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Genealogy Goals for 2017

Happy New Year to everyone! Are we all ready to begin another exciting chapter of Reed/Bentsen family research? I know I am. I hope to accomplish a number of things in 2017:

  1. My German third great-grandmother, Katherine Stillenbaugh/Stanabaugh (d. abt. 1865), remains a mystery to me, and I would love to break through this brick wall. I have developed a research plan to see if I can find any clues about her. This week I began by reading through the published histories of Johnson County, Indiana where I suspect she lived. Unfortunately, I found nothing that shed any light on her. My next step will be to identify families in Johnson and surrounding counties with surnames similar to hers and reconstruct those family groups to see if I can identify a possible candidate for her family. Anyone missing a daughter Katherine/Catherine/Catharina who might belong to me?!
  2. Technically, I finished up my series 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks in 2016. One year did not allow me enough weeks to complete the stories of all my third great-grandparents. Notably, I did not get to my Finnish line (ha, ha). I intend to do a few more posts on this topic so that I have something written about that entire generation.
  3. I plan to take up the challenge presented by Family Search and do a series on 52 Stories. The project involves writing a post every week about my own life. Family Search provides a year’s worth of prompts to inspire good material for this. First up, Goals & Achievements. When I am finished, I will have a nice memoir that I can pass along to my descendants.
  4. Later this year I will take a fabulous trip to Germany and the Czech Republic. My Lutheran church choir will go on tour to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and we will visit all the historic Luther sites. My maternal family has been Lutheran since the Reformation, so it means a lot to me to have the opportunity to explore my spiritual roots. My husband/tech advisor and I will tack a few days on to the trip to visit his ancestral villages in Germany and the Netherlands. If I could find out where my mystery ancestor originated in the German lands, perhaps I could visit her villages, too.
  5. I still have an unviewed box of material and several notebooks inherited from my Dad’s cousin awaiting curating. I would like to complete this project this year. Many of her materials concern her maternal line, which is not related to me. I would like to identify and donate these items to the Denver Public Library for the benefit of other genealogists.

These goals should keep me busy through the year. Wish me luck!

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