Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What do I have? How did I get it? And where the heck is it now? Genealogy Resolutions for 2014~

It's the first few days of January... so that means everyone is battling after Christmas sales, tearing down the tree & other decorations, hauling ill-fitting clothes back to the store for a return, and trying to catch their breath before the reality of another new year sets in!
Of course, January also means it's time for the old cliché of NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS--- and I am no different than most, in that I make some each year... some resolutions for life and some resolutions for genealogy.

This year I have 5 basic "Genealogy Resolutions"... though they could have their own sub-resolutions, especially the first one! I'm going to talk about #1 below... and next week I'll talk about #2...and the week after that #3... you get the idea.

2014 Genealogy Resolutions
2. Brick walls and how to make them tumble down
3. DNA - test & educate
4. Education with seminars & workshops, etc
5. Maintain relationships with living relatives

What do I have? How did I get it?
And where the heck is it now?
These questions clearly relate to my #1 resolution of organization! This is a battle I've waged for the past few years and after 20+ years of active genealogy research, I've lost count how many times I've pondered those questions-- and I'm sure many of you can relate-- and for those of you scratching your heads and saying, "Ah...no I can't relate"--- Well, you can just take your perfectly organized color coded files and leave my blog!  [I'm only kidding... please stay!]

If you've read any previous postings of mine-- you know I'm a paper & binder genealogist-- So I'll spare you further details... If you haven't read any previous post-- it's what is sounds like-- lots of paper, lots of binders.

Two months ago, I emptied my 4 drawer file cabinet, full of file folders, into 2 large totes-- so I could reorganize all of family folders and sort through the huge amounts of paper I've acquired over the last 2 (or 5?) years. It was a great idea-- but I'm struggling to complete it-- and of course by complete, I mean start... Oh well.

I always seem to get new genealogy information during the holidays-- births, marriages, and deaths that may have been missed during the year, often show up in holiday correspondence. And of course, I often hear from fellow genealogist relatives and previously unknown 'cousins', I always try to reach out to new unknown family members every holiday season.

And who wants to misplace these new found facts?!
Well not I. How to keep them organized and put where you want them to have when you need them?
You've got me!? I've yet to figure that out myself.

I've been putting "genealogy" related papers (of any kind) in a metal file basket-- to be sorted and organized later-- I know... terrible plan. Especially as the papers are spilling out. Eventually(?) I will sort them by families and put the piles in file folders (currently dumped in totes, remember?!).

Ugh. No wonder I don't know what I have any more. I used to be a super organized genealogist...used to be...

So my #1 Genealogy Resolution is 'Organization' and the first part of that goal is "Put Away Paper & Do It Right"

What are yours?


  1. I know exactly how you feel. I can't part with my paper either.

    1. If only it was more organized like years ago..... Come hell or high water, this is my year! LOL

  2. I agree with you but have found a way to live with paper, binder, and technology. It is truly amazing how much paper you can toss and how much you can save and scan. I keep all original documents. Anything that is not original can be scanned and labeled or tossed. In the area that I live in, I have to think of how I would be able to transport and save my genealogy in the event of an evacuation. Everything is scanned, but I only keep originals. That all being said, I have just finished place a lot memorabilia in plastic totes after placing them in protective plastic and archival safe boxes. Now I am in my little office wondering where I am going to store 4 110 quart plastic totes. Yikes. I am here to tell you the questions keep coming. What to save, what to toss and where to put it.

    1. Thanks for the note! I know once I get the "must keep" papers filed in the correct file or binder, there will be far less... and I know that there are many things that can be recycled. But, it's sure a slow process.... of course Winter in Minnesota is the ideal time to tackled inside projects! If only I didn't get sidetracked and start researching and doing things that create more to be filed! Oh well... I'll get there.