ obituaries, and hundreds of death certificates. (Not to mention a few birth certificates, marriage licenses, funeral cards, and letters.) A serious dent needs to be put in this pile before I add anything to it (and being the packrat that most genealogists are, I am of course contemplating doing just that in the near future). The exciting “search” part of genealogy needs to be balanced by the tedious “housekeeping” part. Of course, there’s nothing that says I won’t discover something important and exciting in the course of scanning, organizing, and transcribing materials. So I’ll get to it – on January 2nd, 2009.

My blogging resolution? To become more technically proficient at blogging. On a scale of 0 to 10, I’m probably at 0+ right now. However, with the help of sites such as the Facebook Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers (see link at left), I’m getting better bit by bit, although the different ways for following blogs and getting feeds have me a bit dazed. So any efforts to educate me are welcome: Just what exactly do all those widgets and feeds do?

Blogging/Genealogy Resolution added at a late date:

I usually refrain from making overly ambitious resolutions, so I am not going to make one of the big genealogy resolutions – writing down the story of my life for my own descendants. That’s just too large an undertaking. However, I can cut that resolution down to size: I resolve to do the job in small bites, a memory at a time. To that end I am going to aim at committing one memory a week to paper and if I succeed in doing that, it will show up on the blog for “Memory Monday.”


  1. Awh, come on, we all know transcription is fun! lol Check out Ruth's post at Bluebonnet Country Genealogy for a neat little transcription tool. If you have scanning to do join Scanfest, always a fun way to get it done. Learning the nuts and bolts of blogging will come. Give me shout if your need help with something.

  2. Thanks for the tips! And also for the heads-up on Ruth's Bluebonnet Country Genealogy, a fellow Texan's genealogy blog - how did I miss that?

    And most of all, thank you for the offer of help. Trust me, you'll be hearing from me!

  3. Thanks for becoming a follower of my "Grace and Glory" blog. Because of that I 'discovered' you! You are an excellent writer--I love your blog! And I may just copy your idea of Memory Monday. I have another blog for my personal stuff (not genealogy) and may post my memories there, one at a time. That sounds do-able. Happy New Year, Greta!

  4. I've actually been following your Grace and Glory blog for a while now and absolutely love it. One resolution that I was working on before the New Year started was to become more tech-literate and more blog-literate, so I finally started add links and gadgets on my page. It is easier to go to the pages from my blog than going to my bookmarks. Hope the New Year brings you many discoveries and blessings!

  5. Greta,

    Thanks for becoming a follower of the Find Your Folks blog. I enjoyed reading your genealogy New Year resolutions.

    I'd like to also borrow your Memory Monday idea. If we succeed in writing a memory every Monday during 2009, then we will have 52 stories to give to our descendants by the end of the year. That's a whole lot better than having our descendants spending time trying to dig up 52 or more facts about our personal history. (Smile)

  6. I'm glad you like the idea! It's sort of based on the realization that tackling a big project or change can be too overwhelming, but if you break it up into smaller bits it's much easier. At least that's the theory....

    It's funny, I just found this comment right after finding your color-coding tip and resolving to apply it to my genealogy binder problem - you'll see my comment on that post!

  7. Hi! I found your blog through the 63rd Carnival of Genealogy. I look forward to reading more! Best wishes in 2009.

  8. Hi Amy,

    I've had your blog in my bookmarks for a while and just recently have started converting bookmarked blogs to following, MyBlogLog, etc. I enjoy your blog and notice you are a fellow Texan and cat food giver.

  9. Oh, boy, can I relate to the "exciting search" and "tedious housekeeping" comments! I applaud your resolutions.

  10. I posted a memory this morning.

  11. To Terry: "Tedious housekeeping" - ain't it the truth? But, like exercise, when it gets done, "it feels so good."

    To Professor Dru: Your memory brought back a flood of memories for me - you'll see a couple in the comment I posted.

  12. Hi Greta,
    Welcome to the COG.
    I know all to well the frustrations
    and tedium of transcriptions. I have
    a file for one of my ancestor's
    brothers and whoever wrote the
    original statement for him has handwriting that looks like worm

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Bill West

  13. Hi Bill,

    Thank you for your kind comments. It makes the chore a little less onerous when you can commiserate with others. And my eyes aren't so young any more!

    I noticed in an old post on your blog that you had coined the term "bedtime genealogy" - that's exactly what I do, and I was so happy to find a phrase that describes it!