Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for your genealogy research? It is a task worth doing, especially if you want to make important breakthroughs and take your genealogy to the next level in the coming year. Your resolutions can keep you on track in your genealogy in the year to come, as well. This is why it is so important to make at least a few of them.
If you haven’t made any genealogy New Year’s resolutions yet, here are some suggestions of ones that may be just what you need to achieve the genealogy success you always desire as a genealogist:
Do Some Old-Fashioned Research — The old, tried, and true tactics are still just as good in the modern era as they were a half-century ago. In fact, sometimes they work better than more modern methods, so we shouldn’t forget to include them. This means doing old-fashioned things like calling relatives you have never met (or haven’t spoken to in a long time) or writing them letters asking about ancestors on their branch of the family. You can also go slightly less old-school by using email, rather than social media, to contact suspected family members.
Don’t Slam Your Relatives with Genealogy Information — As excited as you may be about your research, others may not be as much so. This doesn’t mean they have no interest, however. So, respect your relatives’ time by keeping communications brief and infrequent, such as no more than a page of information three to four times a year. If a relative indicates they would like more frequent genealogical communication between you, then feel free to engage them.
Set Up a Couple of New Email Accounts — Make one email for exchanging genealogy information with close family members (and maybe friends, if you are doing any work for them in the genealogy field). Use the other email to receive genealogy news from the websites you belong to, such as new record collection acquisitions and breakthroughs in research methods.
Clean Up Your Existing Genealogy Email Addresses — You are probably already using at least one genealogy email address (if not a few). If you have had it for a while, you may notice that it is cluttered. Keep it as something that is something you can use by setting up folders for individual genealogy projects and delete emails that are not important.
Share Your Info — Each of us has something unique in our personal genealogy collections. It might be a photo of an ancient ancestor, a centuries-old letter, a precious heirloom like a quilt or wedding dress made by a direct, however many times great-grandmother, or something similar. Other branches of your family may be interested in these things, so be sure to make copies, transcribe if necessary, or digitize it. Once it is in a shareable form, do so with anyone you know is interested in learning about it.
Backup Your Backups — It’s not enough to just back up your genealogy research once. Storage forms change, files and disks get lost, etc. Back it up several times, and keep your research in at least two or three different locations, one in your house and the rest away from it (make sure the locations are safe… in fact, a safety deposit box may be a great external location for your precious genealogy research).