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You could argue that Jan. 1 is no different from any other day; it just happens to be the date when we flip our calendars from one year to the next. But for many of us, that calendar flip is symbolic: A new year represents a clean slate, an opportunity for new beginnings in our lives—and in our genealogy research.
As the calendar turns to February and March—and that once-clean slate gets muddied with expectations and obligations—it’s easy to let our commitment to our resolutions wane. So now is the ideal time to share ideas that will spark new beginnings in your family history endeavors.
I’ll bet many of you resolved to finally find one of your elusive ancestors this year. To help you achieve that goal, we’ve got nine brick wall-busting strategies (page 22), complete with examples showing how to apply those tactics in real-life research situations.
And if your brick-wall ancestor is a woman, you’ll want to check out our new Family Tree University course, Finding Female Ancestors, developed by Lisa A. Alzo. Find details and session dates at familytreeuniversity.com.
Perhaps you resolved to get organized. That one perpetually shows up on my list; in particular, my computer files are forever lapsing into a state of clutter. If you can relate, let our article on cloud computing (page 42) inspire and guide you to take a new approach in managing your family history data.
For me, 2013 brings the best kind of genealogy beginning: a new branch on my own family tree. In December, my husband and I welcomed a baby boy into the world. As we author this new chapter in our family’s story, I’m delighted to have another generation to (eventually) share my family history discoveries with—as the calendar flips, and all year round.
Allison’s Top Three Tips from this Issue
1. Use cloud-computing services to sync and back up your family history files. You’ll save time and effort.
2. Digitizing an old scrapbook or other heirloom is the best way to ensure it will live on for future generations to enjoy.
3. Study social history to understand your ancestors’ behavior—it will frame up next steps for your research.
From the March/April 2013 issue of Family Tree Magazine