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:
- Completed the Advanced Southern Research Techniques track at the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR).
- Attended three days of educational seminars at the Texas State Genealogical Society (TxSGS) 2019 Family History Conference.
- Published my first genealogy article “Three Generations in a Car: Planning a Family-Friendly Genealogy Road Trip” in the TxSGS quarterly Stirpes. It appeared in Volume 58, Number 2 (June 2019). My second published work appears in the current issue, Volume 58, Number 4 (December 2019): “Earth Survey and Google Earth Pro: Using Free Land Survey Research Tools for Genealogy.”
- Joined Stirpes as a contributing editor!
- Won 1st place in Category II: Website for an Individual (Personal Genealogy) for HistorTree in the TxSGS Awards Program.
- Completed research for my Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) application and was approved in July.
- Completed 39 weeks of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors Challenge. Although I didn’t finish the entire year, some of my best research work came from this effort!
- Began volunteering at Clayton Library, assisting with the Clayton Library Friends’ donated duplicates book sale.
- Elected to the Clayton Library Friends board as 1st Vice President – Memberships.
- Had my first “speaking engagement” — sharing about the American Revolution with fifth graders at my sons’ elementary school.
- Purchased and worked with an archivist to preserve a letter written in 1855 by my ancestor Alexander Rose Hendry.
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.
- 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!