Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Am I Making Genealogical Progress?

Panelist at Family Tree Live! "Crash Course in Writing Your Family's Story"
Summer's here. With half a year gone and half a year to go, am I making progress toward my genealogical goals? Yes and no.


  • Continuing my genealogy education. I've been to Family Tree Live, learned from speakers at local genealogy meetings, and watched top-notch  webinars hosted by the Virtual Genealogical Association. Also, I've watched videos by Ancestry, Family Search, and MyHeritage, learning to use those sites more effectively for family-history research. Not to mention the many books I've read for historical background to put ancestors into context, and books I've read to learn more about genealogy in general. 
  • Connecting with other family history researchers. I'm now following 2300 Twitter accounts that focus on genealogy, history, archives, and related topics (compared with 1700 in January, 2018). Learning lots from participating in #AncestryHour and #GenChat also! Happy that this genealogy blog rose to #10 in the Feedspot list of family tree websites earlier this year. In August I'll celebrate my 11th blogiversary.
  • Building my portfolio of presentations. I spoke twice (and was on the family history writing panel shown at top) at the big new Family Tree Live conference in London. Also, I have scheduled many presentations at genealogy clubs and libraries throughout this year. Topics include social media for genealogy, writing family history, Genealogy 101, using Heritage Quest, and planning a genealogical "will." 
  • Connecting with cousins. I completed the big Farkas family indexing project and sent a flash drive to cousins with family letters and meeting minutes covering decades. A real accomplishment, in that it keeps family history alive for future generations. In addition, this blog continues to be cousin bait, as do my public trees on Ancestry and MyHeritage. DNA matches on these and other sites have enabled me to identify other definite and prospective cousins. "Almost" cousins (in-law relations) have also been in touch, and we've exchanged info about people we are both researching, which means more progress.


  • Do more with DNA. On back burner for first half of the year. Just this month, new DNA matches gave me enough info to finally begin color-coding for specific parts of the family tree. In the second half of 2019, I plan to proactively use tools on Ancestry, DNA Painter, MyHeritage, Gedmatch to get more insights as I organize my DNA matches.
  • Delayed new family history booklets. I started collecting photos and document images for a booklet on my Mom and Auntie, Daisy and Dorothy Schwartz, but haven't organized or written anything. With my Sis, I donated Dorothy's WAC memorabilia to the U.S. Army Women's Museum early in 2019, so that's progress. Haven't yet begun organizing and writing the long-promised photo book of Edgar James Wood and his wife, Marian McClure Wood. I've written shorter booklets but the family is interested in something longer and filled with lots of photos. Keeping this on my 2019 to-do list.
  • Following fewer genealogy blogs. The number of active genealogy blogs I'm following has fallen to only 66. It was 104 at the start of 2018, which means 38 have gone inactive since then. It's time to search out blogs to follow by checking Geneabloggers Tribe and other sources.
And of course, I'm still promoting my best-selling genealogy book/ebook, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past, with ideas for organizing, analyzing, preserving, and passing family history to next generation.


  1. I want to watch more webinars and podcasts but I have not organized my time effectively. You are doing great. You inspire me.

  2. Always a good idea to check our progress toward our goals. You are doing great!