2019 Review & 2020 Goals

Happy new year! Perhaps the passing of time feels especially poignant for genealogists who spend their days studying years gone by — I sure feel that way, at least! It’s a great time to recall the changes of the past twelve months and feel the potential and fresh start a new calendar signifies.

The year 2019 was my first full year of working “more professionally” on genealogy. I still haven’t made the leap toward client work or calling myself a professional, but I took steps toward that goal in both education and experiences.

2019 Accomplishments & Happenings:

Two books have been key to my 2019 progress: Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards (2018 edition) by Elizabeth Shown Mills and Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide by Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer. These books collect *zero* dust on my bookshelf, and both play a significant role in my 2020 goals.

So, where do I want to go with genealogy in 2020? I definitely want to work toward becoming a professional with a focus on writing and pursuing certification.

2020 Goals:

  • Improve my evidence analysis and writing skills by studying National Genealogical Society Quarterly articles and Mastering Genealogical Proof by Tom Jones. The book was one of my Christmas gifts, and I’m signed up for Cari Taplin’s monthly NGSQ/MGP Discussion Group (Tuesday afternoon session).
  • Complete quarterly research projects for my challenging ancestors using the Research Like a Pro methodology and blog about the process. I created this goal because I really valued the results I achieved with the 52 Ancestors Challenge, but my research problems need more in-depth study that cannot be realized weekly. I’ve had great success using RLP with small projects, so I want to highlight it and use it as a framework for blogging.
  • Begin ProGen Study when called off the waiting list. I’ve been on the list since July, and the average wait time is six months. A spot could open for me in 2020, and — if it does — will be a huge part of my genealogy efforts for the following 12 months.
  • Write two articles for Stirpes and submit at least two pieces to publications outside Texas.
  • Enter an article in the TxSGS Awards Program in Category III: Manuscripts by a Non-Professional.
  • Submit at least one DAR supplemental application.
  • Complete research and prepare DAR application for my cousin Debra.
  • Complete research and submit my application for the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. It’s the 400th anniversary — what better year is there?!
  • Log at least 100 volunteer hours at Clayton Library.
  • Have at least one volunteer speaking engagement to a group other than children. (Not that I dislike teaching children, but I have adult aspirations, too…)
  • Finish transcription of the 1855 Alexander Rose Hendry letter.

Here’s to a productive — and super busy — 2020!

6 thoughts on “2019 Review & 2020 Goals”

  1. Here’s to a productive 2020 for you, Jessica! I’m with you on the Research Like A Pro book — I keep borrowing it from my local library, and just need to pony up and buy it for myself. πŸ™‚ I’m on the ProGen wait list, as well — since Feb 1st. Hopefully we can both get started on that group this year, if there are mentors enough for the demand!

    1. Thanks, Cathy! I checked out your blog and saw your goals for 2020. Need an accountability buddy? πŸ™‚ We run in some of the same circles and should connect! I’m also doing Cari Taplin’s NGSQ/MGP group, but I believe were in different groups. (I’m Tuesdays at noon.)

  2. Just want to tell you how much I love and admire you! We will be in touch more, soon! As forme, I’m trying g to become.oreorganized: Family Tree magazine has been helpful! A shout out to Cathy Coyle for your support too!!

  3. Great accomplishments for 2019!! It was a great pleasure meeting and getting to know you at both TIGR and TxSGS Conference. Looking forward to 2020!!

    1. Yes, so glad our paths crossed! I read your recap, and you’ve had a great 2019. Impressed with how many classes you taught. πŸ™‚

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