Thursday, December 30, 2010

Genealogy Goals - New Year 2011

COG 101: My genealogy research/writing plan for 2011

This may be the first time in my entire life to have actually written down goals for the upcoming year. Good intentions and thoughts about them don't seem to "get 'er done". I have been working on four lists: Genealogy, Business, Household, and Personal. Below are 5 goals for genealogy that I hope to accomplish in 2011.

1) Write an updated article on my Townsend lineage for the Townsend Society of America Genealogical Journal before the first quarter deadline which is mid January. The last TSA Journal that came out had some misinformation on my lineage and it was also extremely scanty. I'm pretty sure it was the same information I originally submitted to them over a dozen years ago when I first joined the TSA. This doesn't need to be a lengthy article so it shouldn't take much time.

2) Finish transcribing my great grandfather's diary. Oliver Morton Wallen wrote a daily diary that ended with his death in 1907 at the age of 37 years. The first few pages are a summary of his early childhood and then it continues as a daily journal. Over the years, Oliver filled up four  composition books. I have completely finished transcribing three of those books and I made an every-name index for two of them. I need to finish the index for the third book and transcribe and index the fourth. It tends to take me a while because for every new name or place, I go off in all directions gathering information, and that's OK by me because I have made some significant discoveries by doing that. The completion of this project has been put on hold for 3 years and I have several near and distant relatives that are eager to get their hands on the finished product.

3) Gather information on living relatives. I have been great at gathering all the pertinent data on the dead but I have many living relatives who's marriage dates and places are missing or their children's dates of birth and middle names are missing, and so on. I am sometimes met with those who are reluctant to give out that information and I have to explain that I am not doing it because I am nosy. We all know how that goes.

4) In 16 years I have accumulated a rather large genealogy library. By far the largest of my goals is to inventory my personal library and make a catalog of the books, CDs, and other reference materials I have and that I sometimes forget I have. I have many rare and out of print county histories, plat maps, surname genealogies, etc. For some counties I have up to a dozen books. This will be a time consuming effort.

5) Set up a daily/weekly/monthly schedule for organizing my genealogy data both on my computer and off, including scanning of documents and photos. This is just a schedule, not the actual organization of all my "junk". The actual organization and all it entails is an ongoing, never-ending process. I do not expect it to be a "finished" effort, but rather a habit formed. (Note to God: Please help me, I can't do this by myself!)

Just thinking about #4 and #5 makes me wonder where I am going to find time for the rest of my life and those other three lists! However, I remember a time, just about four years ago, when I was effortlessly organized....our house/yard, our business records, and my personal (social/spiritual) life, all organized! And it was all because I was following the prompts of the "Fly Lady" ( What a complete idiot I was for letting myself fall off THAT wagon! To accomplish even half of my goals I will need to become a Fly Baby once again. I can do this!

(Written for the 101st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy)



  1. Number 2, transcribing and indexing your great grandfather's diaries sounds really interesting. I hope you get 'er done!

  2. Like Flylady says: You are not behind!...jump in where you are, OK?

    From another fell-off-the-wagon Flybaby

  3. At least you have the diaries. I have heard of one journalwritten by gr grandfather, but can't get a peak.
    good luck and well we will be checking on

  4. Love it Ros! ;-) I am starting out pretty good. Dug my control journal out and dusted it off. I'm excited about flying again, can't wait!

  5. I am also a FlyBaby! She has a new "partner" - It is an AWESOME calendar/to-do lists/shopping lists/journal program. I finally stopped procrastinating (!!) and signed up for it last night. It works on my mobile phone... AND hubby can access it so see my calendar and add items to the grocery list! I LOVE IT. It is already working so much better for me than Google Calendar. Here is the link if you're interested: Good luck with your goals!

  6. Liz, your comment couldn't have come at a better time. I was just looking yesterday for the longest time at all the calendars to choose from on my phone, trying to find just the right one and I didn't see any I liked. This is perfect!! I am signing up too! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Lisa, add me to the list of distant relatives anxiously awaiting the finished product for #2.

    I pulled out my Barbara Sher book "Refuse to Choose" again yesterday to go through some of the tactics she suggests for those of us with more interests than time. One of the things she recommends is keeping a calendar, so thank you Liz for the recommendation. I'll check that out as a replacement for google calendar.

    Sounds like I should check out flylady, too. I'll just add that to my list, that is if I can find it :-)

  8. I'm definitely going to check out!

    Liz, thank you so much for your comment and encouragement. I feel better about my goals for this year than any year I made *resolutions*. Never again.

  9. Lisa,

    I hope when you are done transcribing the diary that you share it with the historical society in the area that he lived. :) A very ambitious list!

    J at Cow Hampshire

  10. I'm a flybaby too! Remember your timer - that will keep you from getting burned out, and I use 'Anti-Procrastination' days as part of my research plans.

  11. That is totally awesome, another Flybaby! I knew there had to be some of you out there in genealand! I love my timer but I've really got to snag another feather duster because my big old doggy ate mine. :-O