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Kristin's 2019 Genealogical Resolutions (or perhaps Aspirations?)

After a hectic 2018 that involved moving from Texas to Michigan, I *will* spend more time on genealogy in 2019. In fact, I already have been!

One of my bad habits is that I research at repositories or online, but then I don't do anything with that information except store it. There are several resolutions related to this:

  • Finish unpacking the box farm in the basement and strive to organize physical papers, letters, and photos related to family history (including scanning to digital)
  • Organize digital files and photographs into a single location with naming conventions, tags, and metadata
  • Transcribe data from both paper copies and digital images (both scanned and photographed)
  • Unpack and organize my books

Each of those bullets is a huge project in and of itself, and it will be a process. A long process...

My next resolution is to *use* the research I've done and make it accessible to others who may be researching the same lines or who are just interested in history. Since we have no children who would be interested in this information, I need to do something with it so it isn't lost.

  • Write an article or post on my paternal great-grandfather, William H. Gay. I also want to register him or, more likely, his father, Lusher Gay, as an Illinois Prairie Pioneer. I mentioned this in an earlier post from June 2018. I made a fair amount of progress last year, but need to finish and submit the paperwork.
  • Complete my application for the Early Texans DNA Project, which "is a geographically-oriented project focused on analyzing the DNA of those with ancestors who settled in Texas before 31 December 1900." Since my maternal great-great-grandmother, Harriet Ellen (Trotti) CADE was born in east Texas in 1848, this is an easy application. I just need to get it done. In fact, her paternal grandfather, James Francis TROTTI, was in Texas by 1844, and I proved into the Daughters of the Republic of Texas through him.
  • Edit my mother's autobiography and share it with relatives. Mom wrote her story out in longhand on a yellow pad when she was about 90 years old. The flow needs some work, and I'd love to add photos as well as some citations and other information. Every time I work on it, I find more questions I wish I could ask her!

Another set of resolutions has to do with tools and applications. Some I need to learn how to use better, some I've bought and never used at all. I do know that I can be more efficient and/or effective once I learn to use them.

  • Legacy Family Tree: I know the basics of the software, but need to learn more tricks, especially the process of citing sources. I've also got a long list of their webinars that I want to watch.
  • Clooz: I still need to find the moving box with the CD so I can install and begin to learn Clooz. I don't think I'll use it for every source, but that's to be determined. I will start by entering census records for a family through the years and see how that works. 
  • Evidentia: I will be learning this from scratch as well, but I expect I will use it primarily for analysis of evidence, resolving conflicts and even creating citations that can transfer into Legacy. I also need to understand when to use Clooz and when to use Evidentia.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking: I plan to use this for transcription of documents, particularly if I'm unable to scan and OCR them.
  • Scrivener: I've found this very useful in writing my mother's autobiography, but need to review the tutorial and practice.
  • AniMap: County boundaries change, and this software will help track those changes.
  • Charting Companion: I've just bought this primarly to take advantage of their charts for DNA, which takes me to my next set of resolutions...

DNA -- I will admit to being quite overwhelmed. I'm a pretty smart person, but it's going to take me some time and dedicated study to get up to speed on DNA. I won't go into a lot of detail here, but I've tested with several companies and have uploaded to GEDmatch. I've used the data from GEDmatch to join a couple of DNA Matchbox sites on Facebook for Scottish and Irish DNA, and I've made some connections that I need to get back in touch with. I've got so much more to learn, and I need to unpack and study those books on DNA that I've bought and moved to Michigan. 

And finally (OK, probably not *finally*), I have some interrupted conversations with cousins through messaging that I need to get back to. Boy, they may be surprised to hear from me after so long!

My plate is full for 2019 and beyond.