top of page

Getting Started on Genealogical Resolutions

Did you make any resolutions for 2020? I figured since it was a new decade, I should probably make a few. Each year my resolutions start with organizing. I can't make plans until I get organized! I'm probably not the only one since many blogs this past week have also focused on this task. Rather than repeating my system, I'm going to refer you back to a blog I wrote at the beginning of 2018. Reading it is painful for me. I have to start by getting my office closet back to looking like it did in that photo. When I get busy and the holidays come around with visitors, it's nice to have a place where I can move all of my piles and close the door. The down side is that at some point, I have to open the door, pull out the piles and go through them. I'm only about half way through that part of my project...I need to finish it this week since I'm having a full shoulder replacement on January 14th and won't be able to pick up anything heavier than a piece of paper for 2 - 3 months.

In order to get organized you need a system. Hopefully you've clicked on the link above to read about my system which uses the Ahnentafel numbering system of a pedigree chart. My great grandfather, for example is 30, his father is 60 and his father is 120. My grandmother is 15 (the odd number tells you it is a female). You can go back another generation by doubling the number of the existing person or come forward by dividing the number in half. I have to say, I'm very happy with this system and it still works for me. It was the numbering system I used with my paper files and it transferred easily to a digital system (read the follow up blog on my digital system here). I wish I could say that I've converted everything to digital, but that's not true. When something new comes in it goes into the digital system, but 25 years of paper is still going to take a while to convert. I tend to clean up an individual's file when I have something new to add. I know that many of you think my system is too complicated, but here's the thing...whatever system you decide to use, it needs to work for you. My system may not be the right one for you, but talk to your genealogy buddies to see what they are using to get ideas. Drew Smith's book, Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher is an excellent place to start as it provides a framework for organizing (and it's only $5.99 as a Kindle book). You can also google the words, organize genealogy, for lots of ideas, as well as checking out CyndisList.

So back to my resolutions. Here are the things I would like to accomplish this year.

1. Spend time each week working on one of my families.

2. Write! Create a case study on the methodology (might show up in blogs).

3. Write a sketch on one of my ancestors.

3. Continue the transition to digital filing.

4. Create a plan for dealing with photos.

Now that I've put it in writing for all to read, I'm committed! Let's see how it goes. Feel free to share your resolutions and ideas for the new year and new decade.

Happy Hunting!

Here are some links to help you get started...

Your 2020 Genealogy Research Plan - Family Tree Magazine

Organize Your Genealogy: Tips from a Professional Organizer, YouTube Interview with Amy Johnson Crow

How to Organize Your Genealogy Files, Kimberly Powell,

232 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Thank you so much for this article and the links to your prior posts on organizing your paper and digital files. This is so timely as I currently am looking for a better way to get organized.

Best wishes on your shoulder replacement surgery. Please post and let us know how you are doing when you are able.

All the best,

Donna Jones

bottom of page