Sunday, January 7, 2018

How Did I Do on My 2017 Genealogy Goals?

Last year at about this time, Randy Seaver posted a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge:  What are your genealogy goals for 2017?  As I think about goals for this year, I decided to look back at what I had in mind for last year and see how much I actually accomplished.  It doesn't look as good as I might have hoped.

Personal Research

Find the son my aunt gave up for adoption in 1945.  Not accomplished.  I've done almost as much as I can, but I'm very much constrained from direct research by New Jersey adoption privacy law.  I have my aunt's DNA results in Family Tree DNA and GEDMatch.  Her samples were not good enough for Ancestry to analyze, unfortunately.  Long Lost Family does not appear to be interested in her situation.  I should have her test at 23andMe.  I'm also considering submitting her story to another television show.

Determine who the biological father of my grandfather was.  Not accomplished.  Three children of my grandfather (from three different mothers) have DNA results in multiple databases.  So far the only helpful connections are two men who match my father on 107 markers on Y-DNA results.  Both of them have the same last name, Mundy, so that has been the focus of my research.  I need to continue the research to see if I can find someone who could/should be closer than the estimated 6th cousins these two matches are.

Catch up on entering all the information I found in 2016 into my family tree database, including citations.  If I don't count the citations, then I've almost entirely accomplished this.

Make sure I have uploaded the DNA results of all the family members who have tested to all possible databases.  Spend more time with the DNA databases looking for matches and contacting close matches to share information.  Work more with chromosome mapping; try the Lazarus tool on FTDNA.  I've mostly done the first and the second.  I need to find time to do more chromosome mapping and to try the Lazarus tool.

Share all the photos I've been scanning with family members from the appropriate lines and ask for help with identification of as-yet unlabeled photos.  Another partially accomplished.  I've shared with some family members and gotten more ID's, but I haven't shared with everyone yet.

Look for a group that is planning to pool money for research in the Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine archive and join up, with the aim of finding documents on my Gorodetsky, Kardish, and Schneiderman relatives from Kamianets Podilskyi.  Accomplished but not helpful.  I have looked for a group, I just didn't find one.

Stay in better touch with cousins with whom I have already made contact.  Accomplished!  About time I managed to finish something.

Figure out how to do some sort of research in Punjab remotely, so I can make progress on my stepsons' grandfather's family lines.  Not accomplished.  Well, kind of figured out, but not tested yet.

Get back to working on Irish research, so I can make progress on my stepsons' grandmother's family, my half-sister's mother's family, and my friend's O'Gara family from County Roscommon and County Sligo.  Not accomplished.  I have a new presentation about doing Irish research but haven't had time yet to use the information myself.

Any time I take a trip, check to see what research I might be able to do in the area while I'm there.  Accomplished!  I think I was able to do some research on almost every trip I took.


Go to the Ventura County Genealogical Society's family history event for Black History Month.  Accomplished!  I was the featured speaker, so it would have been really bad if I hadn't done this.  I helped with general genealogy questions in the morning and taught two classes in the afternoon.

Attend the Forensic Genealogy Institute in San Antonio, Texas in March.  Accomplished!  I learned lots of information about legal records and procedures from the Legal Genealogist herself.

Attend the annual Sacramento African American Family History Seminar in March.  Accomplished!  I taught a session about Freedmen's Bureau records and went to two other classes.

Attend Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank in June.  Accomplished!  I taught one class (the very last session of the conference) and went to several where I learned new stuff.

Attend (probably) the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Orlando, Florida in July.  Accomplished!  I ended up giving five presentations over the six days of the conference and went to at least a couple of dozen other sessions.

Attend the Northwest Genealogy Conference in August in Arlington, Washington, if I have a talk accepted.  Accomplished!  I had four talks accepted, which meant I didn't have a lot of time to attend other speakers' presentations, but I squeezed in a couple.

Attend the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference over Labor Day weekend, this year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Not accomplished.  Even though I won a free registration, my move to Oregon ended up taking place the weekend of the conference.

Watch Webinars from Florida State Genealogical Society, Illinois State Genealogical Society, Legacy Family Tree, Minnesota Genealogical Society, North Carolina Genealogical Society, Southern California Genealogical Society, and Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, and whatever other ones I hear about.  Accomplished!  I averaged two to three per week.

Attend local genealogy presentations, primarily at the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California, California Genealogical Society, East Bay Genealogical Society, San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, and Oakland FamilySearch Library Accomplished!  I went to presentations at all of the groups I anticipated.

Make presentations at local genealogical societies and FamilySearch Centers and Libraries.  Accomplished!  I made 15 presentations to ten groups.  I had to cancel three talks because of my move to Oregon.


Stick to my average of about three to four posts per week on my blog.  Partially accomplished.  I was doing fine at the beginning of the year but fell off quite a bit after August due to my move.  I'm still trying to get back to a regular schedule, especially for Treasure Chest Thursday.

I want to update and expand my article on the research I did on my Cuban cousins.  Not accomplished.  I don't think I even looked at it.  Or I looked at it and didn't have time to do anything with it.

I have a translation project and two transcription projects I'm working on that I need to devote more time to.  Not accomplished.  I looked at them as I packed them for the move.

Write some book reviews that I'm behind on.  Not accomplished.  I did find one book I'm supposed to review that had been missing, however, so I'll count that as a small success.

Finish creating a name index for a book about Niceville and Valparaiso, Florida.  Not accomplished.  I looked at the book as I packed it for the move.

Overall Results

It's very humbling to look at this list and see what I didn't do.  I did great with my educational goals and some of my personal research, but a lot of stuff fell by the wayside as I packed up everything in the house I'd been living in for 24 years and moved it 600 miles north.  It's probably a good thing I haven't made an extensive list of goals for this year, because I'm still looking at lots of unpacked boxes in most rooms of the new home.  I think I'll mostly lie low and play catch-up this year.

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