Last week marked the 3-year anniversary of the blog portion of Tonia’s Roots (the “Family Tree” section started a few months earlier). While I didn’t plan it, I like the fact that the anniversary is near year-end, because it is a perfect time to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and start thinking about what I want to do next. Looking back at my 2010 research plans, I see that I accomplished many things on the list, but I also missed a few targets.
- Order death certificates for all direct ancestors – I’m missing William Everett Whitener and Martin LaFayette Roberts – I’ll order those today.
- Write to NC Archives for Ben Hemphill-Martha Lytle marriage certificate – instead, I found their marriage bond on microfilm.
- Continue collecting marriage and death records from Georgia’s Virtual Vault – I’ve done some, but new collections are available, so I need to revisit.
- Continue looking at newspaper records on microfilm – I have not done this, but I’m planning to spend some time at the library this week, so I’ll try to look at newspaper records while I’m there.
- Look for Eastern Cherokee apps for the Davis/Patterson/Chapman connections. I don’t think I’ve done this. On a side note, I’m seeing the benefit of a research log as I write this post; I’m having a hard time remembering what I’ve done.
- Add RSS feeds for message boards to Google Reader. This is one of the best things I did – it is so easy to keep up with all the surname and locality boards now.
- Process all the random notes, etc. so that my inbox is not overflowing and I don’t have extra stacks on my desk. Ha! I’ve given up on this idea; now I’m just trying to keep the stacks from growing any larger.
I also had some goals related to writing and education.
- Write more, specifically 150 blog posts. At the time, this seemed like a real stretch, but I’ve written 161 posts so far. In addition, I started the “On This Date” series on July 1 and have a written a post every day, which puts the total posts for the year at 354 and total posts for the life of the blog at 559.
- Avoid a dark period on the blog; 2009 saw a three-month period with no posts. I did much better this year. April and March only had 5 and 4 posts, respectively, but every other month had at least 15.
- Participate in 12 blog carnivals. I wrote one post for the Carnival of Genealogy (and will do one more this week), seven posts in the “52 Weeks to Better Genealogy” series, and six posts in the 2010 Geneablogger games.
- Attend one genealogy conference. I attended two: the Federation of Genealogy Societies conference in Knoxville and the Family History Expo in Atlanta.
- Take one of the NGS online genealogy courses. I completed the Family History Skills course.
Even though I missed a few items on the Research Plan list, I have a good routine now with my monthly Genealogy To-Do posts. They keep me on track for short periods of time and I feel like I get a lot accomplished. They are also great for accountability, because I have to come back here and say what I did and did not do.
The “On This Date” posts are a lot of work, but I really enjoy writing them. I feel like it puts me in closer touch with the people in my database, making it easier to remember some of the details. It also points out holes in the research that need to be filled.
On writing – really, the more I write, the more I want to write. I feel like the last six months, I have found the voice that I want for this blog. When I started it, I wanted a research journal and I think that is what it has turned into this year.
Attending genealogy conferences has inspired me to be more scholarly in my approach to genealogy. I’m trying very hard to follow the Genealogical Proof Standard. I started keeping a research log a couple of months ago. I still haven’t done a formal research plan, but I will (I promise).
2010 has been a great genealogy year. I’ve done a lot of research and written about it. I’ve developed routines to help me be more efficient. I made new genea-friends and met some of them in-person. I learned a lot.