I can only describe 2021 as a roller coaster year. Dips and climbs, moving slow then all too fast. Some parts smooth and other parts terrifying. Earlier this year, I told you why I reset my genealogy priorities. In this post, I briefly retell that story and evaluate progress on my original set of goals for this year.

In March, 2021, I was diagnosed with amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), a progressive neurologic disorder and a life expectancy of 2 to 5 years. I frantically worked on the article about my mother’s German ancestors which I submitted in July.  Using principles learned in Genealogy Do-Over, I began a complete and thorough re-organization of all things genealogical. I didn’t realize how many duplicate files and pieces of information were scattered all over my computer.  Digital file reorganization is 95% done.

Now, I need to evaluate my original genealogy goals for 2021.

Susan’s 2021 Genealogy Goals

Posten-Richards family (dad’s family)

  1. Revise at least 4 chapters of Posten family history book. Explore publication options. (One chapter done in 2018; one chapter rewritten in 2020). *Priority item for 2021—rewrote one chapter. Consider as priority for 2022?
  2. Follow-up on at least one BSO generated from previous searches. Parents of Benjamin Avery Posten; results posted on blog.
  3. Review and clean paper & digital files for at least 2 direct ancestors and their siblings. Done.

Tucker-Maurer family (mom’s family):

  1. Complete descendant list for Smetts-Maurer family as requested by cousin. Done- Feb 2021
  2. Review and clean paper & digital files for at least 2 direct ancestors and their siblings. Done
  3. Follow-up on at least one BSO generated from previous searches. Done- Rosina Smetts & Henry Renk

Ellerbee-Simmons/ Johnson-Reed (husband’s family)

  1. Scan original documents in paper files. Place originals in archival sleeves and appropriate notebook.  Ongoing.
  2. Review and clean paper & digital files for at least 2 direct ancestors and their siblings in each family group. Partially met – one ancestor and siblings in each family group.
  3. Create family group records with citations as addendums to scrapbooks given 2019 & 2020 for at least 4 family groups. . NOT DONE.
  4. Continue to trace descendants of slaves owned by husband’s ancestors. Use templates and directions from the Beyond Kin project. NOT DONE- LEAVE FOR OTHERS TO DO.
  5. Follow-up on at least two BSOs generated from previous searches (one from each family group).  Johnson family- Barbara Friddle Reed.

Genealogy Blog:

  1. Post on regular basis, optimally every 2 weeks. Posted every 2-3 weeks.
  2. Post at least 2 stories about each family—Posten-Richards (dad), Tucker-Maurer (mom), Ellerbee-Simmons (father-in-law), Johnson-Reed (mother-in-law). Partially met – 3  for Posten, 2 for Tucker, 1 for Ellerbee, 6 for Johnson.
  3. Limit each post to about 1500 words or less. Done consistently
  4. Purchase or download software to post GEDCOM family tree. Post at least 2 family trees to blog. (continued from 2019). NOT DONE.
  5. Continue to address Genealogical Proof Standard in reports. Done ABOUT 50% OF TIME.

General items:

  1. Continue to place To-Do/ BSO items and questions for each family on color-coded file cards. Not done due to loss of function w/ right hand. How to track these in future?
  2. Send for at least 4 BMD certificates. DONE – DCs: Anna Klee Maurer, Stephen Scheffel, Edward Louis Maurer, Leonhard Maurer,; Maria Anna Metzger Maurer, Emma Lizzie Maurer, Anna Kolzelius Maurer,  BCs: William Charles Maurer, Herman Maurer. MCs: Arthur Maurer & Johanna Dassow, Leonhard Maurer & Crescentia Ley, Herman Maurer & Elizabeth Bailer.
  3. Submit article begun in 2020 to a local genealogical society for publication in their newsletter.  Specific family/ person TBA. Done July 2021- Maurer family. Not accepted but excellent feedback from editor
  4. Add to Research Toolbox:  books “Dating Vintage Photographs” ; possibly Dragon software. Bought Kindle books- Planning a future for your family’s past by Marion Burk Wood and After You’re Gone: Future proofing your genealogy research by Thomas MacEntee. Both offer good suggestions.  
  5. Enroll in at least one genealogy-related webinar or online class, topic to be determined.  GOAL MET. American Ancestors writing course Jan 2021; Seven things to know about German Church Records, February 2021; Pennsylvania Launching Pads into the Midwest, 14 Sept 2021; RootsMagic 8 overview 8 Oct 2021.

 Items Added:

  1. Duplicate Ellerbee-Simmons scrapbooks for Jason & Deanna. Ellerbee family scrapbooks in progress.
  2. Change from RootsMagic7 to RootsMagic8.  Change selected files to RM8 format, including copy of media files & relink to new media file:
    • Jerry Donald Ellerbee-DONE
    • George Avery Posten/ Cornelius Posten-DONE
    • Johnson-Reed
    • Posten-Richards
    • Tucker-Maurer
    • Others?
  3. Genealogy legacy planning:
    • Create single folder, “GENEALOGY REORGANIZATION FILES 2020” on personal computer. done
    • Reorganize digital files by family: Ellerbee-Simmons, Johnson-Reed, Posten-Richards, Tucker-Maurer, with standard subfolders under each heading.  Done
    • Move all genealogy files to appropriate location under GENEALOGY REORGANIZATION 2020. DONE
    • After moving RM files, recheck and relink media as needed.
    • Inventory all genealogy materials (paper files, digital files, websites, books and hard copy items, photographs, etc.). Review every 6 months. Designate place for print copy of inventory. Initial inventory done.

What about the budget?

Once more, a little over. For next year? Set specific priorities and reformat goal structure.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021

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