GenTips: Research Resolutions

Posted January 27, 2009 by Geni | No Comment

In this post, Geni guest blogger and avid genealogist Lisa Alzo helps you with your research resolutions for the new year.

The start of every New Year is a time for reflection about our personal and professional accomplishments during the previous 12 months. It's also the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate and identify areas for improvement. You can use the month of January to set some family history research
resolutions. Here are five possibilities:

  1. Get Some Goals – Formulate one or more specific research goals. What do you want to learn? Your ancestor's marriage date? His spouses name? Finding great-grandpa's immigration date/passenger list? Be as specific as possible.
  2. Set Your Strategy – Record as much as you can from original documents and records. Include names and spelling variations, family relationships, dates of birth, marriage, and death. Make guesses about what you already know (estimate when your ancestors married; speculate on the spouses name; identify a range of possible immigration dates, etc.).
  3. Seek Your Sources – Research which records will likely prove your hypotheses. Find out if they're available, where to get them, and in what format. List all options. Then, decide on the order in which you'll seek the records, and how to get them.
  4. Document, Document, Document – It's often said that genealogy without documentation is mythology. Cite all of your sources carefully. For guidance, consult the Board for Certification of Genealogists Web site.
  5. Review, Revise, Recharge – Review notes from your family
    history conversations, your genealogical software, and collected documents. Then, make detailed notes, and add any new data to your charts. Revise/update as necessary and make changes to your approach.

Bonus tip: 
Connect your family.  Sign
up with Geni to start building and sharing
your family tree!

You can set additional goals, but this list should get you
off and running.

Resolve to make 2009 your most productive research year

If you enjoyed this Genealogy Tip by Lisa please join us again in a
couple weeks for more. In the meantime, get out there and interview
your family members and preserve your family history on Geni.


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