Monday, June 27, 2022

My 2022 Genealogy Paper Chase

Here we are, halfway through 2022, and already it's been quite a year for family history! 

Thanks to the big Census releases, my genealogy paper chase has been extremely productive in the first half of this year. 

In fact, I'm making good progress on all my projects and plans:

  • Find ancestors and the FAN club in the 1950 US Census (results: yay, lots and lots of info and really interesting clues).
  • Look for hubby's ancestors in the 1921 Census of England (results: found some, will look for a couple more).
  • Write and post bite-sized bios for aunts, uncles, and great-grandparents on genealogy websites (results: some completed, a few in draft stage)
  • Reorganize family photos into archival albums (results: hundreds of 20th century snapshots reorganized, but oldest photos and negatives still to be reorganized--a big project to accomplished in small chunks). 
  • Follow up on genealogy clues from Burk/Birk branch of my father's side and Schwartz/Winkler/Preisz branch of my mother's side (results: yay, made new cousin connections!).
  • Continue making presentations on genealogy topics (results: talks scheduled July through autumn of this year).

Next steps

One top priority is to write more bite-sized bios, with the goal of keeping these ancestors' names alive for future generations. Currently, I'm finalizing details for bios of my hubby's great-grandparents and my great-grandparents (actually just posted hubby's great-grandpa's bio). Even when I know very little about these people, I can still write about milestones in their lives (BMD), number of children and/or siblings, where/when they lived, and the social/historical context of of their lifetimes.

Another priority for the second half of 2022 is reorganizing older photos, captioning, and maybe even writing brief narratives about a few of the series photos. I did this with one of my late dad-in-law's albums chronicling the summer of 1917, when his father drove the family from Cleveland to Chicago in a new 1917 Ford. 

I'll also be testing additional archival photo storage possibilities during the summer, to see which are best suited to the small and odd-shaped old photos and negatives inherited from my late dad-in-law. As I wrote in my book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past, life by the inch is a cinch--life by the yard is hard. I'm stretching out my photo reorganization and taking small steps to keep this project from becoming overwhelming. Digitizing these photos is only part of the process. It's just as important to keep the originals safe for decades to come.

Paper chase in my future

I'm still busy following the paper trail to trace more of my Eastern European ancestors. DNA has less helpful than I'd hoped. Yet there are documents and family tree clues about a few branches that came to America, some around the time of World War I and some after World War II.

In recent months, I found a couple of distant cousins I never knew about. Together, we're pooling information and coordinating research to try to connect with more descendants while documenting those who came before. 

The second half of 2022 promises to be as productive as the first half! And of course I'll be blogging about challenges, breakthroughs, techniques, issues, and more. More than 13 years of genealogy blogging, with more to come.


  1. You have been very busy this year! I've collected census images for all of the direct line ancestors, as I was missing some of the earlier ones. I also re-organized digital folders and am now fixing the links I broke in RootsMagic as a result. It's moving along although extremely boring.

    1. Wow you have done a lot in six months! I need to reorganize my digital folders too.

  2. Wow, you've accomplished so much in just the first half of this year! Kudos! You've opened my eyes to getting on the ball! Besides spending to 2 days looking for everyone in the 1950 Census the day (and day after) it came out, I haven't had any time to work on my own genealogy. With a full time job; clients; presentations; my blog; volunteering/ chairing for Genealogy Jamboree; and trying to promote my business; I haven't had any time in the past 2 years or so to work on my own family history. :(

    1. Diane, you are doing so much already! Your ancestors will wait for you ;)