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Monday, September 19, 2011

Genealogy Success Team Update

I've made more progress on my family tree since Jenny and I started our Success Team than I'd made in the six preceding months combined. It has to do with accountability. I don't want to waste Jenny's time by telling her I couldn't finish the goals I set during our last meeting, so I get them done. Thanks Jenny, and go team!

Working toward accomplishing my 2011 New Year's Resolutions, I have a five-pronged approach to each week. This week my list consists of:

BLOG: Follow Lisa Alzo's 15-minutes a day plan. I missed Lisa's program at FGS 2011, but read about it on Diana's blog post. Like Diana, I'm pretty busy. But as Diana mentioned, I'm sure we can all squeeze in 15 minutes a day to do something more important than reading Facebook status updates.

LEARN: In a never-ending quest to add to my overall genealogical education, this week I'm going to finish reading one of the books I bought at FGS 2011; "Finding Your Chicago Ancestors; A Beginner's Guide to Family History in the City and Cook County" by Grace DuMelle. I'm not a beginner to research in this area, but the book has more than beginner information. I've already found several new resources.

ORGANIZE: What genealogist doesn't need to be better organized? I recently created an "at-a-glance record inventory" in Excel. This week I will add comments to the Mueller page.

You probably know about the yearbook collection on Ancestry. I'm interested in Englewood High School. The oldest yearbook on Ancestry for that school is 1940, far later than I need. A Google search shows records for EHS at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. Time to start a list for a road trip.

PRESERVE: I'm a huge fan of Find A Grave. This week I want to make 15 new contributions. I also need to upload another CD of family photos for my scrapbook project.

RESEARCH: Ah yes, the real reason I play the genealogy game! This week I hope to locate the church my Mueller/Schmitt family attended in Chicago and request records from them. I'd like to answer several questions:
  • In which Swiss village was Jacob Mueller born?
  • When did he immigrate to the United States?
  • Did Elise have four children with Jacob or only two?
  • Is there a record of (Elise's son) Otto's divorce? Of his suicide?
  • Where did (Jacob/Elise's daughter) Alma live after Jacob died?
  • What happened to Alma after (her stepbrother) Otto' death?
My French translation comfort level is decreasing. I've been away from the records for too long. So my last task for this week is to transcribe and translate at least one French vital record for an ancestor in Moselle.

This should be a fun (and productive!) week for genealogy. What's in your wallet on your genealogy to-do list?

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