31 December


Genealogy Goals for 2013

By Stephanie Pitcher Fishman goals 1 Comment



Photo Credit: Billy Alexander


Happy New Year!


Like many, I’m focusing on the excitement and the possibilities that wait in the coming months. From personal to business, opportunities and adventures await. What will be on your list? Here are a few ideas from mine:


My Genealogy Goals for 2013:


1. Get organized.

White boards. My friends and colleagues love them. I need a few. I’d love to have some not only for professional projects but personal projects as well. Between old school techniques like these and high-tech versions like Evernote and other apps, I’m ready to apply a little bit of new organization.


2. Narrow down your research.

I say this every year. I have a problem. I want to know all of  my ancestors. Unfortunately, there has to be focus. What lines draw your attention? For me, I have two that are taking precedence. One I have access to county and state records because of location. (Hello, Ohio!) The other is special to me because my mother, uncle, and cousins are all interested. By keeping my eye on the prize – these two family lines – I will regain some focus on my already limited personal research time. What’s better than that? How can you make your new year research goals easier by narrowing your focus?


3. Involve the kids.

Grab the kids. It’s time to have fun! What do your kids enjoy? I plan on bringing mine along as my photographer because that is her passion. Even those that aren’t interested in genealogy can become interested in other aspects. History? Introduce them to newspapers or other historical items. Travel? Go romp around the areas from which your ancestors hail. My daughter will accompany me to several repositories and towns during the year.


4. Give back.

There are several different projects available for any researchers that would like to donate their time and skills – professional and hobbyist a like. From Unclaimed Persons to cemetery projects such as BillionGraves, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget about indexing through FamilySearch. In addition to a new project starting up later in January, I plan on using my time throughout the year for each of these. I also volunteer through a local history museum. However, volunteering in the community doesn’t have to mean blocking out days or nights on your calendar. BillionGraves can be integrated with your own research. Indexing can be done while watching a movie with your family. Find something that works for you.


5. Reach out.

This one is simple. I have several cousins that I’d like to reconnect with or help my mother reconnect with during the new year. I’m going to get out my stationary (or perhaps purchase something new!) and write a few letters each month. Connect with someone. I’m sure they will be glad that you did.


6. Take a trip.

Highland County, Ohio, is home to a lot of my paternal ancestors. I love visiting it. However, Ashtabula County, Ohio, is also rooted along my Pitcher line. Unlike Highland County, I’ve never gotten to see the area. In 2013, I plan to do just that. Where would you like to go?


7. Learn a new record set.

What records are you most familiar with? I love census records. I love marriage and death certificates. Religious records? Fun! Now, what record set have you not used as much as you’d like? I haven’t utilized land records and probate records to the fullest in my personal research – specifically my Ladd line. I have one brickwall ancestor among them that I am hoping will tumble with these records. I want to focus on this set with this ancestor in upcoming research.


8. Build your library.

Books. I can’t say enough. Buy more books. On my list?  A book about my Flower family line, a few Ohio resources, some additional resources focusing on religious records, maps, and researching women. I’m determined to add at least 13 new resources into my library during 2013. What’s on the top of your list?


9. Record their stories.

Whether you choose to blog their stories or write more of a traditional tale, get out that pen or laptop and write! There are so many wonderful ways to share your ancestors’ stories. You can find ideas and suggestions in my December 2012 newsletter. (Want more? Sign up to receive it free each month. Next month we’ll talk about placing our ancestors in history.)

10. Record your stories.

We focus so much on the stories of our ancestors that sometimes I think we forget to record our own. I admit it. I don’t want to always think of myself as the adult generation. (Where’s the fun in that! <wink>) However, this year I’m planning on recording my own stories for my daughters using Saving Memories Forever. I want to encourage my family to record theirs as well, but I’m not going to forget my own. How will you record your stories?


And a bonus….


11. Teach others.

This could go along with number four: Give back. Or, it could be a business goal if you’d like to begin presenting to groups and organizations. Either way, share what you know. Guide someone. Mentor a new genealogist. Join your local genealogical organization and help volunteer with their programs and events. My goal? All of these.


What’s on your list of goals for the new year?
I’d love to hear them. In fact, one might just end up back on my list!



© 2012, Stephanie Pitcher Fishman. All rights reserved.


  • Mike

    10 January 2013 Reply

    Great list. My goals line up nearly directly with yours. Because of #1, I literally just signed up for Evernote Premium. I was using the free version for about a year, but decided it was time to beef up my synced research notes.
    Mike recently posted..What’s a mom to do?My Profile


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