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Happy New Year 2018

Updated: Dec 29, 2018

   Happy New Year to all.  I’ve been reading blogs for the past few days that have focused on evaluating last year’s resolutions and looking forward to resolutions for 2018.  Well, I didn’t publicly make any resolutions last year.  I was thrilled when I saw Elizabeth Shown Mills post about resolutions.  If the one of the top American genealogists has trouble with resolutions, maybe there is hope for me!

   I did have things I accomplished this year.  I did 38 lectures between January and June, and because of foot surgery took off July - October (although I did get in a couple of webinars).  I thought I’d be walking by November, so I scheduled 4 lectures which I ended up doing seated!  If your society is looking for someone to do a single program or a full day seminar, either in person or as a webinar, let me know.  You can see a list of my lectures here.

   I feel like I also accomplished more with my blog this year.  Thank you to the 432 of you who subscribe to the blog (just click on the “Subscribe” link in the sidebar if you’re not receiving it automatically) and to the many of you who read it through Facebook or Twitter.  2017 was a year of Strategies for Irish Research.  If you joined late, you can go back and read from January of 2017, beginning with the basics of doing good research, then working through the steps and resources for the Irish researcher.  I wrote 51 blogs this year (not sure if I missed a week, or whether there were only 51 Mondays😀).

   One of my big accomplishments for the year was publishing three Quick Reference Guides to Irish Research with Lisa Louise Cook of Genealogy Gems.  I had been thinking of this for a while, but at one of the conferences in 2016, I got a push from Lisa…thanks!  The book is still in the back of my mind so maybe I’ll get another push this year.

   Because of my foot surgery, I didn’t schedule a 2017 trip to Ireland, something I really missed.  The good news is that the 2018 trip is basically fully booked, the earliest ever.  I do have one more slot for Belfast if anyone is interested.  Start thinking about the 2019 trip!

   So what about 2018?  Getting organized is always a priority, but stuff happens and things pile up (yes, I frequently use the “pile” method).  I have a wonderful large walk-in closet in my office with file cabinets, shelves and bookcases, but alas, when company is coming it too often is used to pile the clutter from my office with a closed door.  When I got back from Connecticut this week, I started the purge.  The file cabinets are so full I can’t add to them.  I had papers and articles from the 1990s as well as some tax records (you only have to keep them for seven years).  I’ve already filled the recycling bin for this week!

   Last year I began an electronic filing system that seems to be working well (I’ll explain it in a future blog).  The problem is that I don’t work on my own family all that much.  It comes in spurts when I get an email from a potential cousin or a DNA match.  I think I want to work more on my family this year, cleaning up the paper (I can throw out all of the census records I copied and transcribed in the 1990s) and scanning the important documents and pictures.  I’ve set a goal to work at least five hours a week on my family.  While I was in Connecticut over the holiday, I was helping my sister-in-law prepare for a move to a smaller house.  In the back of a closet, I found two boxes of pictures, and other material from my mother-in-law (who died in 1999).  Needless to say, they made the trek back to Florida and are now spread out on the bed in the guest room.  Many of the pictures are unidentified (they may show up either on my Photos page or on Dead Fred) or of poor quality.  It’s time to pay more attention to Maureen Taylor (The Photo Detective) to get my arms wrapped around the photo dilemma. 

   This was going to be a short blog and I realize that I’ve got a lot of work to do this year so I better get started.

   Thanks again for following me and best wishes to all of you for a Happy and Healthy New Year.

   Happy Hunting!

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