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Location: Arizona, United States

My name is Colleen and I find dead people.

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30 December, 2007

Carnival of Genealogy: Resolutions.

It’s time for the 39th installment of The Carnival of Genealogy. This month’s topic is: New Year’s Resolutions. The questions to be answered are:

So what did you accomplish last year and what road blocks did you encounter? What are your research goals for next year and how do you resolve to attain them?

As I look back at the posts from 2007, I realize it was a different kind of research year for me. There had been a lot of changes in my family this year. As a result I had a pretty significant gap in posting, from May to August. I did get quite a bit of scanning accomplished (Thanks, Miriam!). I also made another cousin connection, as a second cousin from my father's McHUGH line found my blog.

My goals for 2008 are to get back to the basics. Last year (maybe even 2 years ago ??) I developed a research goal sheet, on which I identify one research goal, identify what is already known about that goal, and identify what I want to find out. I think it’s time I return to utilizing those goal sheets again to help focus my research.

Above is a snapshot of the form I developed. I made margins as small as possible to get it all on one sheet so information doesn't get separated.

The top got a little cut off, but basically the top of the page identifies the Date of Research, the Place of Research, and the Target of Research (one Target per page).
This shot shows the type of information to be added: The
Goal(s) for research on the Target, Current Speculations, Sources of those Speculations, and Potential Resources to find and use.
Finally, along the bottom right is a Q & A on whether or not I found the Source and the Information I was seeking. I added this as a way to trigger me to follow up with unfinished business at the end of each research session: One look at the page and I'll know if that project was completed. My first Goal Sheet of the year will be for the Goal of finding out who the parents of my great-grandfather James O'ROURKE (1876-1944) were.

While getting back to the basics of research methods is a big goal for me this year, my biggest goal is to start ordering vital records. I have pretty much determined that there was likely only one line of all my branches in the U.S. prior to 1869. I've found most of them, with the exception of the above mentioned O'ROURKE line. There is no way to get any further back in my research here; I need to jump the pond to Ireland and Czech Republic. The only way to narrow my searches there is to hopefully find birth, marriage, and death records. I’m not likely to find many birth records given Pennsylvania's lack of requiring them prior to 1905, but one never knows.


Blogger Janice said...


Happy New Year!

And I really like your forms. With so much paper, I sometimes get frustrated when the second (or further) page is missing!


9:47 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

I love the form! If you don't mind, I'd love to use yours as a template.

Happy New Year, Colleen!

3:49 PM  

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