"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
15 January 2004

Walker County Lock-in

On Sunday, Feb. 8th, the Walker County Genealogical Society (WCGS) will hold their Annual Lock-in at the Huntsville Public Library located at 1216 14th St. from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit:http://www.wcgen.com/ or write: WCGS, P. O. Box 1295, Huntsville, Texas 77342-1295.

For information on books and resources at the Huntsville Public Library visit, :http://www.huntsville.lib.tx.us/, click on Library Services and the Special Collections.

It's 2004 and do you know where your ancestors are?

Wow, it's 2004! Looking back, what did you accomplish in 2003 and let's look forward to new goals! Yes, there are several piles of loose papers just begging to be filed. Yes, there are family members begging to be found. Yes, there are reels and reels of microfilm to be read.

Oh where oh where to begin? If you've been watching TV lately it's a big fad to have one of these home makeovers where there is a whirling dervish and everything old is out and all this new mod décor is in. I just cringe watching the "designers" clean out all that old junk and papers out of closets and desk and the home is left in a pristine magazine picture perfect condition.

Bar the door Katie if one of those shows coming knocking at the door! Okay, I'll confess, I'm a clutter bug. Yes, I'll agree it's time to start getting a few piles off the dining room table. I have a very dear friend whose genealogy has overgrown the dining room but look at it this way, it's all in one room!

So, let's start planning and setting some goals. I didn't say make a New Years Resolution, which of course everyone know is generally broken before the day is out!

Let's agree right now that many of us have set more goals than we can realistically expect to meet. So, our first concern is not to set yourself up for failure -- keep your goals reasonable.

Start small, set three goals for achievement in 2004. Choose things you can actually do.

Make your goals specific and measurable. One goal might be adding obituaries to your research. Saying you want "to find every obituary" isn't meaningful or realistic. Instead, say you want to find one obituary a week. This goal can be measured and you will know whether or not you reach it.

Another goal might be tackling one pile of papers each weekend! You'll need to abstract/re-type them into your family tree database, write the information onto your family group sheets or just put them into a file folder. Gee, thinking about this means a new file cabinet, rearranging the ones I already have at the house. So, one goal can cascade into several layers.

One weekend go and buy the file cabinet. The next weekend rearrange the furniture to get it into place. The next weekend move files around so you'll have room to add new file folders. Now get started on that pile of papers! P

Create a plan to reach each goal. How will you search for obituaries? Perhaps you will order microfilm by inter-library loan or search for newspaper resources. Don't just say what you want to do, know how you will do it.

By November, review your results from this year. What worked? What didn't? Which of the goals you set for this year did you reach?

December, you will be able to pat yourself on the back for all the good you did this year, then start working on making 2005 even better! Oh boy, I am really getting ahead of myself?

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 5 March 2004 and was last revised on __________

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604