Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Genealogy Goals

Goals set, like resolutions made are filled with the best of intentions, but often neglected about March. In my case, the problem seems to be the amount of goals I set. It's time to be more realistic in my approach.

I have goals for genealogy, work, education, reading, my house and my health (why did I put health last?). If I were to set 3 to 4 goals in each area of my life, I would have an impressive list of goals, that will probably never be realized. I am going to set one goal in each area of my life with the hopes that a more manageable set of goals are also more attainable.

For 2011 my genealogy goal is to find out who my great-grandmother, Mary Evingham, actually was. I know her name and believe I have a photo of her. I know from the 1900 and 1910 census that she was born in Illinois and lived in Nebraska. I know from land records that she sold her property in Nebraska after she moved to New Jersey in 1919. The rest of "Mary" is a mystery. I need to know her husband's name and her maiden name. I also want to find her death date and burial location.

It is time for me to focus on county records in the areas I know she lived:
  • Livingston County Illinois
  • Buffalo County Nebraska
  • Essex County New Jersey
Finding information on one person that lived in three states (possibly more) is a challenging goal for one year. I am looking forward to learning the story of Mary and will post updates as I progress.

Do I feel lazy or unmotivated for setting only one genealogy goal for the entire year? Not in the least! I know that by being focused and consistent in my research direction, I will reap the rewards and achieve my goal!


  1. You are right, we can have a goal/s for each aspect of our lives. I don't normally set goals, but I will send best wishes your way so that your discovery of your great-grandmother gets solved.

  2. Jenna - I know you will be diligent in the search for information about Mary. I hope 2011 is the year you are able to complete her story. I'm also glad that we became friends this year and look forward to seeing you again this summer!

  3. I like the way you have kept to one goal - you will be able to give it the proper attention, and anything else you accomplish will be icing on the cake. Good luck with this and I hope 2011 is a great year for you.

  4. I think it's great to have one goal. I wish you great research success in 2011.

  5. That's not just one goal, it's a whole project! I look forward to reading about progress. Good luck!

  6. My father's family is centered around Essex County, New Jersey. We don't live there now but if I can help you with anything there, let me know!

    If she died in Essex County, New Jersey it's helpful to know that the Mountainside Hospital was on a city line. So births are recorded in one city and deaths in another!

  7. Good goal and good luck, Jenna! I hope to read more about this search.

  8. Thanks for the best wishes!! 2011 is the year that Mary comes OUT of the closet!! :)

    Thanks for the tip Kathleen, that sure would be confusing!!

  9. Jenna,

    Genealogy is a wonderful mystery isn't it? Some of us grew up on Nancy Drew mystery stories, and later generations on television mystery shows. With genealogy you can try to solve your own personal ones.

    You have to wonder why your Mary moved to New Jersey. Did she have a child there? a job? or did she inherit land or property? Must have been a reason.

    Best of luck with your projects.

    J at Cow Hampshire

  10. I wish you success in finding further documentation for your great-grandmother, Mary!

    I am selecting you for the Ancestor Approved Award:

    Visit Leslie to get your award:

  11. Janice, I believe Mary followed her daughter, my grandmother, to New Jersey after my grandmother married a man from Newark, NJ.

  12. Thank you Robin!!! I greatly appreciate the Ancestor Approved award!!

  13. Hi! I hope you don't mind that I looked at your posts! I, too, love genealogy--because once you crack the first ancestor, you are hooked! Nothing like the smell of mold and dust!!! To your worthy goal of one ancestor--I have been looking to complete the information on my great grandfather since 1986. Finding him and his path was what started my ancestral search and though I have solved many family riddles, I have yet to complete him! Good luck on your worthy 2011 goal!