Sunday, January 6, 2013

Genealogical goals for 2013

Today, Epiphany, officially marks the end of the Christmas season (it's actually Christmas Day for Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar), and I'm quite relieved to have it all over. Have taken down my Christmas decorations, which I always find sad... but this year there was a grim feeling of relief in doing so.

2012 went by so quickly. Maybe it was because, for me, it was an eventful year: a new car, new place, and a new job.

As far as genealogy goes, it was quite a "slow" year... for the past several months I've felt like I've exhausted online resources-- that, basically, I've found out as much information as I can from the internet, and that making any further discoveries will require actual travel.

Between having to work and being broke, travel isn't happening anytime very soon, so I've been trying to walk away from genealogy a bit and concentrate on other things.

So what I'm hoping for in 2013 is to be able to break down some of the brick walls in my family tree, particularly regarding my more recent ancestors. My goal is to fill in my family tree up to third great-grandparents, but that's proving difficult on my father's side; his father was Jewish, and I can currently only go back to my father's paternal grandparents. With Jewish vital records from the old country being practically non-existent, it's doubtful that I will ever be able to go back any further.

My paternal grandmother's Irish ancestry likewise stops at Ellis Island; good luck trying to trace Fitzgeralds and Ryans in Ireland!

On this side, I have my great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth FITZGERALD (23 May 1879- 15 Mar 1954), as the daughter of Thomas FITZGERALD and Rose KILEY... but I can't find a birth record for Mary, or a marriage record for her parents (there is one that might be theirs, but this Rose's maiden name is listed as Connolly, not Kiley). So basically, I can't be sure of Mary's parents names or their parents' names. If I could find Mary's birth record, it would be a huge help.

I would also like to actually be able to obtain some photos of my ancestors; I don't have very many. There used to be a few, but disappeared in a move; apparently, they might have gotten sent to my sister, who lives away. But I've been asking her for two years to check and to send them to me if she has them, and she never does.

I've really gotten to hate having to depend on other people to send me stuff, because seldom do they follow through. Meanwhile, I've sent photos and records to distant cousins I found online, and sometimes never even got a "thank you."

Genealogy can be frustrating.

Anyway, here's hoping for happy, healthy, and genealogical-discovery-filled new year!