Geneabloggers.com and Amy at WeTree have done it again! This year they’re bringing us 52 weeks of genealogy challenges to blog about. As Amy said in her kick-off post, this year is meant to stretch our brains, work our skills, and build us into top notch researchers! She goes on to say:
The goal is to get genealogists to stretch their brains a bit. Beginning researchers will discover some new resources. You are encouraged to push buttons, click links and study all corners of the web sites. Some of you will be familiar with all of the tools used in the challenges. If that’s the case, approach them from a different angle. Don’t use them to search your ancestors, experiment with other ideas and explore the different ways the tool can be used.
This week’s challenge: Make your genealogy gift list. The holidays are coming! Prepare a list of genealogy-related gifts you’d like to receive: books, magazine subscriptions, software, electronics, society memberships or anything else that might look good with a bow on it. If you’re blessed to already have everything you could possibly want, consider charitable donations and in-kind gifts to societies, libraries and preservation groups. If you have a genealogy blog, you can share your list and give gift ideas to your readers as well.
The 12 Days of MyNeChimKi Christmas
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me – A 2TB drive from G-Technology
Technology is great, except when it backfires. That’s why backup storage is so important. If you don’t already have a backup day scheduled, I highly recommend putting some time aside at least each month to take care of this very important task. I’ve currently got several external hard drives that I use for backups, but more space is always on my wish list. You can never have enough room for all those precious copies of photos, documents, and GEDCOM files!
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Canon CanoScan LiDE210 Color Image Scanner
Unlike the two turtle doves, I’ll only need one of these. The National Archives has a policy that actually allows for the use of flatbed scanners! Sadly, my current scanner is far to large and bulky to carry with me easily and my cute, tiny Fujitsu ScanSnap is a document feeder scanner (which is not allowed by NARA’s rules). I’m hoping that perhaps someone will find the price just right on this little jewel and I’ll have a fun new toy to register at the NARA security desk come the 2011 research season! While the Canon is likely not the smallest scanner on the market, it’s 3.6 pounds and just 14.4 x 9.9 inches is the perfect size to fit into my computer bag. I think it’s smaller than my laptop!
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me – three female finders
Lately I’ve become very interested in tracking down those elusive female ancestors. I’ve attended a couple of seminars that have given some good advice and reading materials to help beef up research methods and find the missing ladies from your family tree. These three books are on the top of my list for finding aids:
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – four folio filers
I’m addicted to Moleskine notebooks, and I just about went batty when I learned that they’ve begun to produce these gorgeous folio binders. These are perfect for high class client research packages. Not to mention they’re an excellent way to class up your loose research notes! I only have one at the moment, but I plan on massing an army of them for all my loose genealogy papers.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Old Stone Rubbings
My digital camera does a fine job of capturing tombstone photographs, but I’ve always wanted to try my hand at some rubbings. I think that if done correctly they could be really beautiful wall art for my office. There are no shortage of very old tombstones in Loudoun County and I’m sad to report that many of them are fading fast. I’d love to be able to preserve some of them before they’ve completely vanished.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Special Census Schedules
When Ancestry.com released their special census schedules I ran right out and looked up all my relatives who I thought might be listed in the Agricultural schedules. And then I realized that I know very little about these vast areas of information. I’d love to learn more about them so I’m planning on taking the NGS Special Federal Census Schedules online class in 2011.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me – A Research Trip to NC
OK… so this one’s going to be kind of hard to gift, especially because it means that I’ve got to find the time to actually go to North Carolina. I also need to plan this trip very carefully. I’ve written about my dear ole friend Oliver Cromwell McAfee several times, but my research on him has reached a significant standstill. I would love to go to North Carolina and do some deep digging around the time when he left and headed west for Louisiana. I have so many questions and really the only way to solve them will be to spend some quality time in the courthouses and the archives where these records will be held.
On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Family Tree Magazine
I’ve been following Family Tree Magazine on Twitter for awhile now, and they seem to have some great articles going for them. I think that it’s high time I had a subscription. Now that Ancestry Magazine is no longer in print, I’m feeling a little jilted without a popular genealogy periodical.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – mtDNA
To go along with my curiosity of locating and learning more about my female ancestors I’d like to take a go at genetic genealogy. I know virtually nothing about genetic genealogy, and I think the best way to learn is to go out there and take a test! I’m not sure what the best companies to go with are; I’d be interested to find the most cost effective testing with a high level of accuracy. It seems like there’s a huge discrepancy in pricing out there. Ancestry.com’s Maternal Lineage DNA Test costs $179, while Family Tree DNA has 8 different tests available for women that range in price from $99.00 to $559.00. And then familybuilder is offering an mtDNA test kit for only $89.95. Guidance is certainly appreciated!
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Bling for everyone to see!
I’ll admit, while it’s not going to help me pursue my genealogical resolutions, further my education, or help provide better services for clients, I really would like to add some bling to my DAR ribbon! Several years ago I completed the DAR Genealogy Consultant course at NSDAR headquarters and I’ve simply never gotten around to purchasing the pin for myself. I think it would make a terrific addition to my insignia.
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives
I’m hoping that 2011 will afford me more time to visit NARA. I only got to go once in 2010 to do research. Hardly a researcher’s dream when you live less than 60 miles away. Because I’m hoping that I’ll be able to spend more time there I think it only appropriate for me to go prepared not only with my research plan but also in the information that they have available.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – RootsTech Conference Tickets
Now I’ve really tripped into the “wish” list realm! I would absolutely love to attend this conference. What better way to spend a weekend than marrying my two favorite areas of study… technology and genealogy. It seems that the two have been so far removed from each other for so long that this conference will be amazing to see how the cutting edge of technology is bringing its tools, resources, and ideas to the world of genealogy. I’m very interested in the way mobile development will change things and how digital archiving is bringing more resources to a wider population of people, completely at their finger tips. However, the conference falls just two short weeks before I’m supposed to run my first ever half marathon; not exactly perfect timing. I might actually have to sit this one out and follow along on Twitter.
On the thirtheenth (?) day of Christmas my true love gave to me – A Membership to the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
Maybe the 12 Days of Christmas can be like birthdays… one to grow on! I’ve always been facinated with conservation. I dabbled in it for two semesters back in college and have often contemplated returning to get my Masters in conservation. I would love to offer conservation consulting services for clients as I know that there are many people out there who have cherished treasures that are simply disintegrating before their eyes. It’s no surprise to my family when I go into near shock after opening a closet only to find thousands of conservation nightmares plauging our pictures, quilts, and other bygone treasures. I know some… but I’d love to know more.