I have made New Year’s Resolutions for as long as I can remember. But about five or six years ago, I started making New Year’s goals. I no longer made resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier or save money. Those were good resolutions, but I never stuck with them past February. I wanted these new goals to be something that I would look forward to doing throughout the year. I made goals like I wanted to travel more, spend more time with my family, and get more engaged in the arts. I made goals for my genealogy journey as well just one or two then. But as the years passed and I started researching more and more, my genealogy goals started increasing as well.
The first time I actually wrote out my goals for genealogy was January 2014. Writing out my goals gave me something to look at throughout the year and see firsthand what I completed and what I still need to find. And it allows me to see some goals that have been on my list year after year.
My 2017 genealogy goals include:
- Research Thomas McRae Tuberculosis Sanatorium: Did some initial research at the Arkansas State Archives on 05/27/2017. Still need to go to the UAMS library to review some microfilm on Black hospitals in Arkansas
- Research Southern Tenant Farmers Union: Did my initial research at the U of A Library, Fayetteville Arkansas on 02/20/2017 and at the Arkansas State Archives on 05/27/2017. Went to the Southern Tenant Farmers Union Museum in Tyronza, Arkansas on 03/20/2017.
- Visit Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in McCroy, Arkansas – Oscar Wright
- Visit Mt. Zion Church in Shoffner, Arkansas – Robert Hatchett
- Ancestors that I still need death date and place for
- Josie Ward Skipper: Researched and found she died on 08 August 1941 in Saginaw Michigan. I now have a church and funeral home in Saginaw Michigan to further research. 05/2017
- Jake Skipper
- Hillary Denson
- Amy Hatchett
- Obituary/Funeral Programs
- Evva Hatchett
- Wayman Denson
- Research and gather more information on my paternal grandfather’s parents and siblings. Found newspaper articles about his sister’s visiting Newport in 1945. I now have names to further research.
- Road Trips
- Atlanta, Georgia – Hatchett Family Reunion: June 30, 2017
- St. Louis, Missouri – Wayman Denson
- Woodruff County, Arkansas – Church Records
- Attend a genealogy conference: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is having a genealogy workshop in July 2017 in Little Rock, Arkansas
- Gather video footage from family weddings, family reunions, Branch High School reunions
- Post a blog every week: I haven’t been consistent on writing and posting blogs every week. I think every two weeks may be a better time frame for me to aim for.
Looking back over these last six months I have done a lot of research. I have been able to find some information that I have been looking for. And I have found information that I didn’t know I needed to look for. I have new research leads on some ancestors as well.
I started my blog this year, Journey Through the Generations on WordPress.com I have been writing about the research centers/libraries I have visited, the documents I have found, my personal experiences in the genealogy world, and what I am learning during this journey. My original goal when I started this blog back in January was to post every week. But that has been more difficult that I thought it would. I think I will amend that to posting every two weeks. Writing this blog has helped me organize my thought and stay focused on my research.
Earlier this month my husband and I started a podcast about this journey. It’s still in the beginning phase, but we have two podcasts, A Journey Through the Generations on iTunes as of right now. My husband has the more outgoing personality between the two of us, so this is helping me get further out of my comfort zone and actually talk about what all I’ve done during this journey. The podcast will continue to focus on my research journey, but it also gives the listener Phillip’s experience and perspective which I think will be helpful to people who want to help a family historian research but may not know what they can do to help.
So this has been a busy six months, and I have so much more to do. Sometimes I look at my family tree, and it looks like I haven’t made any progress. During those moments when doubt may set in, I have to look at goal list and see all the red updates I have made. Then I have to remember that genealogy is a marathon and not a 100 yard sprint. And this is why my journey continues….