I have been inspired by the topic of the 63rd Carnival of Genealogy, which asks what a genealogist’s New Year’s resolutions might be–and inspiration is a welcome though lacking attribute in my wild get-it-done-without-thought-or-pleasure life right now.
So here are mine.
1) Slooooooow down with the research. This is so hard for me, because I get all caught up in the fun of making connections and thus don’t pay attention to what I’ve already learned. Slowing down also includes reading slowly and making notes. Which brings me to my next resolution…
2) Write stuff down. Lots of stuff. Stuff I don’t even think I’ll need. To accomplish this I have purchased a wire-bound notebook and I’ve already begun scrawling copious notes in it, along with further questions that pop into my head during the course of my daily research. This brings me to my third resolution…
3) Refer to my notes instead of trying to remember everything. I have a bad habit of doing this, and of course it leads to dumb, time-wasting mistakes.
4) My fourth resolution shoves me right out of my nice warm comfort zone: I resolve to break the death grip the internet has on me and visit both my local Family History Centre and the City Clerk’s office office of Niagara Falls, New York. This will be great fun when the weather gets a little more reasonable (which around here is…oh…May), because my husband has been bitten by the genealogy bug as well, and we really enjoy going on “outings” together. Preferably free outings. We are a simple folk.
5) Make more “life event” timelines for my ancestors. I made three of these yesterday and I’m already beginning to see patterns and connections I’ve missed thus far. Plus, at the end of the day I had something concrete to show for my work. I can’t recommend the exercise of personal timelines enough.
6) Cite, cite, cite, cite. And then when I’m done with that, cite some more, following that up with several further citations.
Ta-dah! 2009 is going to be a watershed year–I can feel it!