Friday, November 27, 2009

What I am genealogically thankful for this year.

I know this is a day late but I was thinking about it last night...what are the top ten things I am thankful for in genealogy this year?  It took me awhile to fill this list but here we go, in no particular order...
  1. State budget cuts this year did not severely hamper the Library of Virginia.  In past years, they were forced to lay off employees or even close for extra days during the week.
  2. Family Tree Maker 2010 finally seems to be getting stable.  I think I have finally made the long-term switch to that product.
  3. Ancestry.com went public this year - it is now on the stock market.  This may turn out to be a terrible thing in the long run but for now it seems positive.  They have a huge rush of cash into the company so I would expect a lot of expansion in the near future.
  4. Getting my new office set up.  I am sitting here typing in it right now!  I am not finished with it yet but I should be done by the end of the weekend.  I mostly have to do some trim work and painting.
  5. I set out to create a free set of genealogy lessons by email, for the general public, and I actually did it.  I wrote 20 lessons, set up a website and an email delivery system.  You can check it out here:  USA Family Tree.  I have over 1,000 subscribers.
  6. I was directed to the Library of Congress site Chronicling America - a free database of US newspapers from the late 1800s to the early 1900s - great site!
  7. I bought an iPod Touch.  This, more than anything, changed my life this year.  For about $300, I have a very powerful computer in my pocket at all times.  I am even able to have a viewable copy of my GEDCOM with me whenever I need it.
  8. My GPS unit, great for finding my way around old country roads.  It keeps me from pulling over constantly to read a map.  It also helps me to record the coordinates of places that I find, such as an old cemetery.
  9. I finally got the picture of my great-great-great-grandmother that I knew existed but never took the time to track down.  I found a new cousin, told them how to find the photo, and they tracked it down for us...very exciting.
  10. Finally found the middle name of my great-great-grandfather, Joseph Addison Vass, on his daughter's SS-5.  We always assumed his middle name was Andrew so this was a great find.
Well, that is my genealogical to-be-thankful-for list.  What is on yours this year?

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