My 2018 New Year Genealogy Resolutions

With 2017 safely filed away, it’s time to set myself some Genealogy Resolutions for 2018. I might even still remember what they are by June.

New Year Genealogy Resolutions

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve been giving myself Genealogy Resolutions for some years now.

Having scored a reasonable 3/5 score for 2017, it’s time to declare my 2018 ones… so here goes:

1. Scan BMD Certificates

With the recent digitisation pilots from the General Register Office, in theory, the number of digital certificates that I hold will not increase rapidy, unless I order more marriage certs as these are not included so far in their pilot.

I’d like to get that 50% of my certificates scanned.

This has been more prevalent in the last few weeks, as I’m busily tidying up data and citations, having migrated from Reunion11 to Mac Family Tree.

2. Find Simpson Bishop’s death

Having discovered a few months back, that Simpson Bishop, my 4x Great Grandfather became an American citizen in 1886, having emigrated at the end of the 1870s, and seemingly ‘abandoning’ his 3rd wife and their children back in Lancashire, UK.

James S. Bishop naturalization card for Woodford County, Illinois, USA.
James S. Bishop naturalization card for Woodford County, Illinois, USA. I’ve read the associated paperwork, but it doesn’t give much away.

I’d like to find his death in the USA.

He died between 1886, and presumably before the 1901 census, when his abandoned wife finally states she’s a widow. The whole emigration and naturalisation came as a surprise – as I had assumed for a long time that he’d died like generations before and after him, just a few miles from where he was born in Cambridgeshire, England. How wrong I was.

3. Source more family photographs

2017 saw me acquire and source a vast number of ‘new’ photographs. Many of these were because of the death of my uncle at the end of 2016, and the subsequent mammoth task for my parents and I to clear his house.

However, January 2017 also brought me in contact with a distant cousin, who actually lives within 3 miles of my house, and right next to my gym. She very kindly sent me copies of a couple of ‘new’ photos of my 2x Great Grandparents, which are very much appreciated.

October and November also saw me visit my late-Grandfather’s cousin, whose mother had amassed a lot of Victorian and Edwardian photographs. I’d had a few copies in the late 1990s when I was starting my research, but at this time, it was costly and risky (a home scanner wasn’t an option, and you had to send them away via a photo lab to get them done). Now though, I was able to visit and scan each with my iPad.

I’d like to make contact with my Moden and Gilbert families again, to make scans of new photos, including getting a scan of the 1909 wedding photograph of my paternal Great Grandparents wedding, which I only currently only have as a bad photocopy of a bad photocopy!

1909 Newman Gilbert wedding group
My Great Grandparents’ wedding on 2nd June 1909 – the only photo I have or have seen (of at least a 2nd generation photocopy) is on the wish list.

4. Run 2 more AncestryDNA tests

I’ve got 2 AncestryDNA test kits sitting on a shelf in my office. They’re right in front of me right now. But that’s no good…

I’d like to ask my sister, and my paternal grandfather’s cousin to take the AncestryDNA test too.

My sister won’t really be interested in the results much, and certainly not the genealogy, but my grandfather’s cousin (see 3) is very interested in family history. I just want to pick my timing/method of asking her and explaining what it is.

Running these 2 tests will take my test tally up to 7, and so far there’s been some amusing results.

If one of them says ‘no’, that’d be a shame, but it’s something I have to respect. If I do get a ‘no’, then my next option may be my maternal grandfather’s cousin. However, I don’t really know her, but the fascinating thing with her, is that whilst her mother is a blood-relative to me, her father carries a surname that sits in my father’s tree – Tingey. It’s not that common, and considering he was from the same area, I’d be curious of whether I have a paternal AND maternal match!

In addition, I’d also be curious of using AncestryDNA testing to help prove parentage by testing the descendants of my Great Grandfather’s step-father’s siblings.

My Great Grandfather in this branch was illegitimate, but my 2x Gt Grandmother swiftly married and had further children. My grandmother, in the last few years of her life, kept telling me that this step-father, Flanders Hopkin was really the father (he was a lot older, and I don’t think her parents approved).

Therefore, I’d like to test the step-father’s sibling descendants to see if there’s a match. It’d be reasonably easy to have a match elsewhere in their tree, and it should be relatively easy to find a modern-day descendant, but the gamble is picking a person who has inherited enough of that family’s DNA to match.

5. Start that book!

Yes, i know, i know, I KNOW. For years now, I’ve been talking about writing, and briefly I did start, but the format of it has really eluded me – fact, fiction, pictorial reference? I’m still not 100% sure which method I’d go for, so I’ve decided that just starting will help me decide.

I won’t have a book finished, but I want to be knee deep in writing by December 31st 2018.

Anything else?

Well, I’m finishing off migrating my Family Tree UK website over to a new responsive device friendly design – I’m 83% of the way through it, which gives me a chance to re-write, re-check research, and add bits to each person profile. This will also be it’s 20th year online (b. 28/11/1998), so I’m going to make a massive cake… and .. er.. eat that all myself. 😀

I also want to print a lot of family photos and frame a load on a wall in my office. I need to fill and paint that wall at the moment, but it’ll be inspiring once i’ve finished.

I also want to sort my files out – do some deep cleaning of my research notes. There’s lots of newspaper cuttings, letters, really old printed emails etc.. and I think they deserve going through, scanning etc, and referencing details in my Mac Family Tree database.

Obviously, writing up interesting research twists and turns here for you too!

Anyway, let me know in the comments below if you have any New Year Genealogy Resolutions for 2018 (feel free to throw in a link to them!), and how you did in 2017.

Thanks for reading, have a healthy and happy New Year, and another 12 months of productive family tree surgery!

Andrew

Author: Andrew Martin

+Andrew Martin is owner and lead writer for History Repeating and Family Tree UK. Genealogist, historian, writer, photographer and would-be archaeologist. He'd love a time machine, but worries that it might take all the fun out of it.

3 thoughts on “My 2018 New Year Genealogy Resolutions”

  1. In the 1990s I had my Barber family traced back to Joh Barber of Witcham, whose will was proved in 1589. My direct paternal ancestor is John Barber’s son Richard, who married Alice Yone. Our line has lots of Richards, Williams, John’s and Thomases, but no Wenhams. I have the full research if you are interested.

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    1. Hello Stephen, thanks for the comment. That John Barber sounds like he’s very much the same one for me too. I have nothing on Richard and Alice (although I have seen their marriage before (as I remember her maiden name, and wondered if it was a variant of my Ong surname from Stuntney/Ely). Would love to take a look and compare research notes. Andrew

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  2. Hello Andrew,
    It seems we are both descended from Elizabeth Poll and John Howlett. My line is through their son Robert. My question is that I have seen so many other trees that say Ishmaels daughter Elizabeth Poll married a Reeder. How do you account for this? I have made a DNA match with a descendent of a child from Elizabeth’s first marriage to Michael Goodings. I wonder if anyone with Ishmael DNA is on GEDmatch?!!
    I just cannot find records ,with my limited means, to prove Ishmael is Elizabeth’s father. Have you? And if so can you give me a hand?

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