1.) Scan more photos. Over the past couple of years, I've done a pretty good job of digitizing photos of my great-grandparents, grandparents, and even the ones from my parents' childhoods. When I was visiting my parents' house for Christmas a couple of weeks ago, I realized how many snapshots they had of me and my own siblings that really, really should be scanned and stored on my cloud drive, just in case anything should happen to them. My siblings and I are far from 'old,' but we did grow up before digital photography, so our entire childhoods are found on these paper photos lying in boxes in my mom's office room.
2.) Get my grandparents' birth certificates and/or baptism records. Three out of four of my grandparents were born in Ohio, so it will probably just take some phone calls or online ordering to get a copy of their birth return or birth certificate. One of my grandmothers was born in Italy. I do know the town in which she was born, but I do not speak or write any Italian, so this is one of my big challenges for this year. I would also love to get my grandparents' baptismal, first communion, and confirmation records, but unfortunately the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio Archives office maintains a 'closed to the public' policy. They do have a form by which you can request information by mail, so I may try to do that.
3.) Create family timelines. I would love to be able to take each of my and my husband's direct ancestors and create a visual history of their lives. In particular, I am anxious to try out a program called Timeline JS. I have seen some other family historians make some very cool interactive timelines that do a great job of telling an ancestor's life story.
4.) Tour the Indiana State Library Genealogy Collection. I only live about 25-30 minutes from this library. No, none of my or my husband's direct ancestors ever lived in Indiana, but by searching the catalog, I have found that they do have some holdings about Ohio that may prove useful in my research of my husband's family, in particular. The library offers free tours a couple of times per month, and luckily they are at times during which both of my kids would be at school. Once I am familiar with the library's holdings and layout, perhaps I could persuade my husband to entertain the kids alone some Saturday while I spend the day doing some research there. :-)
5.) Take a two-day trip to the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne. I live about two hours away from this library, the second-largest genealogy library in the nation. I've gone through this library's online catalog several times now, and I KNOW they have holdings that would prove useful to learning about my husband's ancestors. I'd like to be able to get a hotel room and go for two consecutive days, so that I don't have to rush to look through everything I would like.
©2014, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder