What are Your New Year’s Genealogy Resolutions?

By Vanessa Wieland

What are your genealogy resolutions?Are you the type of person to make New Year’s resolutions? The fact is, of course, that you can start something new at any time, but there’s something symbolic about starting a fresh challenge in the new year. That’s just as true of genealogy resolutions as it is for all those self-improvement goals and let’s be honest: researching your family history is more fun than exercising or eating right is for most of us.

Not all resolutions are equal, and there’s a reason so many fail before the first month is out. Want to set real, achievable genealogy resolutions for the new year? There are three main components to a great resolution: First, make it concrete, with an identifiable measure of success. Second, make it realistic. I’m probably not going to be able to make it to my ancestor’s town of origin (at least not this year), but I can find records of my Welsh and German ancestors online.

The third and biggest factor is motivation. We get inspired every day by the content we’re sharing with you, so we’ve decided to share our 2018 genealogy resolutions.

Look for inspiration

Andrew Koch, Books Editor:
“Take my father’s genealogy back as many generations as I’ve taken my mother’s genealogy. To put it another way: To find the names and birth/death dates for all my paternal third great-grandparents.”

Diane Haddad, Magazine Editor:
“I resolve to do some social history reading about the places where my immigrant ancestors came from, to learn what their lives were like and the local circumstances that influenced their decision to leave.” You can see how social history is used to help research and understand the context of our ancestor’s lives with this article.

Share your research

Rachel Fountain, Social Media Manager:
“My genealogy resolution for 2018 is to sit down with my grandma and learn more about her life. She’s done and seen so much throughout her lifetime and I would love to learn more about it! I also would like to record her stories to share them with the other members of my family. From meeting my grandfather, to all the work she’s done for her community, I want to preserve the many stories that make up my grandma’s inspiring life!”

Ashlee Peck, Online Editor:
“In 2018 I’d like to dig further into the genealogy of my mother’s family. She’s wanted to have her DNA tested for quite some time, so that’d definitely something I’d like to achieve with her in the new year. I think she’d really enjoy getting into the research with me, and that it would be a great way to bond. Hopefully we can make some great new discoveries!”

Schedule the time

Vanessa Wieland, Instructional Designer:
“Have you been following Angela Walton-Raji’s 52 Families in 52 Weeks on her blog? If not, you should check it out – it makes for some great reading and a chance to see some case studies in action. Inspired by her idea, I’m going to set something similar, though I have to be honest: one a week is not something I’m ready to take on. Instead, I’m going to aim for researching one family mystery per month. And to increase my chances of success, I’m really looking forward to our workshop, Organize Your Genealogy in a Week starting January 22nd, so I can start out on the right foot.”

I’m looking forward to looking back to see how we do, and checking back at the end of the year to mark our progress. What are your genealogy resolutions?