As 2012 draws to a close, its time to take a look at the goals I set out to reach for the past year. Personally, I feel I did ok with them. Of course, most people set goals and do nothing to attain the end result. This year was a year of many changes for me both personally and professionally. I only hope is that 2013 can be just as good.
Research – I really want to prove / disprove the Mayflower connection in my Richmond line. My only concern with this in funding the project.
While in Fort Wayne, at the ACPL I did look into this family and decided that I would really need to do my own research. I have a lot of information from many different people that researched this family. They are sure that our Richmond line descends from the line of Thomas Roger’s daughter, Abigail (Rogers) Richmond. Obviously, there is a lot of work that needs to be completed here.
Though this was my original goal on 26 January I changed the goal to:
This is the year that I plan to analyze my research (again), I have found a way that really helps me see the big picture and find what I am missing. While doing this, it also might make things easier to find in the 1940 Census once released. While analyzing the families I will be searching for the missing documents and making a list of what cannot be found and where I need to look next for said record.
I have spent time analyzing a lot of my data and cannot come close to saying I have completed this. What I did learn this year is that analysis is very important to my research. It is not just about collecting the documents and pulling the data off of each one and adding it into a database. One must take the time to truly pull all bits of evidence they collect, the small pieces that we think are not important end up being a piece of the puzzle that was needed to solve a mystery.
Writing – Since I do not consider myself a great writer, this goal will be the hardest for me. I have been told many times by my aunt (who reads my blog faithfully) that I need to write a book on my O’Connell research. There have been a few family members who have researched this family and it remains difficult. At this point, my research has surpassed those before me, I do not feel like I have enough research on this line. There are still a few branches of the family I would like to work on.
Since the O’Connell line is out of the question for writing a book about, I have decided that this goal will go along with my goal for research. The proving / disproving the Mayflower connection is a large task and one that will need to be well documented as I research it. If I fail at researching, I fail at the writing. That is scary, to set for goals and know that if I miss in research, I miss in writing as well. If I succeed, it will be a huge thing for those that are researching this line and only have a theory at this point. I have gotten a few emails wanting to know if I have the proof (all from other family members).
On 26 January, I broke this goal down more:
1) This still tends to be the hard one for me. My goal here is to blog more consistently. Which I have been able to do so far. I plan to use the bloggers editorial calendar to stay up to date (and maybe a little ahead).
I started strong with this, but as the year progressed my posting became limited. Though there have been a few great posts this year.
2) I was asked to write a chapter in Jen Holik’s kids genealogy books on travel and researching your family, which I have sent in my first draft today.
This was completed early in the year and the Branching Out Series can be found on Amazon.com.
3) I still would like to write a book about one of my families, right now I feel that will end up being my German family, the Jonas’. I seem to be drawn to this family currently and I would like to put everything I have learned about this family in writing.
I have not started writing anything on the Jonas family. They are still a work in progress with research and when I feel that I have enough information, I will begin working on a book about this family.
As for writing in general, I am also writing a monthly column for The In-Depth Genealogist. This column was focused on Genealogy and Travel. One of my favorite blog posts I wrote for IDG was, Researching the Forbidden. This post has brought me my first speaking engagement, which will be in September 2013 and I am in the process of expanding it into a book.
Organizational – This past year when we opened out own business, the basement was turned into my office, sort of. It has never been completed for business, let alone my genealogy work. This year, I want to organize my office for genealogy as well. I need to move all my books, magazines, bins and other genealogy “stuff” into the basement and then start to get it all organized. I hope to be able to utilize Motivation Monday (on the first Monday of each month) to keep me moving in this long process.
Though I moved everything into my office, I still have much more to do. I need to get organized digitally and my paper files as well.
Educational – I have signed up for ProGen and hope to start in 2012. I will be doing this with my genealogy buddy, Stephanie and our friend Laura of The Last Leaf on This Branch. Hopefully, the three of us will be able to complete this successfully with all that we have going on in our lives. Unfortunately, I will be taking a break from the classes at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Also in the plans is to go back to school to take my general education classes. Now that my kids are old enough to take care of themselves, it’s time for me to start working towards a degree.
ProGen is going well, I cannot believe that we have finished our first year (well next week when we have our chat it will be one year completed). For those of you that are considering taking the ProGen course, I recommend it. The contacts that we are making is just one of the benefits of this program. I have learned so much on the business side of genealogy and that was exactly what I needed to learn.
By 1 January 2013 I hope to have posted my personal goals for 2013 here. But, before I do that I also want to share some of my personal achievements for the year that I did not plan on.
Like I said earlier, I have been asked to speak in 2013. It was very cool to look at the libraries handout for 2013 and see my name on it. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would take my love for genealogy and turn it into a business. Lets be real, not many people get to take something they love and turn it into a business. It is hard to do and it was never really the path I was taking. It just happened. I am a firm believer that fate plays a large role in our lives and when I attended the FGS conference in Springfield, IL in 2011 that would start my path into a genealogy business. I gave my card out to a person and said if they needed anything from the Catholic cemeteries to let me know, I had a cemetery 2 blocks away. That person became my first client and for that I am thankful. From there, I have done some contract work for local professional genealogists and have loved the work.
With my genea-buddy, Stephanie Fishman (of Corn and Cotton), we started The In-Depth Genealogist and have been working hard to bring a digital magazine (and website) to the genealogy community that is something for all genealogists (from hobbyist to professional). IDG was welcomed into the community and continues to grow strong. We are grateful for this!
I also have signed a few contracts for some genealogy freelance work and I will share more with you when I have completed the work.
As you can see, it has been a very busy year for me and I hope that each of you had a great year as well.