During the start of the New Year, many genealogists are making a list of the things they want to accomplish in 2011. For example, many people are resolving to scan their documents, interview more relatives, etc. But what things should you promise not to do? Here is my list of things I vow to not do in 2011.
(Warning to the grammar police: This posts contains a lot of double negatives)
- I Vow to Never Not Cite Your Sources. Source citations, while incredibly important, do require a moment to write down. When in the heat of the chase, you don’t want to take that moment to write down the source citation. You promise yourself you’ll write it down later. But then you forget. And before you know it you’ve completely forgot about the source citation. The next time you look at your notes you scratch your head as you wonder where this information came from. Which is why you should always cite your sources – even if it takes you a minute.
- I Vow to Never Not Record Family Stories. When we begin doing research, we often take the stories and wisdom of our older relatives for granted. We jump into researching in libraries and on websites but drag our feet when it comes to interviewing our relatives. Once it is too late, we regret not asking these questions and not writing them down. Once it is too late, we’ve often lost invaluable details to our family stories. The biggest regret of my life is not recording the stories and memories my Mom shared with me. I lost my chance with her. But I’ve learned my lesson and now I do my best to record the stories I hear from family members.
- I Vow to Never Not Use a Research Log/Calendar. Research logs require a bit of extra time to write out the places you’ve checked for records and the places you plan to check for records. But at the same time, research logs provide a road map of where you’ve been and help you plan for where to go next. They keep you from visiting the same places twice. They save you time and money in the long run. So I vow to faithfully use a research log.
What things are you vowing to not do in 2011? I’d love to hear it!