First Quarter 2012 Update

Accountability is one way to make sure I reach my genealogical goals. Here is the update to my 2012 New Year Resolutions:

1.) Attend at least one out-of-state genealogical conference or convention.

I haven’t yet found the perfect date/location combination. The search continues. In the meantime I joined several new local and out-of-state genealogical societies.

 2.) Focus my research on 12 direct-line surnames; Clarin, Clarke, Gury, Landstrom, Littrell, Mangels, Mueller, Peterson, Schmitt, Thompson, Tolf, and Walton. Start by organizing the surname-related computer files, manila folders, family group sheets, and pages on my web site.

I created 3-ring binders for each of these surnames and use them as my works-in-progress. The computer files and manila folders improve in miniscule increments. Rather than having a web site and a blog, everything is moving here which will save time on updates.

 3.) Answer the following burning questions:

  • Did Esther give birth to the Clarin/Mangels child I recently located? Was her divorce from Gustave really as public as family stories suggest?
  • From what country did the Maryland Clarkes originate?
  • ·     Who is the child that accompanied Marie-Anne Gury and her children from France to Cincinnati?  The child is hers; the age of the child was recorded incorrectly.
  • When (and at which port) did Augusta Landstrom arrive in America?
  • From what country did the Virginia Littrells originate?
  • What did the inquests into Herman Friedrich Carl Mangels and Frank Mangels’ deaths reveal?
  • ·     In which Swiss town was Jacob Mueller born? Were Otto Mueller and his wife Alvina Schmitt really cousins?  Yes, they were.
  • Where did Maria Fredericka Peterson’s sisters settle after leaving Sweden?
  • What were the circumstances around Elizabeth Schmitt’s divorce from Anton Bidenharn and marriage three days later to Jacob Mueller?
  • ·     Where did Peter Thompson die and where is he buried? Was his daughter really institutionalized so her husband could obtain a divorce? Yes, she was.
  • ·     At which American port did James Walton and his parents end their voyage from the Isle of Man?  James Sr., his wife Isabelle, their infant son James and 460 other steerage passengers aboard the City of Baltimore arrived in New York City’s Castle Garden 11 Sept 1871.

4.) Keep other living descendants up to date on our family history research progress through emails, letters, Twitter, this blog and my web site. Search for as-yet-unknown cousins in the same way.

Medium progress here. My Twitter posts are inconsistent – needs improvement. Birthday and anniversary cards to cousins etc include family tree updates and invitations to visit my blog. Requests for current information go mostly unanswered. It’s pretty disappointing.

5.) Honor the relationship between genealogy and scrapbooking: Scan and digitize old photos. Preserve hard copies of pictures. Archive online photos off-site. Organize, label and safely store slides and negatives. Share pictures with relatives. Assemble heirloom photo albums.

I’ve scanned almost 1000 pictures so far. About half still need to be edited and filed. This project was more fun in the beginning. It’s become a task I dread.

6.) Share (and create more) family history with my glorious grandchildren.

Opportunities have been greatly reduced, but efforts to maintain our traditions continue.

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