Just over halfway through the year, I figured I better check in with myself and see how I’m doing on this year’s genealogy goals/resolutions. Here’s where I currently stand.
Become more familiar with genealogy research methods and resources overall.
While this in and of itself is an ongoing learning process, I have made positive strides forward. To date, I have completed eight courses toward my certificate in American Records through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (another course is in progress). Some of the courses were a review of things I already knew, but I still walked away with new tidbits. Regardless of the “newness” of the record type or method studied, I walked away with a stronger confidence in using particular records and practices. I continue to apply what I’ve learned to my personal research, which is now stronger as a result.
I also review several journals to learn from others, from methodology to far-flung resources, and everything in between. I take what I learn from these papers and case studies and apply it to my own research whenever possible.
Learn about various land records and maps.
I dabbled a little bit into this just prior to writing these 2010 resolutions, which included reviewing books/articles and attending a lecture on the subject. I even tried my hand at federal land records.
Since then, I have scoured the deed indexes for a county of interest, and have begun to retrieve the deeds, as well as transcribe what I have found. So far, I have obtained records from ten volumes of deeds, which yielded just over eighty deeds covering roughly five families. There are still nearly 300 more deeds to obtain for this county and family groups.
In conjunction with the deeds, I have been reviewing county histories on the county of this research in order to understand any boundary or name changes that took place and when. I hope to find maps and/or plats relevant to the varied time periods during which my family resided in the county.
Learn the standards for writing family histories and genealogies.
I’m working toward this goal in a couple different ways. First, I joined the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors earlier this year. I also continue to review past and current issues of NGS Quarterly and The New England Historical and Genealogical Register as a point of reference as to good research practices, documentation, and genealogical writing. I’m now at the point where I need to practice. Back in March, I wrote a mini-genealogy about my great-great-grandfather James Manly GARRISON, using the writing style found in the NGS Quarterly and The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. I plan to work on more of these as time permits. Additionally, I have started working on some papers that I hope to submit to the NGS Quarterly someday.
I’m glad I took some time today to review my goals. It’s given me a bit of a confidence boost, knowing that I am setting goals and finding ways to achieve them, and actually following through on what I’ve set out to do.
How are you coming along with your genealogy goals/resolutions so far this year?