Do any of your New Year’s Resolutions include family history? This is a great time to set new goals to further your family history research. Here are a few common family history resolutions and a few tips for helping you stick to them this year:
2012 is a great year to start getting involved in researching and recording your family history. There are now so many opportunities to help you research. Attend a conference or webinar. Check out a few online databases. Find an online community to share tips and tricks with. Contact relatives you know are involved in family history research—remember, you can share research easily through FHnotebook.
Tip: If you don’t know quite how to jump in, record your own memories using FHmedia. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to type or record your personal history—it’s important, too!
Remember our recommendation to collect memories this holiday season? I hope you were able to do that. If you did, you already have items ready to be organized in your FHnotebook. Now, go through your files and organize any family history information you have into your FHnotebook, where it will be safely backed up on our servers. You want to start the year out without any nagging feelings. If you can’t organize certain items right away, create a task to remind you to do it later.
Tip: Be systematic about your organization. You probably won’t be able to get everything moved over in one sitting, so make a plan that will allow you to be thorough and efficient as you gather and upload items to your FHnotebook.
You may be overwhelmed by the mountain of work ahead of you—your family history is never really complete—so try to find something that excites you. If you feel nagged or obligated to start your research, there is only a small chance that family history will turn into your favorite hobby. However, if you find motivation to keep you going when you hit a dead end or get confused, then you’ll find a way to continue working on your family history.
My motivation comes from listening to actual recordings of my ancestors. For Christmas, my uncle compiled a CD of stories told by my great great grandmother and mailed them to members of the family. Wow! It is amazing to hear her voice and have those stories recorded and passed around the family. Now that we each have a copy of her stories, (now digitized thanks to my uncle’s hard work), the chances of losing those stories are slim.
Tip: Using your FHnotebook, break down your family history into smaller, manageable chunks. As we’ve suggested, you can create a notebook for each side of the family. Within those notebooks, you can create notebooks for specific people or time periods; find a topic you are interested in, and create a notebook for it. This notebook will give you direction as you continue your research.
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