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You know how you made that New Year’s resolution to finally clean out the garage? How you tore out magazine instructions for an afghan to crochet for your best friend’s grandbaby?
And then you did it?
Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you snort your coffee from laughing so hard.
It happens in genealogy research, too: You come across a lead you really should run down—a brief reference in a record to a newsworthy family event, or a citation for a history of your third-great-grandfather’s Civil War unit—but you lose the note you scribbled. Or you know you need to scan all those photos, but it seems like such a big undertaking.
The idea behind this special Family Tree Magazine issue is to help you git-r-done. Each article provides the inspiration you need to start a genealogy project and the step-by-step instructions to complete it.
First, discover your family history in Google Books and set up a research log to track your to-dos. You even can take all year to follow along on our treasure hunt for 52 unusual genealogy sources.
Celebrate your heritage by memorializing a veteran online or walking in your ancestors’ shoes at a living history site. Finally, don’t let your family’s story fade away: Preserve it by creating a news clipping archive or preserving a box of photos.
I’ve already started: Our steps for sharing family history on Pinterest has me pinning images from cemetery forays, pictures of places my relatives lived and lovely family tree displays. How’s that for not procrastinating?
Use these step-by-step project instructions as your genealogy New Year’s resolutions or tackle them as your research requires. You’ll end up with concrete accomplishments that move your family history search forward. Which is nothing to snort at.
Diane’s top three tips from this issue
1. To find old photos of places your ancestors lived, search sites such as Flickr and Google’s Image Search for the place plus the word history.
2. Mobile apps such as Google Drive, Evernote and iSpreadsheet let you access your genealogy research log on your phone.
3. Even county histories that don’t mention your ancestor can help you put your family’s story into historical context.