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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    « Ring in the New 2012 Genealogy Goals | Main | If Our Ancestors Wrote Christmas Letters: 2011 Edition »

    2011 Genealogy Goals: Year End Report 

    The Family Curator and Amy Coffin WeTree Blogger

    from the West Coast Partner --

    It's that time of year, to look back and see what progress we've made with our annual genealogy goals. For the third year, I was able to meet with Amy Coffin of the WeTree Blog when she was in Southern California during the holidays. Last December, our usual afternoon chat turned to research and blogging and we challenged each other to complete three genealogy goals. Now it's time to report on our ultimate progress. You can read Amy's report here.

    Our goal was to accomplish three genealogy-related goals, one each for organizing, research. and writing. We decided to break it into categories for variety and to challenge ourselves in areas we needed a bit of a nudge.

    Amy really kicked-off the Year End Report season with news of her first published e-book! Last year's dream is now a reality with The Big Genealogy Blog Book, and I am excited to think that I was there at the beginning when Amy said something about wanting to write "a little e-book." Little e-book, indeed! The Big Genealogy Book is eleven chapters filled with great ideas for blog posts, encouragement for stalled bloggers, and topics for improving your genealogy expertise. It's proof-published that goal setting works. Congrats, Amy!  She finished her other big goal too, and you can read all about it at The WeTree Genealogy Blog.

    I would like to say that I was able to make it to the finish-line on all my goals, but life has a way of happening. In all kinds of ways.

    My goals for 2011:

    Organization Goal -- To get my digital life in order. My move from PC to Mac left my digital files in a turmoil and I am pleased to report that I was able to successfully complete this goal and am now a happy and well-backed up Mac user. I have moved all my photos to an external hard drive that is backed up to a second external drive, and I also run the Mac Time Machine back-up system to keep regular back ups of all my ongoing work. No more nightmares.

    Research Goal -- To figure out the Chamblin/Chamberlain/Chamberlin link in my family tree. I was making pretty good progress with this and planned to do some onsite research in Springfield, Illinois at FGS, but then, life happened. Instead of going to FGS, I stayed home to say goodbye to my dear aunt who passed away August 30, and then to say hello to my new grandson in early September. The Chamblins have been waiting for a long time, they just have to wait a little longer.

    Writing Goal -- To reproduce Aunt Mercy's beautiful genealogy book and share it withe the extended family. It's a gorgeous hand-painted and hand calligraphied work filled with narrative, pedigree charts, and a good deal of "speculative family history." It's too good to be kept in a box in the dark. My plan was to incorporate it in a larger family history and reproduce the artwork, but instead, I think I might like to transcribe the pages and print text opposite a full page reproduction. A short biography of Mercy might round out the book.

    Although I didn't complete this goal, I am pleased with the progress I made. I was able to scan and photograph each page and begin transcribing some of the more dense narrative. The pedigree charts are very creative and will be a more of a challenge.

    My Big News

    Oh, and did I add that my biggest goal (not appearing on the list, but drifting around my head) is also in progress? Yes, I'm writing a book!

    Organize Your Family Archive will be out this summer from F+W Media. It's packed with practical ideas for working with family stuff, organizing your inherited treasures, and preserving memorabilia for future generations. I am madly writing every day and loving every minute. It's a lot of work, but great fun to spend time thinking and writing about my passion. Right now, I'm working toward the final manuscript deadline, so I'd better get back to work.

    Join Us in 2012

    P.S. -- Yes, Amy and I did make a few Genealogy Goals for 2012 and will post them in the new year. We are anxiously waiting to hear a Year End Report from our greatest challengers, the Northern California team of Sheri Fenley The Educated Genealogist and Cheryl of Heritage Happens. Well, team NoCal?

    If you want to join us in 2012, find a Genealogy Buddy, set three goals, and write about them on your blog. Add a comment and link to your post in the Comments of this article; I will post a round-up of the buddy-teams in January and Amy and I will do our best to keep the up the momentum in 2012.

    There are no rules for this challenge! It's not a competition. Do what works to give yourself the nudge and encouragement to accomplish something you want to do genealogy-wise in the next twelve months. If you want to keep your goals private, try writing them on a piece of paper and sealing them in an envelope. You know what they are, and your blogging buddy can still send you a little nagging email once in a while to remind you to check the envelope.


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    Reader Comments (8)

    I can't wait to read your new book. I have a small family archive that needs to be organized. Happy New year!

    December 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky Jamison

    I think goals are great! If we don't meet them that's ok, we have ready-made goals for the next year!! :) Looking forward to your book Denise!

    December 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenna Mills

    I don't have a blog, but will make some goals. I have boxes of photos and CDs that need to be organized. There are photo albums and back up drives and scanners for negatives and slides just waiting for my time. Last year I managed to copy some 8 mm video to CD, so that was a start. Your book will be a good guide to the overwhelmed.

    December 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMilda Simaitis

    I made way more than 3 goals, but I chose 3-4 as part of the buddy project. My Genealogy Buddy is Lisa Alzo! See my post here:

    December 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonner

    Congrats on the progress you made in 2011! I know what you mean about life happening - it has a way of doing that :) I look forward to hearing more about your book!

    December 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSheley Bishop

    Thanks for the push to also put my goals in writing. I only have 2 goals but feel I can accomplish them in the next 12 months. Great job Denise!

    December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGayle Ficarra Wolcott

    Denise, glad to hear that you saw the light and ditched PCs. Once you go Mac, you'll never go back!

    I've really enjoyed your blog, and look forward to another year of reading it.

    Happy New Year!

    January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren K

    So, now that the cat's out the bag I really have to keep working! Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, all.

    Milda, I'd like to hear how you copied your 8mm films. We've got some of those too.

    Great to have you join us Donner and Lisa! We can keep each other moving along.

    January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Levenick

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