Start your genealogy research off right in the new year by writing down your goals for 2020. Now is the perfect time to think about what you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Create research plans
Do you have a branch you haven’t been able to tackle? Or a great grandfather you have yet to find out more about? Create a research plan so that you can better organize your time researching your family history. Put forth a question you want to answer, then list the steps you will need to take to find that answer. Breaking down your family tree research into smaller goals will help you be more efficient in your genealogy and help keep you organized.
2. Take a DNA test and get others to take one too!
If you haven’t taken a DNA test yet, make 2020 the year you incorporate DNA into your genealogy research. Not only will you learn your estimated ethnicity make up, but you may discover new relatives through DNA matches. DNA can also help you confirm your genealogy research. Ask other relatives to take a test, too. When known relatives test, you are better able to triangulate how other unknown DNA matches may be related to you. If you test with Family Tree DNA, don’t forget to link your results to Geni!
3. Learn something new
Develop your genealogy research skills by taking time to catch some new webinars, such as those provided by Legacy Family Tree Webinars. You can learn about new research methods or gain research tips on specific topics right from the comfort of your own home.
4. Attend a genealogy conference
Genealogy conferences are also fantastic for learning new skills and for meeting fellow genealogists in person. It’s a wonderful place to make new friends who share the same passion for genealogy research. You can find a local genealogy conference or travel to one of the larger annual conferences, such as RootsTech, the largest genealogy conference in the world, in Salt Lake City, Utah. And don’t forget MyHeritage LIVE 2020, the annual MyHeritage user conference, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
5. Review your tree
It’s always a good idea to take a look back at what you have already done to make sure everything is in order. You never know when you’ve made a mistake or overlooked an important detail. Use Geni’s new Consistency Checker tool to review the tree and fix any mistakes you may find. With every person doing their part to verify and check information in the tree, we can make the World Family Tree the highest quality family tree of the world.
6. Record your family stories
Take the time to interview your older relatives and preserve their stories for future generations. It is important to capture those memories now before it’s too late.
7. Record your stories
Don’t forget about you! Spend some time recording your stories, too. Your future descendants will appreciate it.
8. Remember to upload documents and cite your sources to your Geni profiles
As you were adding profiles to the tree, it’s possible you may not have been as diligent to add your sources to your family’s profiles. Look over the profiles you have added and see where the documentation is lacking. Then upload your sources to the profiles so that others will know where the data has come from.
9. Plan a genealogy trip
For your next vacation, make it a genealogy-themed trip! Plan a visit to someplace significant to your family history. Bring the family along to learn more about your heritage. You may even want to carve out some time to check out the local archives or library to do a little research.
10. Collaborate with others
Reach out and collaborate with others! Dive into the public discussions or join a genealogy project on Geni. If you don’t find a genealogy project that matches your interest, start a new one! Invite others who may also be interested so that you can organize your research in one place.