5 Things Every Genealogist Should Do in 2015
A new year has arrived. Time to set some goals for the year. Here are five things that every genealogist should do this year. And the best part is that they are all easily accomplished.
1. Take a Class
One thing that is certain about genealogy: as you progress with your research you will eventually arrive in a new location. This will require you to learn new resources and research techniques. There are many avenues open to you for learning now. One of the best places to learn are genealogical societies. Your local society can help with genealogy methodology. And societies that specialize in particular groups, or represent locations your ancestors lived in, can assist you with more specific learning.
2. Review Past Research
From time to time it is important to go back and review research you have already done. New records are becoming available with increasing frequency. Are there newly-available materials that support your research findings? Or, are there resources that now contradict your conclusions? Or, perhaps, you can add to the story you already have. Sometimes you can see things you missed before, especially with work you haven’t looked at in awhile. So pick up some of your old lines and review them.
3. Attack a Challenging Problem
Sometimes as we research we stumble across challenges. Perhaps it is a brick wall line, or one with conflicting answers. Sometimes the problem is that there may be sensitive information involved, an intricate conversation that we are not prepared to have. Make 2015 the year you decide to tackle one of these problems and bring it to a resolution.
4. Share Your Research
Whether you’ve been researching for years, or just a few months, you have probably gathered a bit of information. All too often, we sit on this information, waiting until we are “finished researching” before we share the stories with our family members. Unfortunately, there is no way to know when you will be “finished.” And frequently, we are finished before our research is. Don’t let your findings get lost. Take the time to share what you find with your family. And don’t just do it once. Come up with several times this year you will share your findings and put it in your schedule to get it done.
5. Find a Genealogy Partner
One of the best parts about doing genealogical research is all the wonderful people you meet along the way. And in this case, I’m talking about the living ones, not the dead ones. I am fortunate to have many friends and colleagues to bounce ideas off of, commiserate with, and most importantly, hold my feet to the fire about things. Find yourself a partner (or two or three and make it a group effort). Your jobs will be to check in with each other frequently, talk to each other about your research and goals for the year, and make sure you get some things done. You will be surprised how much this little effort can help.