This and that

Did you know?

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. After the civil war, Decoration Day was observed as way to remember the more than 620,000 military deaths, roughly 2 percent of the population at that time. Graves would be decorated with flowers in remembrance. Today, it is observed annually on the last Monday in May to honor those who gave their lives in service to our country.

This and that

Hello 2019!

Happy New Year!!!!! I hope you are all warm and safe at home after a late night of partying or, lets get real…genealogy research. January 1st is the perfect day to think about expectations for the new year. I like to think back on what went right, what fell through the cracks and what i hope to get better at.

As genealogists we can often get carried away with resolutions. Enthusiasm is at an all time high (so many exclamation points!!) with a brand new year, like a blank page, just waiting for some brilliant ideas and direction.

I tend to be a type-A personality, (I’m a list junky!) so making resolutions or goals for the new year is a natural way for me to ease into January.

Keeping a flexible list posted near my computer helps keep me on track. I prefer a list of 12, one for each month of the new year. It can be less overwhelming and feels soooo good to cross one out each month!

Here are some ideas from my own notepad:

  1. Scan that old box of family photos (I have 5 boxes!)
  2. Request documents I know exist but have eluded me (military records, I’m coming for you)
  3. Give a DNA test to that one relative that hasn’t spit (you know who you are!)
  4. Find sources for undocumented material (or at least what I can in a month, baby steps matter!)
  5. Sign up for a webinar or a local seminar in an unfamiliar subject (check our website or Facebook for upcoming classes)
  6. Get all that paper organized (or at least a stack or two!)
  7. Backup, backup, backup
  8. Visit your living relatives, ask questions and take notes
  9. Focus on searching sideways
  10. Take another look at photos for clues I may have missed
  11. Read a new book on genealogy to improve my skills
  12. Scan Christmas cards (envelopes too!) to add to genealogy collection

As you can see, I’ve already abandoned the promise to exercise more in favor of genealogy research. Who has time for sweating when there are so many ancestors just waiting to be found?

Now that I’ve shared my list with you, do you have a genealogy resolution for 2019?  Please share by clicking on comments link!

Contributor: Carol DiPirro-Stipkovits of Lockport is President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, writes a monthly genealogy column for the Niagara Gazette / Lockport Journal and blogs at