Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007 Genealogy Goals and Plans

Happy New Year!

Loyal and Constant Readers (both of you) recall that last year I said I don't really make "resolutions" for a New Year, but I will set goals and plans. So here are the 2007 goals and plans:

1. Plan a Spring Research Trip. Last year, you recall, we went to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It was a great trip and we came back with lots of information and lots of tips and hints about how to make such a trip productive. In 2007, I'm thinking we'll go to an actual ancestral homeland to seek primary source material. Clay County, Missouri, right now is my first choice; Milam County, Texas, is a possibility too.

2. Make contact with more cousins to hear their stories. In 2006, for the first time, I "cold-called" a cousin in Texas. That turned out to be a great experience that continues to yield good information as well as being fun to have made that connection. So in 2007, I plan to make contact with other cousins around the country and make their acquaintances. In fact, I have a package I'm preparing to send to one of my Long-surnamed cousins in Minnesota. We're off to a good start on this one!

3. Read more history of localities. This is important to understanding the context of our ancestors' lives. One way I want to proceed with this is to find historical documents that are somewhat contemporaneous with the lives of certain ancestors.

4. Bring genealogy to more young people. I want to get teenagers, and perhaps even younger kids, interested in genealogy and their family histories. I'm working on an idea to work with some private and public schools in the area. While not completely formed yet, this may involve some on-time guest speaker appearances as well as some ongoing activities over the course of the spring semester. I'll let you know how this works out.

5. Support genealogical and historical non-profit organizations. I have several favorite societies, friends' groups, etc., and I want to make support for them a higher priority in 2007. They have been indispensable to my research; they're part of the family in a sense!

6. Be available for mutual assistance, lookups, and acts of genealogical kindness. I've always endeavored to help out others without access to the resources I can easily reach--but it's important to restate this as an ongoing commitment.

7. Insure that there's something valuable in this space at least three times a week. 2006 was a year of adjustment--new job, different schedule, etc., and sometimes it was not easy to keep up with this space. In line with our motto, "Learn, Share, Enjoy, Appreciate," I'll try to keep the blog current, useful, and interesting.

8. Knock down at least two longstanding brick walls. This may be a tall order, but that's what keeps it interesting! For 2006, I had several specific research goals, none of which we really got done. But we did discover other things along the way that were just as valuable. For 2007, I want to knock down at least two brick walls. Likely candidates include finding the parentage of Richard William Gines (1860-?) or Sarah Gilbert (1849-1920?) or linking the Brayboy and LeJay families in Louisiana to their ancestors in South Carolina.

9. Advocate for the free flow of genealogical information. By "free" I don't mean necessarily "without cost." Rather, I mean the ability to access public information unfettered by ill-conceived, unnecessary, and often counterproductive laws enacted by well-meaning, though misinformed, legislative bodies. One topic you'll see more of in this space will concern legislative activity that may hinder genealogical and historical research. I also intend to be an active advocate before various legislative bodies to help them understand the need for open public records.

10. Always Learn from others, Share with everyone, Enjoy this endeavor, and Appreciate the efforts of those who also Learn, Share, and Enjoy! 'Nuff said!

I might add another, which is related in a way to Number 7: as often as possible, have something to contribute to the Carnival of Genealogy!

Welcome, 2007!


Anonymous said...

That is a good goal - to visit the library in Salt Lake City. I was there last September. I was truly amazed by the large quantity of material they had. A hint for that trip - be sure that you have enough time to do your research. Time flies in that library.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Great list! I also plan to cold call some cousins that I've located. I'm glad your's went well.

Anonymous said...


I am new to the blogosphere. I saw a reference to one of your ancestors serving with Captain John Bowie. I am a direct descendant of the captain and would like to correspond with you.

JD Bowie

James said...

Enjoy your blog as always. These are great goals for all genealogists. Keep up the good work! James