Tuesday, 27 December 2011

My New Year Resolutions : Hopes for 2012

It is that time of year once again when we sit and reflect over the past twelve months of our genealogical life. We think about what we have found, finished and achieved. We think about those ancestors we are still yet to find, the brick walls we are still yet to bulldoze. We start to make plans anew with a fresh mind and tell ourselves we must get our research notes and papers in some kind of working order. We resolve to make purchases that may aid our quest and we excitedly visit all the stationery shops and departments to find a decent storage unit, box or filing system to accommodate our works. In the back of our mind we think “acid free, archive safe” like a guilt-induced mantra and pray we find something that doesn’t cost the earth or take up too much unnecessary space in our homes.

It is that time of year when we hope the new year ahead will lead us to find that special book, disc, document, certificate, record, register, photograph or heirloom which just may hold the key to all our genealogy mysteries, brick walls, unresolved searches, and “yet to be confirmed” anecdotes. I know I wish for this every year, without fail.

This year I decided to start a blog. I bit the bullet after many years of doubt thanks to some wonderful friends and encouragement from my family. It has been a long time wish of mine to write publicly in some capacity. Having kept private diaries and journals for most of my life and writing many short stories and family letters over the years, I have come to love (and rely on) the satisfaction writing brings me. In the New Year ahead, I hope to start a new historical novel, as well as write a history of my childhood home and also tie up some loose ends with a second edition family history book I began earlier this year. I also hope to share some of my work with a much wider audience, whoever and however that may come to be.

My Family Tree
I began my genealogical life in earnest eleven years ago. Before my daughter was born I merely dabbled in family history, relying mostly on what my grandmothers had shared with me, and a small family tree project I completed for an English assignment at college when I was twenty three years old. Over the past eleven years I have learnt a great deal about my family history, the lives they led, the places they lived and worked in, the families they raised and the circumstances in which they raised them. I have met many online people, related and not, who have shared a wealth of information with me and have kept in touch via email and with Christmas cards. I have enjoyed helping others wherever I could and even volunteered at a genealogy centre for a few years. I have come across countless people online who are more than happy to help me and share what they know, or are more than willing to try.
Nothing, apart from being a mother, has given me more self-satisfaction and self-motivation than researching my family history, and indeed history in general. I never dreamed that people such as Nicholas Crane, Alan Titchmarsh, Griff Rhys-Jones, Tony Robinson and Kevin McCloud could teach me so much about my heritage, my childhood roots, my homeland and my ancestry. I never dreamed that I would end up wanting to write so much about my heritage and share it with others. Once, many years ago now, I dreamed of writing romance novels but I have come a long way since those days!

My prayer for 2012 is to write. Simply that. Of course, I want to uncover that elusive fact, discover that elusive ancestor (see my blog on Richard Humphries) and tidy up my files, collect more old postcards, purchase more local history books...that goes without saying. In the bigger scheme of things I want to write until my hand falls off, my brain is fried, my arm aches and the dust in my house packs a suitcase from boredom.

I will continue to write blogs and keep journals and I will still find the time to jot a short story or three, but most of all I hope to write my second novel. Perhaps I may even share my first novel with the world! Eeeeek! :-)

Happy New Year readers. May you find what you have been looking for this year, last year, two years ago...you get the picture.


  1. Happy 2012 to you Debra, I hope all your writing dreams and aspirations come true...

  2. Hello,

    Great blog post! I love your passion for genealogy.

    It is great you collect postcards. I have a small postcard collection, which I must blog about one day.

    All the best with your genealogy, writing et all during 2012.


  3. Thank you Ann, I always appreciate your warm comments. Happy New year to you too! xx

    Welcome Andrew, I am so glad we have made a connection with one another again through our respective blogs. Thank you for your lovely compliments, they mean a lot. xx

  4. I am really pleased I found your blog by hopping over from saturdays child. I love anything to do with family history and am researching mine.
    P.S. also love animals, cats especially.

  5. Welcome Anne, I am so pleased that you visited my blog and decided to stay! Hope you enjoy my future blogs. Cats Rule! xx