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Resolve to focus your research in the new year

Tribune correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 05:55 PM

A lot of folks don't mess with New Year's resolutions. After all, no one ever keeps them, do they?

Let's prove the naysayers wrong. Here are an even dozen goals you, me and every other genealogist should resolve to meet this year:

1. Never to make a single note from a book without first copying the title, author, publishing information and page numbers.

2. Never to enter information into my own genealogy program when I find it unsourced on an Internet site.

3. To stop procrastinating about writing or phoning aunts, uncles and cousins with a very specific list of well-thought-out questions about individuals and events in the family.

4. To organize all the notes I've made and records I've accumulated.

5. Never again to make notes on scrap pieces of paper that I'll inevitably lose before I find time to type them into my database.

6. To assess what research I've already completed by transcribing my notes into a story or narrative format.

7. To devise a serious research plan to fill in the missing data I noticed after I wrote the narrative report.

8. To join a local genealogical society and attend all its meetings.

9. To join the National Genealogical Society and read each quarterly magazine from cover to cover.

10. To rein in my efforts and concentrate on one or two lines rather than helter-skelter pursue "all" of my ancestors.

11. To plan a real research trip for summer vacation; begin now to develop a plan for where to go and what I hope to find.

12. To start saving my money to attend a national genealogical conference or institute this year.

Although keeping these resolutions probably won't solve all research dilemmas - those tough spots commonly referred to as brick walls - researchers will find that the resulting organization and communication will produce positive results. This is a good start for making this a bumper year for genealogical yields.

Jewish society meeting

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay will meet at 2 p.m. Jan. 17 at Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater. The program is "The History Of Jewish Surnames."

The lecture will be an audio recording of Warren Blatt's presentation at the 29th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Philadelphia this past summer. His PowerPoint visual will be displayed simultaneously.

The lecture will explain the origins, types and etymologies of the complex history of Jewish surnames.

For information on the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay or directions to the meeting, call Sally Israel at (727) 343-1652.

Tampa society meeting

Central Florida's own expert on Irish records will lecture at the Feb. 6 meeting of the Florida Genealogy Society of Tampa.

The group will meet at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the John F. Germany Public Library, 900 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa. Donna Moughty of Lakewood Ranch will lecture on "Sources for Irish Records," which will focus on using U.S. resources to determine the right place and time to search in Ireland.

Polk society meeting

Orlando genealogist Paul Enchelmayer will lecture on "The Deceptive Ancestor (Separating Family Fiction From Fact)" at the Feb. 13 meeting of the Imperial Polk Genealogical Society.

The group will meet at 1 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Church, 3140 Troy Ave., Lakeland.

'Casefile' - the Web site

On Jan. 3, I told you about a new subscription-based newsletter, "Casefile Clues - Genealogy How-to's," by Michael John Neill. Although I told you how you can check out a sample by e-mailing samples@casefileclues.com, I neglected to share Michael's Web address, where you can can more information about his work. Visit www.casefile clues.com.


Sharon Tate Moody is a board-certified genealogist. Send your genealogy questions and event announcements to her in care of Getaway, The Tampa Tribune, 200 S. Parker St., Tampa, FL 33606 or stmoody0720 @mac.com. She regrets that she is unable to assist wi

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