Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - A Look Back To Those Pesky Resolutions

Back on December 27, 2007 I posted my resolutions for 2008 and like most of my fellow genea-bloggers I wanted to see "how I did" in terms of sticking with those resolutions.

Scan more photos

Resolution: I resolve to not only scan more from The Box, but to participate in Scanfest at least twice this year. I also want to assist my father-in-law with scanning photos from his recently deceased sister's house and labeling the photos properly.

Result: I believe I attended most of the Scanfests except for one which conflicted with Greek Orthodox Easter and one which saw me back home to visit Mom. I can't wait for Scanfest to start up again at the end of January! While I know I should wait for Scanfest and I can always scan on my own, there is something special about the group that makes a mundane task much more fun.

Resarch my Irish roots

Resolution: I resolve to finally take time to seriously pursue the MacEntee, McGinnes/McGinnis, Farren, O'Keefe and Sullivan lines in my family tree.

Result: I made great strides in researching my MacEntee/McEntee roots including a series of posts entitled "Two Roads: Do McEntee and MacEntee Converge or Fork?" which attempted to prove that my last name derived from an ancestor adding the "a" to McEntee. And imagine how pleased I was to find my 3rd great-grandfather, Edward McEntee (b. 1795) buried in the New Paltz Rural Cemetery back in July 2007!

Resolve my roadblocks

Resolution: I resolve to not be detered by my research roadblocks, especially for the Henneberg, Finehout, Pressner, DeGroodt and Christiana lines.

Result: I did not make much headway with my Henneberg, Pressner or Christiana ancestors but I did finally get to talk to some DeGroodt cousins from New York and Oregon on the phone during the summer. And the big news was finally figuring out all the variations of the last name Finehout! Who knew that I should also be looking for Vynhout, Vynout, Fyndout, Fynhout and more?

Participate in more carnivals

Resolution: I resolve to give back to those that have given to me and the rest of the genea-blogging community. Participate in carnivals, as much as possible, and contribute.

Result: I participated in 19 editions of the Carnival of Genealogy and even hosted Number 51 - Independent Spirit. Smile for the Camera made its debut in May 2008 and I've been able to participate in all eight editions so far!

Besides carnivals we had tons of memes too! Who can forget the Genea-Blogger Games and the efforts of Miriam at AnceStories and Kathryn at California Genealogical Society and Blog?

Write more vs. post more

Resolution: I resolve to take time to not just post, but to spend more time on crafting family history episodes into better narratives. These are the stories I want to pass down to the rest of my family. Not just describe, but describe with feeling, describe with emotion, and describe with passion.

Result: This is still an area in which I feel deficient and I have basically the same resolution ready for 2009. I was able to write a poem in tribute to Mom as well as a story entitled The Summer Jar about my summers growing up in New York.

Better citations and notes

Resolution: I resolve to get back to my college research days when the Chicago Manual of Style was my best friend. But oh citations have changed in 25 years! Take time to cite right the first time.

Result: I was proud of myself when I purchased
a copy of Elizabeth S. Mills' Evidence Explained. I also participated in the debate as to whether or not to footnote my posts with source citations, and I've posted about bibliography generating web applications such as EasyBib and BibMe over at my technology blog thomas 2.0 - The Blog.

Inspire others

Resolution: I resolve to undertake more projects like the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, but perhaps not as extensive as the ACCM. Develop projects that help inspire newcomers to pursue their own family history and projects that make these people feel welcome.

Result: I feel blessed that I was able to participate in so many genea-blogger related projects such as the creation of the Genea-Bloggers group on Facebook, the creation of Facebook Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers as a way of easing genea-bloggers into the world of social media, and creating a new cemetery-related blog called The Graveyard Rabbit of New York Rural Cemeteries (kudos to Terry Thornton for this concept!).

I also created my own website (thomas 2.0) and a technology related blog which reports on new web-based applications that can help everyone not just genea-bloggers!

These projects were lots of work but lots of fun!

Overall I think I did pretty well while still trying to pursue my own genealogy research, handle posting to 11 different blogs that I run (with Destination: Austin Family having 418 posts in 2008 alone!), make several trips home to New York to see Mom, deal with losing my job and basically handle all the things that are common to the lives of each and every one of us.


Anonymous said...


Well, you have inspired me at least! Thank you for it. I greatly enjoyed your writing as well as your posting (I hope I can read more of your writing next year). And where would we all be without your help with Facebook!

Here's to 2009!

Apple said...

You had a very productive year! I hope 2009 is just as sucessful for you.

Kathryn Doyle said...


You are a machine. And it helps that you never sleep! Thanks for everything you do for the genea-blogging community. As my daughter would say, "You rock!"