Happy New Year!
2017 was packed with amazing genealogy experiences, milestones of both the personal and genealogical kind, the sorrow of loss, and the joys of life. When I reflect back over the year, these are some of the biggest moments:
Digging into the story of Rosey, my 2nd great-grandaunt, has been a fascinating adventure. I’m still finding tidbits scattered across the world. Just last week I found a big one I wasn’t expecting. The story that is unfolding is so enthralling that I think it is worthy of its own book. Here are the 2017 posts about Rosey:
- Incest?! – An Update: ALWAYS Go To The Next Image?
- Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit Hole
- The Mess That Just Keeps On Growing
John Costello continues to elude me. He is my great-grandfather and my most challenging brick wall. Despite his continued brick wall status, I have had some major breakthroughs this year. I discovered seven seconds of color video of him with my great grandma and my mom as a baby! I added to my collection of photos of him including the first one of him looking at the camera and smiling!! I learned that he was ethnically Jewish. He is still a brick wall, but I feel like I am making some meaningful progress for my own sense of connection to him, and preserving details for future generations to know something about him.
I finished organizing and filing all of the letters my grandparents wrote to each other during WWII and their LDS missions. TEN Hollinger boxes worth. I have also begun the process of digitizing and transcribing those precious letters.
I made enough progress in my Young surname study of Renfrew, Renfrew, Scotland to untangle my 5th great-grandparents James Young and Janet Robertson in the Family Tree on FamilySearch.
In my DNA efforts to learn about John Costello, I discovered a first cousin who was adopted at birth. Together we went on an amazing journey to identify his father and mother. I still can’t get over what a cool experience that was! You can read about that journey here:
Still on a DNA high, I watched a Legacy Family Tree webinar on DNA and heard a tip from Diahan Southard that led me to solve my Priority 2 brick wall!!!
In September, I rushed to the bedside of my grandmother to be with her in her final days. She was diagnosed with leukemia on a Thursday and passed away on Sunday. I deeply miss her and the genealogy experiences we shared. But I am so grateful that I started my genealogy adventures in my very early twenties. That meant I got 20 precious years of asking her questions.
In October I finally held in my hands a long sought after, precious, and very rare book because of a cousin connection I made on Ancestry.com. It confirmed my previous research efforts and added a richness of story to a family line that had been lost to time and young deaths.
I ended the year with a bang! when I helped my friend end her 50 year-long search for her paternal grandparents using her DNA results. What a joyful experience!
As I consider 2018, I am struggling to put my finger on my top three goals. I know that I want to continue to learn, research, digitize, archive, solve, teach, share, help, write, and answer questions I have. But those are the things I do all of the time. The one thing that often eludes me is a very important word – FINISH.
So I am pondering on what three things I want to FINISH this year.
The list of projects I am considering is long enough for a lifetime of effort. I’m never short on projects. But which three are the most important, the most pressing, the most meaningful?
I’m still pondering that and will be for a bit.
For now, I am grateful for the progress and experiences of 2017. I hope 2018 will be just as richly rewarding.
How about you? What do you hope to accomplish in 2018?
ps – The moment I am looking forward to the most in 2018 is standing in the baggage claim area of the Salt Lake Airport in August and wrapping my arms around my precious first-born, missionary son for the first time in two years and 5 days. That will be a big milestone moment right there! ❤️