That's now behind me and I'm ready to move forward into this new life, and to rediscover my interest in my family history research.
Figuring out where to start is a bit of an issue, though, because I have lost sight of where I was at. So I began with a rather messy mind-map of the areas I want to pursue, then moved that into some broad goal areas.
1. Research grandparents and great-grandparents in detail
I'm going to follow a limited version of Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over and revisit all the research I've done on my grandparents and great-grandparents. There are still mysteries to solve, and I know there are citations and sources missing. I also want to understand their life stories in greater detail. So, despite the attraction of those "shaky leaves", I intend to focus on these 2 generations during this year.
And, in case you're interested, their names are:
- Eric Ormond Weymouth (1908-1989)
- Gwendolyn Mary Grace (1912-1976)
- Alexander William de Friez (1907-1992)
- Kathleen McDonald (1901-1976)
- Walter Josiah Weymouth (1871-1954)
- Margaret Jane Seymour (1875-1922)
- Sylvester John Grace (1881-1955)
- Rachel Elizabeth Norris (1893-1963)
- Charles de Friez (1873-1936)
- Florence Reed (1882-?)
- John Edwin McDonald (1869-1956)
- Emily Jane Cook (1867-1951)
There's plenty there to keep me interested and searching!
2. Organise what I already have
Like many genealogists, I have papers everywhere. I have originals mixed up with certified documents mixed up with photocopies and downloaded images. I have photos unlabelled and in mixed-up boxes. I have memorabilia just sitting in drawers. I have stacks of negatives and slides (remember them!) that haven't even been looked at! I have 3 trees in different locations with different information in them, and I have various back-up versions in different locations and I'm not sure which is the most recent.
I have a lot to do!
Part of my time and attention this year must go to scanning, sorting, labelling, correctly storing, and caring for the items that support my research. I must also decide on a primary tree, then match others to it, and I must figure out a suitable back-up plan.
3. Improve my family history skills and knowledge
This is self-explanatory. I know a fair bit about how to research, where to research, what to look for, etc, but there's always more to learn. I'm not particularly comfortable with technology and much prefer to use pen-and-paper, but maybe that's not the best way anymore. And there are so many options - podcasts, webinars, blogs - available now (and many are free), that it's almost a crime not to make use of them.
4. Give back to the genea-community
I've been a member of Find-a-grave for some years now, but in recent times I haven't responded to photo requests. That needs to change. I've received so much information from so many people and I need to "pay it forward".
I'm also a member of my local genealogical society, but again haven't contributed much in recent times. I'll be looking for ways to change that this year.
5. Family project - gravestone for my ggmother
In the course of my research, I've located the cemetery and burial site of my great grandmother, Margaret Jane Seymour. Sadly, she doesn't have a stone or marker on her grave. I don't know why - that's one of the mysteries I'd like to solve. But, I do know that I want to provide her with a gravestone, and I'd like others of her descendants to be involved in that process. I have some ideas about it which I'll share as they evolve.
6. Write, right?
There are many reasons to write about my family history journeys and there are many eminent genealogists and family historians urging us to do so. So, I'm going to try, beginning with my blogging. In previous years, life has intervened and my blogging is one of the casualties of getting busy and overwhelmed. I hope to manage that better this year and post something at least monthly. I'm also hoping to try some other ways of recording what I'm doing and what I find, to keep my family informed and maybe interested.
So, that's my plans for 2018, at least for genealogy. What are yours? I'd be interested to know what others are up to :-)