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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Year in review

Grape-Shot: 1915 English magazine
illustration of a lady riding a champagne cork
Happy 2014!  A New Year and a new beginning in the genealogy world.  What a whirlwind trip 2013 was and I bet 2014 will be just as exciting!  Sitting at my desk a year ago I really could not phantom where I would land 365 days later.  Few of the things I accomplished were actually planned.  Most just ended up in my lap where I swallowed down my fears and went for it, shaking in my boots the whole time.

2013 started off with my new adventure as a contributor at the In-Depth Genealogist.  I had just ended my stint at the Family Tree Firsts Blogger and was looking for a way to continue to grow not only as a genealogist but as a writer.  To be frank I thought they would turn me away since I was an “unknown.”  However, they gave me a chance and I can’t believe the experience I have received in the last year by working with these amazing people. 

On the home research front there were quite a few successes.  Several walls came crumbling down, particularly for a number of my female lines. Nearly a dozen new cousin contacts were made not only through this blog but from DNA results on FTDNA.  I am not the best pen-pal, but I hope these contacts continue to grow through the years and we can share some amazing breakthroughs together in the future.  My family just keeps growing!

My biggest challenge was the Boston University course this past fall.  You remember that don’t you?  The reason I was nearly non-existent on this blog for over 15 weeks.  I have not received my official final grade in the course but looking at my five module grades (B+/A/A-/A/A) I am pretty sure that I will receive my certificate and be a graduating member of the 13th online session (OL13).  Waiting for the official word is a bit nerve wracking but I should really just relax.  I wanted to go to Boston for the certificate ceremony, but I don’t think I can swing a trip up there in February.  The stars are just not aligning for that to happen.

Last August I went to Indiana for a family visit and attended FGS in Ft. Wayne.  As I am sure you remember it was my first national level conference for genealogy and you can read all of the posts about FGS here.  I learned so much, met some really awesome people, plus I was able to spend time with my family researching our genealogy together.  It was a mind blowing experience overall and quite a few doors for me to avenues I never dreamed possible opened up for me.

Of course how could I forget my first year giving lectures on genealogy topics?  While it was scary at first I quickly realized that I loved teaching about my passions.  There was a reason I wanted to be a science teacher since it seems I have a knack for it. I have several lectures coming up in the next few months already, and hope to do many more.  If you come to a lecture make sure to say hi! 

Then there was my adventure into social media.  I did something that I never thought I would ever do...created a Twitter account.  From there it spiraled to Pintrest, Facebook Page, and Google+.  Do I have time to keep them all up to date?  No, but I am going to do my best this year to post more (and different things) to each feed.  Wish me luck!

Looking back over the most popular posts on the blog this year I was surprised by which ones made the list.  Hope they made your list of favorites. So, with our further delay, here are the top ten for 2013:
  1. Reading and Digesting Complex Terms: Making a Flow Chart For MGP
  2. Heraldic Primer Part 6: Inanimate Objects
  3. Free Genealogy Lecture Series
  4. Observations From The Edge: Multi-Generational Needs in Genealogy
  5. Creating Fun Word Cloud Graphics 
  6. Taking on The Next Generation
  7. WDYTYA, #genchat, and an aftershow.  What a great way to spend an evening!
  8. Road Trip : Packing for FGS 2013
  9. IDG Re-post: Handwriting Tools For Your iPad 
  10. Are you still there?
Now it is time to get moving on 2014.  My kids are back to school so it is high time to brush off the holiday fog and buckle down again.  I have big plans and they won’t be accomplished if I sit here staring out the window.  Join me in making 2014 a great genealogy year and let me know about your goals too!  We can cheer each other on.


  1. What a fabulous year and that's lovely news about the student blog. I shall follow it with great interest.

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the blog as much I enjoy the classes.