Sunday, February 06, 2011

2011 Genealogy Goals - an update

Since we're already a full month into the new year, I figured I'd update my progress on the goals I set for myself back in December.  Here goes ...

1.  Plan (and execute) a trip to the National Archives in D.C. (to coincide with my visit with my mom! I'll be dragging her along with me so we can play with my new Flip-Pal that she got me for Christmas).
I am currently planning to visit my mom in Fredericksburg, VA over spring break (March) and have planned to spend a few days in Washington, DC while I'm there.  I'm making a list of all the research I intend to do and all the things I plan to take with me using Thoughtboxes.

2.  Request pension files for my military ancestors.

Still working on which ancestors actually served in the military before I can request these records.  I am hoping to incorporate this goal into goal #1.

3.  Break down the brick wall that we call my grandfather's biological parents!

My aunt is working on finding an adoption attorney in New York who can help us with this.

4.  Scan and organize all of my photos.  I may have to become a regular at the ScanFests!
I have scanned approximately 150 photos already, while I'm working on goal #5 (see below).

5.  Re-source all of my research ... well, some of it is sourcing for the first time, but I just need to make sure everything has a source!  I guess before I do this, I really need to pick a program and stick with it.  I'm bouncing around between 3 or 4 different ones right now ... mainly because I don't have access to the new FamilySearch yet, so RootsMagic has kind of taken a back seat, and I like the layout of Family Tree Maker, but sourcing is confusing to me.  Ugh.  So many decisions!
This is slow-going since school started back and each of my professors thinks theirs is the only class I'm taking.  I have managed to input three generations into RootsMagic (which is the program I finally settled on), with proper sources, media files, notes, and to-do items.  I am simultaneously revamping my filing system as I input all of my information into RM4 and following DearMYRTLE's Organization Checklists (sort of).  Here is a photo of my new filing system (so far) ...

And my "reference" files (census forms, research logs, etc.) ...

And my nice clean desk (complete with my research assistant, BatCat) ...
Pay no attention to the box of filing in the background ... it's not genealogically significant :)

6.  Keep a to-do list in ONE place, and actually work on it!  (Thanks to all you folks who have posted some great ideas on how to do that)
Since I am putting all my information into RM4, I have decided to use the task list within the program to reach this goal.  I will transfer those items I plan to work on at the Archives into Thoughtbox as necessary (which will help me further categorize those items and - hopefully - make more efficient use of my time).

7.  Increase my FamilySearch Indexing output by at least twofold.

Still working on this one.  I haven't had much time to index since school started back, but I do plan to attend the Super Indexing Sunday bash today that Ken Sisler has initiated here.

8.  Finally take a trip to the Family History Library in Ooltewah, TN (yes, it's only about 15 minutes away, I just keep forgetting to go!)

Still need to do this.  I'll probably wait until I return from the Archives to see what I didn't have time to research.

9.  Transcribe all the documents I have obtained (and will obtain).

I've actually gotten started on this while I'm working between RM4 and my new filing system.  I am mostly concentrating on census records at the moment, but have managed to transcribe some birth, death, marriage certificates into RM4 in the meantime.

10.  Last but not least ... start writing my family history!  Note: it will probably be 2064 before I actually FINISH it, but at least I can start writing it.

Hmm ... still need to do this.  The procrastination is almost palpable, huh?  I actually have put together a (VERY) rough draft of John Charles Slowey's story, complete with photos and everything.  I'm waiting for some further documentation I requested by mail before I can call his "roughly complete" and start on someone else.

Needless to say, my goals are nowhere near met, but I think if I continue to keep them in sight for the time being (until I graduate), I'll be able to move full steam ahead to check them off before the end of the year!


Liz said...

Jenny, I think you are doing great at working toward your goals! And yes, you should be a regular at ScanFest every month! :)

Jenny Lanctot said...

Thanks, Liz! I will definitely try - it just may be a while before I'm able to do it! I look forward to it though :)

Valerie said...

Jenny, what a great list! You've inspired me to start me own. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Very ambitious list...sometimes, the lists themselves are the overwhelming part. Once you get them done, they pay out a good plan.

Excellent post.

Nolichucky Roots said...

Well done! The to-do list is the most important item for me. Mine's printed out in BIG letters and posted by desk. No way to avoid it and it's helped keep me focused.

Claire said...

Your list is at least as ambitious as mine!!! I have been using Rootsmagic for a number of years and I especially love it for the source templates. They're based on Evidence Explained and that has been a big help to me. Good luck with the rest of the semester :-)

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