There are many days, weeks, and months named for something. For example, in October we have National Homemade Cookies Day and World Card Making Day. I don’t know who comes up with these things, but they are fun and trivial.
October is also Family History Month and has its roots in the United States Congress…still fun, but not so trivial!
Back in September 2001, Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch introduced a resolution to the 107th Congress (2001-2002) calling for October 2001 to be named “Family History Month.” 1
S. Res. 160 passed on 26 September 2001 with a unanimous vote and has been in effect ever since. Being from Utah and of the Mormon faith, Senator Hatch knew the importance of family history. The internet as we know it was only about 6 years old at the time and genealogy was growing as an at-home hobby.
Fast forward 21 years and genealogy is a booming business with online databases galore that allow you to research at 2 a.m. in your pajamas if you want. Conferences, institutes, webinars, podcasts, and blogs are all dedicated to helping you research further, and faster.
To get the most out of your research time, which for many of us is carved out in small increments, it’s best to have a plan. Every January 1st people make New Year’s resolutions, so why not make some for your genealogy.
For me, I like to break mine out into quarters instead of planning for the entire year. I do better in those smaller increments than thinking of the entire year.
There are several different categories of goals I want to work on…education/skill building, volunteering, research, organization, and DNA
So here are my goals for the rest of 2022:
Education and Skill-building:
Continue the ProGen Study Group (completion June 2023)
Take a tour of Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Continue listening to podcasts and webinars on the road and at home
Take a webinar on WordPress
Fulfill Find A Grave headstone photo requests
Start Mayflower Application for husband’s family
Continue researching the Kroesen family, especially those in the 1800s
Pick an ancestor from my mom’s side to begin researching
Start digitizing family photos and decide how to store them long-term
Take one day a week to concentrate on using DNA – start applying principles from Your DNA Guide, The Book by Diahan Southard.
As the French writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Good luck making your list!
Genealogy Tip: Make a plan for what you want to achieve in genealogy. Your goals don’t have to be lofty…start small and be consistent.
1 Congress.gov (https://www.congress.gov/bill/107th-congress/senate-resolution/160: accessed 25 Sep 2022).