Friday, December 30, 2011

12 Goals for 2012

I was reluctant to make a list of resolutions, and have leaned more to a list of goals. While I have tried resolutions before, I've decided that resolutions are more than likely going to be broken. It also seems that resolutions are things that need "fixed".

I don't think my genealogy needs fixed, tweaked, yes, but fixed? Nope. I have made a list of goals, some of which are pretty simple things for me to dabble in while others are going to require some brain power and quality time researching. Some of my goals are specific projects that I'd like to finish and put on the research shelf for the next phase.

Any suggestions for furthering my goals would be appreciated as I'm not opposed to advice.
  1. Finalize my obituary audit for Sheridan County, Wyoming
    1. I have been auditing the obituaries of the various branches in my family that are in Sheridan County. I maintain a spreadsheet in which I list the newspaper in which the obituary was published, date, page, and column number.
      1. To finish this goal, I need to organize the obituaries in a solitary file with the spreadsheet file. I also need to print the obituaries with the publishing information printed at the bottom of the page and organize them in a binder, with an index.
  2. Master using the Cloud.
    1. I have recently started using Dropbox and SugarSync for my genealogy files. I am looking forward to developing a greater mastery of both of these tools. When I am at the Sheridan Fulmer Library, I prefer to go with a pencil, notepad and a flash drive (with Rootsmagic installed), just in case.
    2. I also use Google Docs quite a bit to accomplish much of my research at the library. I recently discovered that Microsoft has its own online version of Word in line with what Google does with its word processing and data management programs.
  3. Redefine my workflow
    1. This is one of my pitfalls. I have a lot of "irons in the fire" with research and being a stay at home dad. My biggest challenges are what I think of as the "Goldfish factor". Goldfish supposedly have an attention span of only three seconds. While I do not have an attention problem, maintaining focus on specific projects and not being distracted by things I find while I am working on a particular project is a problem.
      1. Part of the solution will be setting up a secondary monitor for our desktop. I loathe having switch between tabs and/or windows. Also, it will help if I am looking at a record that I am trying to enter data from into a word processing document or spreadsheet. I'm awaiting a splitter cable in the mail for this to happen.
  4. Work more with Photoshop
    1. I have an older version of Photoshop that I would like to start using on both pictures I have personally taken and those from my genealogy collection.
    2. I recently purchased a couple of books for working with older pictures which I hope to utilize in 2012.
  5.  Newspaper article audit for Sheridan, Wyoming to 1922
    1. The Wyoming State Archives has Sheridan newspapers scanned and searchable to 1922 on the Wyoming Newspaper Project site. This project is in a similar vein as the obituary audit, including a spreadsheet, printing, filing and indexing the articles in a binder for easy access.
  6. Kinship affiliations in the Lower Tongue River Community
    1. This is actually a project that I have been spending a great deal of time on, much to my delight. The Tongue River area in northern Sheridan County, Wyoming, is a watershed for my genealogy research. Having read Dr. Carolyn Earle Billingsley's book, Communities of Kinship: Antebellum Families and the Settlement of the Cotton Frontier, I hope to document the unique kinship neighborhood the Tongue River area families formed in the early 1900s.
    2. The initial phase of this project has been creating a chart documenting the homesteaders and marriages which connect other homesteaders.
      1. The next step with the chart will be to incorporate different elements to reflect the dates of the homesteads and marriages. I am hoping to use some color for a more vibrant presentation as well. 
  7. Keep a journal
    1. I have always enjoyed reading and writing and even fancied myself as a writer in college. The more I have gotten into genealogy, the more I realize how much has been lost by people not writing about each other. Given the various devices and distractions of modern life, I have found it difficult to sit long enough to do anything, let alone write. While my wife and I wait for our boys to fall asleep in their beds, I usually think about the things I should be putting down on paper...unless of course I fall asleep in the process.
  8. Be more creative
    1. While I enjoy the facts and research aspect of genealogy, I'm looking to expand the creative presentation side of things a bit. I have a small trove of old family pictures, letters, etc. that I would like to scan and use in some artistic ways.
  9. Spend more time in the basement
    1. I have a room in the basement that is all mine, full of research, filing cabinets, Jimmy Hoffa and everything I wanted to know about my family history but have forgotten. I have a bunch of things that need to be organized in my space...just need to book some time.
  10. Conduct onsite research at Tongue River locations
    1. After a day trip with my mom, aunt, sister and my boys to some of the old homesteads this past summer, I'm hoping to spend more time in the area. Finding some inspiration from, I'm hoping to take some of the old pictures from family collections and locate where they were taken. Some of this goal coincides with the creative goals for the year.
    2. I also have a metal detector now and am hoping to revisit the site of an old rural school (I have permission in advance from the landowner) and see what I might be able to find.
  11.  Education
    1. Continued genealogy education is always something I strive for and in 2012, I'd like to consume as much information as I can. I recently purchased Colleen Fitzpatrick's, The Dead Horse Investigation on and am looking forward to that for additional photography research info. I also plan on pouring over Elizabeth Shown Mills' new webpage to learn from a genealogy master.
  12. Community involvement
    1. While I have indexed for in the past, I'm looking this year to help a bit more locally at the Sheridan County Museum. I'm scheduled to meet with the director next week to start as a volunteer for scanning pictures.
 So there it is: 12 goals, 12 months, 366 days to accomplish all of it. Maybe the leap year will make the difference in getting all of it accomplished.

Happy New Year's to everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - that's a big list. Best wishes for a productive 2012.