Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 - New Year's Resolutions - Carnival of Genealogy

Dave & Diane Rogers with Mum and Na, on a sunny day in Vancouver, B.C.,
Canada, Summer 1952

A New Year’s Resolution

When you are making up that list of New Year’s resolutions why not include somewhere a resolution suggested in Edgar A. Guest’s verse which we print below?

“Take Home A Smile

Take home a smile, forget the petty cares,
The dull, grim grind of all the day’s affairs;
The day is done, come be yourself awhile;
Tonight, to those who wait, take home a smile….”

The Lethbridge Herald, Saturday, December 31, 1927, p. 8. ‘Lights and Shadows’ column by C.F.S.

Diane R’s
Personal Genealogical Resolutions for 2008

Looking back to 2006, when my personal genealogical goal was ‘organization’, I see that one 2006 resolution took me two years to fulfil. In November this year, I finally got an extra shelf in my closet for my genealogy binders and I now have all new bookshelves in my library. Hooray! (And, thanks, son and daughter!)

But I realize a whole genealogical pantry full of shelves won’t hold everything though! (What ever happened to pantries anyway? Such a good idea they were.) Organization is just something we genealogists always have to work on. Let’s accept that and keep moving (backwards).

In 2007, my goals were to look for ‘ancestral siblings’ and ‘Swedes’. I didn’t find every one, but I did keep up with this research throughout the year.

2007, though, seemed to fly by far too quickly, even if it was an interesting year, particularly with the sudden prominence of new ‘networking’ technologies and sites. Footnote, I think, is the most important so far, and certainly the most elaborate, but I’d include ‘Your Archives’ too (The National Archives of the U.K. wiki) and, of course, who can discount Facebook. The younger relatives love it – mine downloaded the ‘We’re Related’ application before I did and so far there are over 500 genealogy ‘groups’ on Facebook.

I feel that in 2008 we’ll see more mergers and consolidation among the commercial companies, but much more participation from on-line genealogists in those projects that emphasize and reward the freer exchange of information. That will include both the non-profits, big and small, and those commercial ventures, like Footnote, which are in creative partnerships with archives, libraries and genealogical societies and offer substantial free components to their members and visitors.

For 2008, I’ve set five main personal genealogical objectives. I believe these are manageable for me. Each can be separated out into ‘smaller steps’ so I can plan my time and each will result in a ‘product’ of sorts so that I can see what I’ve achieved

My 2008 objectives are to:

1. Focus on research that takes advantage of my future travel plans –to Montreal and Detroit and to Sweden. I will first draft background research plans, then plans for ‘on site’ research regarding these people I am particularly interested in:

a) Montreal – Samuel Baxter Scott (1891-1959) and Mamie Stella Harper (1892- 1970), married in Toronto, 1920. They lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for many years where he worked for the United States Fidelity and Guarantee Co.

b) Detroit – James Scott, born 1861, Nottawa area, Ontario, Canada. Son of John Scott and Catherine McDermid. Lived in Detroit in the 1890’s.

For families of both the above SCOTTs, see my website, SCOTT family: Muiravonside, Dalmeny, Tushielaw, Galashiels, Grangemouth, in Scotland:

c) Sweden – the AXNER, BROSTRÖM, ERIKSSEN, JOHANNESSON (various), KARLSDOTTER, LÖFHOLM, RYDBERG and ZETTERBERG families. I’ll be working hardest on those JOHANNESSONs.


Updating both websites with current information will be the first part of my background research.

2. Scan and organize more family photographs, starting early this year with

a) the few photographs of my baby brother and myself (see above) and the childhood photographs of my nieces,

b) then the Newdale photographs from my mother and grandmother.

As I scan more photographs, I will continue to work on keeping myself reasonably organized and I will continue to BACK UP my data each Wednesday. (That’s my ‘anti-procrastination day.) I will also start using Mozy as one of my backup solutions.

3. Blog more! I’ve just started with the Carnival of Genealogy and I’ve had fun, so I do want to continue. And, as a bonus, my family is reading my blog, if only to see if their own photographs might appear.

It is time to upgrade this blog template. I’ll look after that and add some useful links and other information as quickly as I can.

4. Haul out one of the dusty ‘Round Tuit’ projects from my virtual closet. (Quick! Who remembers Fibber McGee’s hall closet?)

For this year, I’ve placed on my computer desk the Newdale, Manitoba, Canada genealogy website I’ve been planning for ages — time to get uploading. Watch for an announcement here soon.

5. Investigate new-to-me ways to illustrate my family history, especially any which may interest the many ‘non-gens’ in my family.

a) Recently, I was at a seminar with Legacy Family Tree’s Geoff Rasmussen and learned more about two useful sounding programmes: ‘Passage Express’ for multimedia family history CDs and ‘Map my Family Tree’. I’ve acquired this software and am eager to check these out.

Since I have already a file of photographs and information ready for my CARMICHAEL and GILCHRIST families from Islay, Scotland, I will test ‘Passage Express’ with these.

‘Map my Family Tree’ is supposed to search for 3.3 million place names from around the world – my people are mostly from North America, the U.K., Ireland and Sweden, but also from Macau. Apparently it’s easy to add places not included, and I suspect this programme will quickly point out some errors in my data. I hope it will help me correct those easily. ‘Map my Family Tree’ should also help me with a map or two for my Newdale website.

I’d like to try out some timeline software as well, but I’ll leave that till I see how my initial objectives are working out.

b) I’ll continue with scrapbooking. Currently, I plan to do more about myself and my brother – I’ll be using my ‘Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories’ posts soon in a few pages. (I may well illustrate the ‘teapot incident’, brother dear.)

c) I’ve thought of a family cookbook before. Writing out some recipes at Christmas brought this idea back to mind. I will likely mull this project over for a while yet though. I see there are lots of ideas on-line about producing family cookbooks. But, would my family really want grandma’s recipes for Christmas Pudding or Dandelion Wine? Perhaps an all-cookie recipe book instead? Mmmm…

Have a happy New Year everyone – especially my baby brother and his wife as they celebrate their wedding anniversary tonight on New Year's Eve!


The Lethbridge Herald quote was located on NewspaperARCHIVE, through the Godfrey Memorial Library. Paid subscriptions available individually or through Godfrey. See or


Your Archives, TNA UK:


Passage Express:

Map My Family Tree:

Legacy Family Tree:


Just need a nudge to keep your resolutions? Try HassleMe’s free prompts:

Edgar August Guest (1881-1959), the 'People's Poet', Wikipedia:

The Unofficial Fibber McGee and Molly website:

No comments: