Once a year, it is important to take stock and verify that we have not missed anything important, to think about what we need to do now, what is important, and to make New Year’s resolutions to work on our family history in a more reasonable way, and get pleasure while we do it – otherwise what’s the point?
Below is a list of 10 family events that you should do every year, or even more often!
1. Share what you find
Most of the fun of exploring family history comes when you share it with family members. Sharing encourages other family members to share their documents and information. If they see that their children or parents are missing from the chart or may have missing details, such as a date of birth, they usually offer this additional information. Sharing information is often the best way to encourage others to share their information with you.
2. Check your reasonable matches and notes
If you have a family tree in “MyHeritage” or you are using the “Family Tree Builder” software, check the “Smart Match” messages. When someone from your tree matches a person in another MyHeritage user tree, you will receive a notification. This entry means that you could, with minimal effort, add important new data to your tree. Be sure to check these messages regularly. These warnings often contain information that can be easily added to your tree, so you should consider these offers at least once a year or more often.
3. Check out what’s new
Every day, all over the world, databases of archived information on the Internet are replenished, as well as large data providers such as “MyHeritage”, “Mormon.org” and others, introduce new information. Once a year or more, check for updates that may contain information about your relatives.
4. Visit the archive
Despite the fact that the most important bearers of family history are your senior family representatives – grandparents, senior aunts, uncles and other relatives, some information about your ancestors can be found online, most of the information regarding genealogy is not digitized and is in the archives. You can also hire an independent researcher or research center to search for archival information and build a family tree. In any case, going to the archive is an inevitable step in studying family history. Therefore, be sure to plan a visit to the archive next year.
5. Backing up data
It is important to back up your online tree regularly, as well as back up all family history documents. Digital copies of documents should be stored in different places. If you are not backing up, consider yourself lucky because you have not yet experienced data or document loss. If your tree is in MyHeritage, a monthly service is available to back up family tree data, photos, videos, and documents. If you use Family Tree Builder, create a private MyHeritage site and save a copy of your tree on the Internet, and then use the backup service to back up your family tree.
6. Work to find one key element that is missing
Do not try to make all your tree at once. Write down everything that you know that may be relevant (for example, when and where your grandfather was born, any information about his brothers and sisters, when and where your grandfather married). Perhaps they are all named in a census or in a family tree compiled by another family historian.
During the year, we can accumulate a lot of photos, correspondence, certificates and other documents. We put them aside, telling ourselves that we will deal with them later. However, if you did not regularly digitize and enter information, now is the best time to do this before the backlog becomes even greater. Digitize photos and upload copies to your family website on the Internet. You can then add key information for each photo or document for each item and associate the digital image with the right person in your tree.
8. Check your DNA results for new tests
When we first get our DNA results, it’s natural to check with whom we are closely connected. However, as the number of individuals tested increases, it is important to regularly check for new tests. Also check that preliminary tests that were not previously displayed now have a new meaning with new names and information. Increasingly, the combination of DNA testing with traditional family history research can confirm or refute the relationship foreseen in your family tree.
9. Make your genealogy New Year’s resolution
Nowadays, many take their own New Year’s resolutions — intentions to change a habit or achieve a goal. We suggest that you also think about making a decision that will improve your genealogy habits. It can be: “I will digitize and enter documents on the day I receive them,” or, possibly, “I will indicate the source, description and reason for the introduction for each image or information item.”
10. Have fun and meet your relatives
Most importantly, have fun. Organize a great family celebration or just visit a summer relative or attend a family party. Remember to bring along a printout of the family tree diagram and many photographs to stimulate family memories. Make sure the free MyHeritage app is on your mobile phone or tablet – so you can take and share family photos right from your device, and also record family history right away according to your relatives.
Good luck in finding.