Monday, December 17, 2012

New Year's Resolutions for Genealogists

I am happy to report that I made it back from Florida in one piece though I brought back a couple of extra pounds with me. The kids had a hard time prying me out of the seat at the Rockin' Roller Coaster. What could be better than having Aerosmith blasting while doing 60 mph upside down? I could have ridden that one all day :)

There are only two weeks left in this year so it is time to think about New Year's Resolutions. Here are a few ideas for you:

1) I will cite my sources
Make sure that every time you add a piece of information to your file that you also add a source. If you get into this habit is will become second nature. You need to follow a style guide so that all of your sources are consistent.

2) I will digitize, transcribe, analyze and file each document as it comes in
Don't let stuff pile up. It is very frustrating when you have to spend days trying to catch up. Nothing is more daunting than a three inch stack of papers.

3) I will use research calendars
Take the time to write down every source you have checked, or plan to check, and the results of the search. It may seem like a lot of work but it will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

4) I will make time for continuing education
One of the best ways to break through a brick wall is to learn about records sets and research techniques that you didn't know about before.

5) I will stay up-to-date with what is going on in the world of genealogy
Simple things like being on mailing lists and Facebook pages so that you know when major repositories are releasing new digital record sets.

6) I will join a genealogical society
Membership dues are reasonable and they have so many things to offer.

7) I will publish my findings
Learn to write up quality case studies and then send them in to your local, state or national journals for consideration. What is the point of all your hard work if not to share that information with others. You can also publish your work on the internet as long as your information is in the correct format and completely sourced. You need to be an example to others.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. I'm sure you meant digitize, not digitalize [:>)], but I want to make sure folks don't get confused:

    Digitalize is a verb meaning to administer digitalis or digoxin to (a patient with a heart complaint).

    Digitize is a verb meaning to put into digital form, as for use in a computer.

  2. Bwahahahahaha! Well, I AM a nurse! I will fix it :) :) :)

  3. Enjoyed this post. You must be a brave all-around woman! I don't know takes more courage, the Rockin' Roller Coaster or your 7 resolutions. I am an admiring specator.

  4. Thank you so much for your kind comments, Mariann :) :) :) The 7 resolutions are harder I think :)

  5. All commendable of luck in the new year!