December 30, 2011

At Year's End: My 2011 Goals in Review

We’ve come to the end of another year, and it’s time to take stock and see how I’ve done with the goals I set for myself last January. Being new to blogging at the time, I was a little apprehensive about making them public. But as it turns out, I think that helped give me a push, especially in December, to wrap some things up. I made three research goals and three writing goals for 2011:

Research Goals
1. Research my Ballenger ancestors back to at least the early 1800’s, and complete an OGS Settlers & Builders of Ohio application for them.
Done. I took my great-grandfather’s line back to 1840 in Athens County, Ohio. I also branched out and researched my great-grandmother’s line back to 1830 in Delaware County. That made the application more complex, but I think I made a good case for eight Ballenger and Clark ancestors who lived in Ohio by 1860. The application went in the mail a week before Christmas (talk about squeaking by!). I won’t know if I was successful or not until I hear back from the lineage society chair.

2. Find the parents of Carrie Beum, who married John Evans and was the mother of Ruth and Leatha Evans.
Done. It took several months to find the evidence I needed to conclusively link Carrie to her father, John Franklin Beum. After that the rest of the family fell into place. I found her mother and step-mother, paternal and maternal grandparents, and several aunts and uncles. There’s more to be done here, but at least I know who the players are.

3. Research the ancestry of my husband’s grandmother, Annah Crites.
Attempted but not done. I found some additional information on people I already knew about, but didn't make any new connections.

Writing Goals
1. Write research reports for my own files as I complete segments of research on particular questions or individuals.
Partial credit. I did a couple of these at first, but as the year wore on I dropped the ball. The problem, I guess, is that they take time, and forging ahead with new research is a lot more fun than sitting down and composing a report about what I’ve completed. 

2. Complete writing assignments for remaining lessons in the NGS Home Study Course and ProGen Study Group.
Done. I completed ProGen 5 in April, and the NGS Home Study Course in August. The last few assignments for both of these were pretty intense, so I feel great about finishing them.

3. Create a narrative summary or mini-book out of the research I’ve done on the Bishop-Crites family.
Not done. Not even started. BUT what I did instead was make a family history chart for my father- and mother-in-law. The chart shows what I know at this time about their ancestors back four generations. It turned out beautifully, and I think it was the best thing I could have done to share the information with the whole family right now. I’ll be writing about my experiences in creating the chart soon (thank you, Family ChartMasters!).

So that’s my take on my progress in 2011. Overall, I’m pretty pleased. I know more about some of my and my husband’s ancestors than I did a year ago, I completed two education programs that I started in 2009, and I found a way to share my research with my husband’s family.

Time to start thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2012. But not today. We just returned from spending the Christmas holiday in Florida (I know, what a hardship), and today is my daughter’s birthday. Then I’m going to relax and enjoy New Year’s with friends and get my son ready to go back to college. I plan to take time the first week of January to gather my thoughts for the new year, so look for a post on my goals about a week from now. Thanks for sticking with me and for your support in 2011!

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  1. Hohoho. We spent the holiday. In Florida too. We are on our way home now. Hope you had fun!

  2. Thanks, Jenna! Best wishes for a successful 2012, too!

    Michelle, hope you had a great time in Florida! Welcome home :)

  3. Great job!! I want to do an OGS Settlers & Builders of Ohio application this year - I'm scared to make it a goal...but I really should!

  4. You did well on your goals in 2011, congratulations. I'll be looking for your post for 2012, so that we can all cheer each other on!

  5. Thanks, Diana! I know how intimidating the blank application looks, but it's not that difficult, and I'd be glad to help you with it. If I can you can!

    I appreciate the encouragement, Leslie! Cheering each other on is one of the best things about blogging, in my opinion :)

  6. Sounds like you got a LOT done! Don't worry about the research reports. They don't have to be perfect and you can do them as you go along. Oh and they get easier with time :-) Happy New Year!


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