Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Family History Goals . . . Holding myself accountable

A little more than a year ago, I posted about my genealogy goals for 2011. I went back this afternoon to review how I'd done and realized that the research goals I had thought up for myself had done nothing to guide my research over this past year. Every one of those questions is still open. It's not that my research hasn't progressed; on the contrary, I've made some great progress. It's just been haphazard, serendipitous, uncoordinated, and disorganized. Here's a review of what I wanted to do, and what actually got done:

1. Who were Matthew Madigan's parents? Still no clue. But I did move in down the street from Mathew's grave, where the tombstone gave me invaluable information about his wife, my great-great-great-grandmother Margaret Sullivan Madigan.
2. Who built the house at 85 Luqueer Street? I'm closer to figuring this out, in a manner of speaking. Having moved to NYC, I'm physically closer to the Brooklyn Department of Buildings. But I work full-time, and it's rare that I have the opportunity to head down to Brooklyn during business hours. Although I don't actually have any additional information on the house, I did recently discover the NYC Real Estate Record online, which I need to page through more extensively. And, of course, I actually visited and walked through the house a few months ago. But I don't know who built it. 
3. When did Richard Toner die? Still no clue. I can't find any evidence of this at all, and this is a family whose life events were well-documented in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and his death would have likely been around 1880, so it should be indexed by the Italian Genealogical Group website, but it's not.
4. What killed Patricia Mary Gillan Chase Marra and her daughters, Patricia and Michele Elizabeth Chase, on New Year's Eve, 1947? No idea. 
5. What happened to Mary Mulvany? Still no idea. However, I did find out where her parents were from in Ireland, a giant leap forward I hadn't expected to make!
6. Where was Mary D'Ingeo Gatto born? I don't know, yet. But I ordered her SS-5 just before Christmas, so I hope to find out at least where she said she was born.
7. Who were Hugh Quinn's parents? I still know exactly nothing about Hugh Quinn's parents, or family, or origin. 
To answer these questions, I would like to:
Finally visit my local Family History Center Once I moved to Queens, I discovered that my local Family History Center was mere blocks away. I've visited numerous times, but have been looking at the Italian lines of my family (in fact, all the Italian lines except the one included above, Maria D'Ingeo's family) to answer some questions my grandparents have. 
Visit the Brooklyn Historical Society I didn't, but my cousin Patty did, and we had a remarkable adventure result!
Visit the NYPL's Milstein Division I was there once, but it wasn't an ideal situation and I didn't learn as much as I could have had I been prepared. 
Visit the various research rooms in the downtown Brooklyn county government complex Not in the past year.
Devote some time to browsing the Brazil Catholic Church Records and the Brazil, Sao Paolo Burial Records This I haven't done at all, not for lack of access but for lack of time and willpower.  
Familiarize myself with Florida genealogy I haven't spent any time at this at all.  
Family History Related Personal Goals:
Get a job, so I can once again afford to order the records I need Create vital records for my descendants to find! (namely, a marriage license and marriage record, this coming April!) Done and done! I'm employed, full-time, at a fantastic job I never dreamed I could get at this point in my career, and happily married, with a license and marriage record for our descendants to find. My one regret is that we never got around to publishing and engagement or wedding announcement in the paper for future researchers to find. 
Instead of making new goals for 2012, I'm going to stick with the ones that I was supposed to be working on over the past year. (This is slightly disingenuous, as I have other goals floating around in my brain that I want to, and will, work on. But I'm keeping the old goals in the mix, too.)

Happy researching in 2012!

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