Tag Archives: new years resolution

New Year – New Research

4 Jan

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.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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New Year – New Wandering

3 Jan

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)

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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New Year – New Blogging

2 Jan

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.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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My genealogy goals for 2011

2 Jan

There are lots of things I want to achieve in 2011, but time is a big issue at the moment, so I am not going to be making any bold resolutions this year because I am pretty certain that they are destined to fail.

I know that goals should be specific and measurable (and all the other letters that make up the acronym SMART) but I don’t think I have anything really specific that I feel that I am likely to even get close to achieving or that I could even stick to. I will just carry on researching and seeing which way my ancestors direct me, I am always on the look out for an interesting story or for exploring a new area.

So I am not going to make any resolutions this year, instead I am just going to say that I will try to do as much family history as possible and to the highest standard possible.

 

My Genealogy Goals for 2010 – How did I do?

30 Dec

About this time last year I wrote a few blog posts about what I wanted to achieve in 2010 and as we are almost at the end of 2010 (and it is a bit late to do any more about it now) I thought I ought to face the music and see if I actually achieved anything I set out to do.

The first post was 2010 to do list – sort my photos and postcards in which I described my wish to get all my photos and postcards organised and integrated into my genealogy software Family Historian.

Pass or fail? Fail – my old photos are slightly more organised on my hard drive now and I now have a process in place for recording and scanning my postcards (but only as new ones arrive) but none of the photos or postcards have been added to Family Historian.

Next up was 2010 to do list – identify my photos and my desire to put some names to the many unidentified photos in my collection and if not names then at least some dates and places.

Pass or fail? Fail – I spent a couple of months looking at one photo, which I don’t think I ever wrote about and didn’t come to any real conclusions, and that was about it. If anything I have probably added more unidentified photos to my collection, although I did manage to discover the location of one postcard this year with the help of Google Street View.

Then was 2010 to do list – spring clean my database which described several goals that I wished to achieve when it came to my database. This was largely about tidying things up, checking for errors and filling in some missing details.

Pass or fail? Undecided – I am actually still working on this at the moment, progress is slow but I am getting there.

After that came 2010 to do list – what to do with wills? in which I described the problems I have with recording all the information that can be found in a will and how I intended to overcome this.

Pass or fail? Fail – Most of the wills I have in my collection have not been fully mined for data, usually I pick out the information that interests me (names of children) and then move on to something else.

With a little irony the next post was 2010 to do list – create a proper to-do list which described my plans to create a ‘super’ to-do list, which would record everything I wanted to do with my family history.

Pass or fail? Pass – I am still using a simple text file as my to-do list and to be honest I am finding this is perfectly adequate for my needs and so simple to use and update.

Then things got specific with 2010 to do list – some actual research goals which listed several of the individuals that I wanted to pursue in 2010, this was quite a mixed bag of relatives and ancestors, all of whom seem to have had an interesting story to tell.

Pass or fail? Fail – Although I did do some work on most of these individuals I never really followed any of these stories through to their conclusion.

Finally came My New Year’s Resolution itself, to start researching my wife’s Italian ancestry. Somewhat predictably this was a major fail. I did buy a book on researching Italian family history and a kit for learning some basic Italian, but these have sat on my shelf largely untouched all year, no progress whatsoever.

In 2011 I think I will keep things a little simpler and more achievable. Most of these goals from last year are still ones I would like to achieve in 2011, but above all I need to be realistic and recognise that I don’t have the time or money (but mostly time) to do everything I want to.

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