My Genealogical New Year’s Resolutions 1

Many years ago, when I started researching my family’‘s history, I had only one goal in mind-to research and write my family history for my living relatives.  Since then, my genealogical endeavors have expanded to educating myself about genealogy, involvement in numerous genealogical organizations, speaking, and writing.  Although, I don’t plan to give up any of these activities, my New Year’s Resolutions are geared to place my original goal first and foremost.  I need to spend more time on my own family history and less time on those activities which were meant to supplement the original goal.  Here’s my list of how I intend to do that.

  1. Learn to say no.  I don’t have to accept every project, office, or committee chair that I’m asked to do.
  2. Work through the piles of obituaries and record copies waiting to be typed into my genealogy software program files and analyzed.
  3. Rewrite old source citations that are not “properly” written, according to the standards shown in [amazon_link id="0806318066" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Evidence Explained[/amazon_link].
  4. Attach sources and write citations to anyone with missing ones in my database.
  5. Attach photos to each ancestor and relative in my database who I have a photo of that hasn’t been attached to his or her information.
  6. Organize all of the records in my surname notebooks that have just been stuffed in the back instead of being put in the section for the family member whose the record it is.
  7. Color-code my notebooks, photos, all record copies in my notebooks, and the original records or photocopies in my file cabinets, according to the Mary Hill System.
  8. Write a chapter each week for the book I started writing on my dad’s family four years ago.  when finished, start writing a book about my mom’s family history.
  9. Get the books on my family history published.
  10. Get the books in the hands of my living family members!

What are your resolutions or goals for your family history this year?

Deborah Carder Mayes

About Deborah Carder Mayes

Debbie is the author of IDG’s monthly column, Beyond the Obituaries. She also writes a blog, Rambling Along the Ancestral Trail, (

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