2010 Genealogical Resolutions – How did I fare?

As part of the 87th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, I posted my 2010 Genealogical Resolutions on the last day of December last year.  I think it’s time to assess how I fared this year.  I have been inspired Tonia’s Roots to begin compiling a list of monthly to do’s to help break up these resolutions in the future.

Personal Family History – 2010

I think that this area is where I failed miserably.  I can offer the same lame excuses that everyone does when they can’t keep their resolutions – “I was too ambitious..”, “Life got in the way…”, “My dog ate it…” but really, the fault is only my own.

1.  Travel to Isle of Wight County, Virginia and glean more information on my COPELAND ancestors.

Well, I certainly didn’t do this one and I will likely not be able to get any research done on location before the end of the year is out.  This is certainly still a goal and an objective (since the COPELANDs might just be my mother’s key to joining the Colonial Dames of the 17th Century) but it’s not a pressing concern.  They’re dead and they’ll still be there.  Instead of “on location” resesarch I might be better off trying to first order some films from our local family history center and see where that takes me.

2.  Complete my Eleanor CRAIG and John CRAIG DAR supplementals.

These are essentially complete.  There was some additional research that I think I wanted to locate, but unfortunately I didn’t take meticulous enough notes and I have forgotten what it was.  The real thing holding me back was paying the fees for the supplemental paperwork to be processed.  I’m going to keep this one on the list for next year and hope that I can save my pennies.

3.  McAfee, McAfee, McAfee… Continue to trace down the antics of very bad ole Oliver Cromwell McAfee (wherever that might take me).

I am in love with Oliver Cromwell McAfee… but luckily not the way that my ancestor was.  Sadly, I have little to report on the McAfee front.  I did do a little research this year, but not nearly the volume that I was hoping for.  It’s also not looking good for me to explore Union Parish, Louisiana this Christmas for more evidence of his 2nd life down there.  As I mentioned in my Week #47, 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge post, I would love, love, love to take a trip to North Carolina and get to the root of some of his misadventures.  But is it realistic to put it on my list for next year?  I don’t know… it remains to be seen.

4.  Clean up the sources in my Reunion 9 database and get that thing back up on the internet — proven lines ONLY!

Well this is kind of hard to determine if I failed miserably or just went in a different direction entirely.  Despite the fact that I run a Mac platform, I found a very workable hack to run RootsMagic on my laptop and I’ve been happily inputting information ever since.  Only proven information is going into RootsMagic, but I’m still using Reunion 9 for my hypothetical lines because it’s easier to take them with me on my iPhone at the moment.

Professional/Educational Endeavors – 2010

My goals for professional/educational endeavors in 2010 were quite lofty.  And unfortunately for the most part unattainable for reaons partially outside of my control.  They sounded reasonable when I made them!

1.  Renew my subscription to the BCG’s On Board publication.

Check!  I think.  I did renew my subscription, but I feel like I’ve only gotten these in the mail very intermittently.  So I need to check on the status of my subscription.  Despite the fact that I renewed my subscription I was not terribly diligent about actually reading them once they were mailed to me.  I did keep them so I can go back and review them whenever I get around to having some spare time.

2.  Join and participate in the NGSQ monthly chats. (Note: This is sort of cheating as a resolution because I already signed up for the Thursday, 9pm chat session… starting this month!)

Despite the fact that I said it was cheating, I actually made the decision to sit out one the NGSQ monthly chats.  Mainly because of #3 below.  I hope that after March 2011 when my ProGen group is scheduled to be finished I can actually start to participate in these chats.

3.  Put my heart and soul into my ProGen Study Group.

Despite wanting to quit several times, I have actually really put my heart and soul into my ProGen Study group.  I wish I had a lot more time to devote to it, but I’m happy to say that I’m all caught up with my assignments and I’m learning tons of stuff.  The people in my group are amazing and know so much.  I love the way that this study group is structured and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s thinking about becoming a professional in the field or who just wants to take their genealogy to the next level.  I think I’ll be very sad that it’s over in March.

4.  Attend at least one major, national genealogical conference or seminar.

Nope, not even close.  I did, however, attend a hands-on seminar by Dr. Thomas W. Jones.  It was incredibly instructional (and difficult).  That might count for something, though it was not a major national conference.

5.  Start the NGS Home Study Course (I’ve already got CD #1, but I can’t seem to get going on it… always something else to do).

Also a big nope.  Like the NGSQ chats, I decided that the Home Study Course was better left for next year after I’ve completed ProGen.  One step at a time.

6.  Attend more montly meetings of the Fairfax Genealogical Society and both of their major conferences (spring & fall).

I managed to make it to two of the monthly meetings, no educational meetings, and the spring conference.  Dr. Jones had a special session on evidence orientation during the spring conference that I attended.  I also snuck into one session of the land records session learning about the division of land.  All-in-all the Fairfax Genealogical Society has some great speakers and great topics.  I feel lucky that this is my home society.

I went ahead and rated myself on the completion of my resolutions, giving each item a numerical value between 1 and 5 (1 = did not complete, bailed, failed, etc. and 5 = finished with flying colors).  Sadly I have to report that for 2010 I only scored an average score of 2.6.  That’s like a D+ or a C-.  I clearly have quite a few improvements to make, both on creating realistic goals and following through with those that I make for myself.  I’m hoping that 2011 will be a better year than 2010!

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