Monday, January 2, 2012

Motivation Monday - A Newbie's Goals

Last night I sat down and wrote a long post about my genealogy goals for 2012.  I included a few words about how I just got started with my family history search around this time last year, so for someone brand new, I didn’t do too badly.  For example:

I started with a fantastic basic training course.  
I also attended a library workshop presented by John Coletta, and a Family History workshop;
I joined a wonderful Genealogy Discussion Group;
I made a trip to the Maryland State Archives;
I visited the National Archives in Washington DC, to get a copy of my ancestor's Civil War pension record;
I've uncovered many documents on many family members;
I visited the gravesites of several family members, including some who, one year ago, I did not know existed;
I've scanned lots of old photos;
OMG, I even started a blog! 

I conveniently avoided listing those things that I wanted to do but didn’t, and the fact that I got way too sidetracked by the holidays.  When I finished reading it, I could only think one thing:  I need help!

Lucky for me, help arrived this morning in the form of Stephanie from Corn and Cotton: My Family’s Story.  Stephanie has put out a call to family historians and geneabloggers to join together and provide motivation and support for one another throughout the year.  Read Stephanie’s post about her own goals and the cooperative plans for 2012.

So, this may seem odd, but my genealogy goal for January is to clean my house.  Yes.  Clean.My.House.  From top to bottom.  I’m not a hoarder; the garbage goes out regularly.  But you know how it can be; piles of paper just materialize…and grow.  And then one pile of papers and magazines gets moved to another room for sorting and storing, and I turn my head and, bazinga, there is another pile of catalogs in the space I just cleared!  How it happens, I’d like to know!  So that’s my first month’s job: decorations down, clean house, begin to create a better workspace. 

Here are all of my 2012 goals:

Clean house.

Create a warm, bright workspace for research, blogging and record-keeping.

Begin at the beginning, again.  I have been researching family history for one year now, with a less than half-hearted attempt at same during this past month of December.  Start over, in new, clean, workspace.  Sort the records I already have; fill in the family group sheets I have started as much as possible. 

Join Harford County Genealogical Society.  Attend regularly.

Continue as member of Harford County Public Library Genealogy Discussion Group.

Finish posting photos from Baltimore National Cemetery and Darlington Cemetery on

Blog at least three time a week.

It may not seem like much, but it’s a start. 

I have long-term goals, too:
Prove or disprove the connections to the person I believe to be my 5x great-grandfather.  This could lead to ultimate distant connection to inventor Robert Fulton.  Wouldn’t that be cool!

Help hubby put together some basic information and photos about his dad’s family.  I think maybe a Shutterfly book would work well here.  Hubby wants to gift this to his dad when we visit Wales in March. 

Find a technology buddy.  Here I am woefully behind the times.  That includes learning more about Facebook, Google+, Blogger and more.  I am a visual person; reading directions leaves me stumped.  I need someone who can sit with me and teach me.  Maybe I can find a high school kid who can fill me in!

So, there it is.  If anyone has ideas for me, please share!  I'm open to all suggestions.

Thanks, Stephanie, for the great idea and the motivation!  I look forward to following along, having some goals, giving and receiving support, and basking in the satisfaction of a clean house. 


  1. You will be glad that you put "clean house" at the top of your list. What progress I did make last year mostly occurred after my big house cleaning. Keeping on top of the mess is much easier now and takes less time. I also like the technology buddy idea because I am very "technology deficient." I think your goals are very realistic and attainable and wish you good luck!

  2. Jenny, I can be your technology buddy! Give me a hollar!

    By the way, great post!

  3. Jenny,
    I'm amazed at what you've already accomplished and love your goals for 2012. I really need to clean and organize my computer room. It's on my subconscious list -- I think I'm going to have to make it conscious.

  4. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your support. It's somehow easier knowing folks are rooting for you.

    Deb, I will take you up on that offer. But I don't think you know what you're in for, I'm pretty behind the times! Will be in touch.