Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My 2014 Research Goals

Happy New Year!

Photo by Madhan Kumarb

I wanted to share my genealogy-related goals for 2014.  Number one is to just keep trying to find time to research, which is easier said than done, but I also have some specific individuals that I'd like to focus on this year.

One benefit of joining my local genealogy society is that I'm learning a lot about process and proper research techniques.  While I am a very organized person, it wasn't until a fellow genealogy society member pointed out the necessity of a research calendar that I began keeping track of exactly what I was working on, along with current status and next steps.  Thank you, Sierra!  My research calendar is also helping me to focus my time and energy.  So, a quick glance at my research calendar reminds me of my priorities for 2014.

There are two goals here.  (A) Establish location and date of death for my great-great-grandfather John T. Griffin.  (B) Prove conclusively the parents and siblings of John T. Griffin.  The Griffins have been quite difficult to research and are definitely my biggest challenge at the moment.

Continue to research my husband's great-grandmother, Lena Schmidt Laun.  In 2013, I smashed a big brick wall by discovering what happened to her after her divorce from Harry Laun, but I still don't know who her parents and siblings were.  I know when and where she was born, so it's just a matter of sorting through the seemingly thousands of Schmidt families in Belleville, Illinois.  I'd also like to see a divorce record for Lena and Harry, but I haven't had any luck with St. Louis records departments yet.

I am trying to find the parents and siblings of Amelia Brown Bellangee, my fourth great-grandmother.  I know the dates and places of her birth and death, but still have not been able to figure out who her parents were.

We are missing a generation in our Smith family tree.  I know that my fourth great-grandfather, Samuel B. Smith of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, was the grandson of Captain Samuel Smith of Winchester, New Hampshire.  We have land deeds and other family records proving as much.  However, I don't know who Samuel B. Smith's father was, for sure.  I am pretty certain his name was also Samuel Smith, but looking for a Samuel Smith in New England is like a needle in a haystack. 

There are many other goals on my research calendar, but these take top priority.

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