Studies show (well, at least one study shows) that 66 percent of adults have ever made a New Years resolution.
So maybe I risk losing a third of you when I suggest making a genealogy-oriented resolution or two. But wait! If you stick around for the rest of this post, Ill give you some ideas and link to articles that might be helpful in achieving your family history goals:
- Scan a bunch of family photos and share them with relatives. Be specific resolve to scan a photo every Saturday, for example. Learn three ways to speed up the scanning process.
- Organize your recordson your computer and in your file drawerin a way that makes sense for you. Schedule 30 minutes once a week or once a month to file accumulated papers. (For serious assistance, consider our Organize Your Genealogy Life! CD.)
- Digitize your genealogy records and back them up online, on an external hard drive or on a CD. Read Dick Eastmans post about online backup services.
- Back up your digitized photos, too (in the May 2010 Family Tree Magazine, well recommend several photo-sharing websites for backing up family photos).
- Finally call great-aunt Betty and ask to talk about your family history.
- Pick a family and, for each place they lived, run a place search of the Family History Library online catalog. Copy information on any promising microfilm title.
- Go through your attic and closets and catalog your family heirlooms. You can use our heirloom recording forms to note the items’ original owner, provenance, and other important information.
- Commit an hour or so a week to volunteering for a records indexing project. Try FamilySearch Indexing or Ancestry.coms World Archives Project, or see if your local library or historical society could use your indexing assistance.
- Join a genealogical society and/or attend a family history class at your library.
- If youre a beginning family historian, resolve to search the 1930 census (the most recent one available) for every relative who was alive at the time. See our census search tips, and visit a large library to use census microfilm, HeritageQuest Online or Ancestry Library Edition.