Last year wasn’t particularly ground breaking in terms of my family history. It is hard to bring to mind any major discoveries, I’m sure there were a few mysteries solved and gaps filled in but nothing memorable stands out.
This year I don’t expect a lot to change, time is still going to be a limiting factor and I suspect money will become more of an issue this year as well, so in general it needs to be a case of making the most of the resources I have already available to me.
I do want to get out to more archives and record offices this year and in light of the previous paragraph, I need to be making the most of these opportunities by making sure I am more organised about what I want to achieve.
I don’t actually see myself growing my family tree to any great extent this year, but rather adding to what I already have. Specifically I have become more interested in recent generations (my grandparents and great-grandparents) and feel I should be learning more about these generations whilst those that knew them are still around.
There is always plenty of housekeeping to be done on my family history, generally I consider my database to be in pretty good order, but there is always something that needs doing (like attaching photos to my family tree) and one big task this year will be to update all my 1911 census images with the unredacted versions and note any disabilities that come to light on my database.
There should hopefully be a couple of new collections coming out this year from Ancestry and Findmypast which will prove interesting and helpful for my research and should give me something to look forward to. Talking of things to look forward to there is of course Who Do You Think You Are Live in a couple of months, which I really ought to be preparing for now.
I didn’t achieve as much walking as I would have liked in 2011, although I did manage to complete most of the shorter walks that I had hoped to do.
I did walk the South Downs Way again last year, although not in one go as I had intended but instead over several months and accompanied by my wife. This year I aim to walk it all in one go (over the course of a week) and I will probably be doing it on my own this time.
I have to admit that my most enjoyable walks last year were those where I was on my own. I have never been one for walking in groups and can’t see that changing any time soon, but you never know.
Apart from the western end of the South Downs Way I think all of last year’s walks were in Sussex, and this year I still want to focus mostly on Sussex as there are still plenty of places I have yet to visit within my own metaphorical “backyard”.
I realised towards the end of the year that trying to complete longer named routes like the North Downs Way and the High Weald Landscape Trail is just not practical and doesn’t make the most of my limited time. Sticking slavishly to a route that entails multiple bus and train journeys is just not economical in terms of time and money.
Instead I intend to focus on shorter more convenient routes (with the exception of the South Downs Way) mostly of my own making that suit public transport connections available to the non-driver like me. I have lots of ideas floating around my head and I need to start planning so that when the weather improves and days start getting longer I can start taking advantage of them.
Wandering on West Beach, Littlehampton, West Sussex (31st December 2011)
Last year wasn’t a particularly good year for me or my blog so thank you to those who stuck with me last year, but what better time than New Year to resolve that I am going to make 2012 a better genealogy blogging year?
It is my intention to return to a daily blogging schedule this year. Time is still going to be an issue so I am not sure that I will achieve an 100% success rate on this, but I need to aim high to stand any chance succeeding.
I need to get more organised and achieve some time savings in the whole blogging process to maximise my time but most of all I need to learn to sit down and write, rather than worrying too much about what I should be writing or what else I could be doing instead.
I want to be tackling some new topics and making it more useful to my readers, in particular I want to make this blog much more Sussex focused. Whether it is news, walking or my own family history I intend to focus more on Sussex, hopefully not to the extent that other English counties don’t get a look in, but much more than I have done in the past.
One of my ideas is to introduce a new category of posts focusing on family history in Sussex, hopefully fulfilling my intentions to make this blog useful and informative. I also want to be writing more about aspects of Sussex history and life, providing more background on the county that was home to the majority of my ancestors and fulfilling my blog’s tagline, Exploring the Lives and Landscapes of my Ancestors.
Week 52 by my reckoning must mean we are at the end of the year. I think I will save my review of the year for next weekend, but this week I will have a look at how I failed to achieve any of the goals I set out at the beginning of the year, but try not to beat myself up too much about it!
I had hoped I could get down to some serious family history last week, but that didn’t really materialise. Like the week before, I did a lot of thinking about family history but never really got around to doing anything about it. I did get the death certificate for John FAIRS ordered and received it by the end of the week, but that was about the limit of my family history.
Much of my thinking has been around what I am doing next and in the future. At the moment my research is lacking focus, I am really only working on one project at the moment (the housekeeping of my database) and that is not particularly exciting at the moment. My to-do list is growing, but I am not getting chance to explore much further. I feel I should be digging deeper and making opportunities to do more research.
This week, as well as looking back, I need to decide what I am going to try to accomplish in 2011. One plan has already had to be set back because Carlisle Record Office is now due to open in April next year, not January. I think my plan will be to continue with my housekeeping and see where that leads, but try to schedule in at least one day a month to visit an archive and clear some items off my to-do list.
With a couple of days off this week I hope I can get some more research done, but in reality I ought to be spending a large proportion of that time sorting out other non-genealogy stuff, but I will see how it goes.
I might be a hundred years too late, but I wish you all a peaceful and successful new year. Happy New Year!