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10 Top Genealogy Resolutions

Items to Add to Your Genealogy 'To Do' List


No more excuses! Almost all of us can admit to getting wrapped up in the hunt for ancestors and letting other important things slide (and I am not talking about the laundry). Most of us have notes piled on the floor, shoeboxes full of unlabeled photos, classes we have planned to take, relatives we have been meaning to interview and other researchers we have been intending to contact.

If you're like me and want to take your genealogy research to the next level, choose a goal (or two or three) from this genealogy "To Do" list and get started. Let's make this the year that we finally get organized and really work on improving our genealogical or family history research skills.

1. Interview a Relative
One thing many of us postpone until it is too late is talking to our own family members about our shared heritage. Now is the time to get in touch with those relatives you've been meaning to contact. If you are fortunate enough to have older members in the family, approach them first. Some of them may have information about the family that can't be found elsewhere. If you have already spoken to your parents and grandparents, then extend your research net to include extended family such as brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Related Resources:
50 Questions for Family Interviews
Oral History Step-by-Step
10 Tips for Great Interview Stories
Top 10 Legacy Journals - Books for Collecting Family History & Memories

2. Take a Class or Learn a New Research Skill
Whether you are a novice or have been researching your family for over 20 years, there is always something new to learn. Get out of your research rut by taking a genealogy class, attending a conference, reading a new genealogy book or learning about a new research skill online. Maybe you have been intimidated by land or probate records, or have been meaning to tackle your ancestors from Germany. During the next year, make it a point to read and educate yourself about at least one new research technique and then use it to find out something new about your ancestors. There are hundreds of free resources for learning right on the Internet so you have no excuse for not trying something new!

Related Resources:
10 Educational Opportunities for Genealogists
Reading Case Studies: Learning by Example
Genealogy Conferences & Events
Genealogy Scholarships & Competitions
How to Become a Professional Genealogist

3. Get Organized
This is the goal most genealogists dread, but which could make our research time so much more effective! Take some time away from your research and organize those genealogy files, clean out your bookmarks and input your scribbled notes into your genealogy program. If you are overwhelmed by the accumulation of family history records and notes that you have stuffed in boxes and drawers, then set aside a regular time each week for organizing a little at a time. Take heart - you will most likely find all sorts of new clues as you sort out the records you have already found and add the data and notes to your genealogy program.

Related Resources:
Binders, Notebooks or Folders - Organizing Your Genealogy
Organizing Digital Genealogy Files
Blogging Your Family History Search

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