Sunday, January 1, 2017

Genealogy Resolutions and Results, 2016-2017

Looking back on 2016, I accomplished a lot. At right is a snapshot from my Find A Grave contributor tools page, in which I more than doubled my statistics from this time last year. Every trip I take to a cemetery, I take a hundred or more photos of surrounding graves and add them to the memorials, helping others find their ancestors' final resting places.

Of course, these numbers don't reflect the dozens and dozens of edits I've made or requested to link and correct ancestors' memorials from my tree and my husband's tree. This was my #1 resolution from last year and I feel good about my progress (even if it much of the work was crammed into the past week).

My favorite accomplishment of this year (and every year) has been meeting cousins in person after finding them through genealogical research. In fact, it was quite a year for cousin connections. In January, after I met a Farkas cousin of mine in NYC, Sis and I took a fun field trip to meet more Farkas cousins and reunite with our Burk/Mahler first cousins. Later in the year, I met several more Farkas cousins (including one across the pond). And I spent five days with a handful of Chazan cousins in Manchester, England. More cousin connections are in the works for 2017.

In 2016, I wanted to submit testimony to Yad Vashem about my great aunt, Etel Schwartz (a sister to my maternal grandfather, Tivador Schwartz). She's one of the two ladies in the big-brimmed hats in the photos above, along the banner of my blog. My cousins and I are having trouble determining who's who in the few photos we have of the Schwartz siblings, and we don't know Etel's married name. But I will submit what I know in 2017, even without a photo, to keep Etel's memory alive for future generations.

An ongoing resolution is to "tell the stories" and I'm continuing to do that, formally and informally, during meetings with cousins and at other opportunities. At top is a photo of me all dressed up in a bow tie and shirt with the stern face of Benjamin McClure, my husband's 2d great-granddaddy (he's also my FB genealogy persona).

I wore this shirt on Halloween when making genealogy presentations, and my family got a kick out of it. It's a different way to spread the word about an ancestor's life and times. Also I told some stories and featured ancestor photos in my genealogy book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past. More stories and T-shirts are in the works for 2017, maybe even a new book.

Carried over from 2016, I'm still trying to pierce brick walls about my father's Birk and Mitav ancestors in Lithuania and continue looking for the origins of my husband's Larimer-Short-Work families, originally from somewhere in Ireland (north, most likely). So 2017 will be another busy and productive and exciting year!

9 comments:

Anna Matthews said...

Great work for Find A Grave, I hope to be able to gret to more Demeter's this year. Good luck in reaching your goals this year!

Marian B. Wood said...

Anna, thanks for your note. I wish you the best of luck in meeting more of your relatives during 2017!

Dara said...

Happy New Year, Marian, I hope 2017 bring you many more successes.

Marian B. Wood said...

Dara, happy new year to you and many more successes in filling out your family tree and sharing stories!

Jo Henn said...

You had a busy, productive year! That's wonderful! I wish you continued successes and many more cousin meetings in 2017!

Wendy said...

Wow -- look at the Findagrave stats. I am impressed. With getting your book published and promoted, I'm surprised you found time for anything else. You had a great year, indeed. Can't wait to see what you accomplish in 2017.

Marian B. Wood said...

Jo and Wendy, I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to more blogger connections in 2017, as well as more cousin connections!

Dana Leeds said...

I'm really impressed with, and applaud, your work on FindAGrave! I haven't contributed much to this site, though my dad has added LOTS of family photos and done other work there. Maybe that can be one of my goals for February... to get more involved with FindAGrave! I know it is an incredible resource that I often use.

I hope you have a wonderful 2017 filled with more discoveries. And, neat shirt! :)

Marian B. Wood said...

Dana, I'm so glad you stopped by and left me a note. Find A Grave has become one of my top priorities because so many people look for ancestors on it--so I hope that long-lost cousins and future generations will find out about our family by seeing the links I'm adding. Maybe "Uncle Benji" on my T-shirt would be happy to know that he's linked to his family on FAG!