Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Genealogy Resolutions

After this remarkable year of cousin reunions and brickwalls being dissolved, I have a new set of genealogy resolutions for 2014.
  1. Focus by ignoring. I'm clicking to "ignore" Ancestry hints for ancestors who are really distant. Do I really need to see a record about the "father-in-law of uncle of wife of 1st cousin 1x removed" in my family tree? No. With more than 2,000 hints, I have to learn to ignore!
  2. Identify my main ancestor targets. Too many ancestors, too little time. Who do I really care about and what do I really need to know about those people? 
    • New for 2014: Confirm how the family of Elek Farkas from Botpalad, Hungary is related to the family of Moritz Farkas from Botpalad. There is a definite connection! But who's the link?
    • The following are carried over from 2013:
    • When did Tillie Jacobs Mahler and her children, Henrietta and David, arrive at Castle Garden in 1886? Where, exactly, were they from?
    • What about Tillie's parents, Julius Jacobs and Rachel Shuham?
    • What name did Tillie's husband Meyer Mahler use when arriving at Castle Garden in May, 1885?
    • Was Meyer Birk really Isaac Birk's brother? After living with Isaac and Isaac's future father-in-law (Meyer Mahler), what happened to Meyer Birk?
    • Where in New York state did William Tyler Bentley and his wife, Olivia Morgan, come from? Where/when did Olivia die? Olivia and William were the parents of Lucinda H. Bentley Shank, whose death cert appears above. It was the first critical evidence of Olivia's name and birthplace!
    • Where in Ireland were John and Mary Shehen (or Shehan) from? Who where their parents?
  3. Research key ancestors again. So many new documents, grave photos, and message-board posts have come online since I was bitten by the genealogy bug (in the last millennium!) that I need to research those names again. 
    • Redo a Google search with "First Last" and "Last, First," such as: "Benjamin McClure" and "McClure, Benjamin" AND add "genealogy" to avoid getting unrelated results.
    • Redo a Fold3 search for men who might have military records, as well as for people with naturalization papers.
    • Continue Ancestry searches because when I click on someone, Ancestry's "hints" come alive with new clues as well. (See Resolution #1: Ignore those for distant relatives.)
    • Redo a search on key surname message boards and locality message boards.
    • Redo a Find-a-Grave search for those whose graves I haven't found.
Happy new year and happy ancestor hunting.

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