Question of the Week: What are your genealogy goals for 2020?

+15 votes

What are your genealogy goals for the new year?
What do you want to accomplish?

Please reply here or on Facebook or use the high-resolution question image to share your answer with friends and family on social media.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
To finally link my McClarin line to its pre-American origins, on my paternal side.

To track down the true full name and family of origin of my great grandmother Myrtle Robertson/Robinson that was married to my great Grandfather Jesse James Weeks when she was young- maybe as young as 13. B 1890s-early 1900s.

To trace all my family lines further back than the 1600s

To develop a map I can drop pins on for ancestral historically significant places to visit like Caldwell castle in Ireland and West Riddlesden Hall.

29 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
To help my husband finish my Mayflower Society application
by Jessica Daigle G2G Crew (630 points)
selected by Robert Daigle
Go TEAM!  :-)
+19 votes
My goals for 2020 are oriented towards improving my research methodology and furthering my education about research methods, use of sources etc  I've never had any formal education in the area of genealogy or family history so I'm hoping to have the opportunity to do some of that this coming year.
by Sondra Marshall G2G6 Mach 3 (33.8k points)
+15 votes
My goals are are;

Keep suggestion list of profiles managed by me at "0".

Work on 2 suggestions a week on profiles related to me but managed by others.

Review, update and edit 2 profiles a week on my watchlist. Improving each one with any new sources available.

Continue working vertically and horizontally on my family lines.

Continue populating cemetery categories.

Add one new member to WikiTree this year.
by Rodney Long G2G6 Pilot (709k points)
+16 votes
Finish my write up on my Edgar Line

Figure out a good way to organize the family archive I seem to be accumulating

Do at least one on-site genealogy trip

Search the British Newspaper Archive for my Scottish ancestors

Plan and execute a trip to research at NEGHS (since my MIL gave me a membership)

Fill in the gaps in my New England-side pedigree as much as possible
by Janelle Weir G2G6 Mach 5 (50.3k points)
edited by Janelle Weir
+16 votes
My goals for 2020 include finding my paternal great-grandfather, who seems to have used a name other than his own ...

Adding sources for individuals in my tree.

Taking a DNA test.
by Nancy Saxby G2G1 (1.7k points)
DNA test is a good one. I recently took a Y-DNA test that was not what I expected, I need to take another from a different company and see if it's really correct.
Rob, can I ask what you mean by unexpected? Was it due to names coming up you didn't expect or just wonky results? Have you taken an autosomal DNA test? 'Cause that can clear some things up. Y-DNA tests are only as good as other people's trees.
My experience with DNA testing reveals that it is very difficult for scientists to distinguish the DNA of individuals from Northwestern Europe.  British and French DNA are extremely similar.  Estimates for those ethnicities is a complete guess without a family tree to back up the estimate.  I imagine there is a lot of overlap with English, Irish and Scottish DNA as well.
+15 votes
There are so many!! I want to work on my Butter(s) brick wall; to do that I must sharpen my research knowledge for English and Scottish records.

Offline I want to make more progress in organizing important documents and research out of the abyss of my drawer files into neat notebooks. Hopefully, these will appear more interesting to preserve when I am gone.

Continue to add information to WikiTree and work on profile biographies and review to see if more sources are available.

Last, but not least, do away with my 13 or so unsourced profiles in my watchlist. I tackle one or two each time I do a library research trip.
by Virginia Fields G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+12 votes
My goal for 2020 is to find and connect  relatives and seek direct ancestors on my mother's side of the family. I know nothing about her relatives from Sandusky Erie County Iowa where she was born, who her father is or any other relatives. She was born I. April 1, 1936 as Betty Jane Wightman. Her mother's name is Lucinda Ellen unknown maiden name, I was told she was a twin and she didn't know exactly what year she was born but celebrated her birthday on July 3rd.  The married names I know of was Wightman, Powell and to William R Tozer. She had one other daughter Alice Powell. She lived in Washington State in South Kitsap Port Orchard, Bremeeton, Bainbridge Island and Shelton.  I have done a DNA test however unsure who exactly are relatives on my mother's side of the family! My father's side I have been able to learn of ancestors dating back to the mid1600's! This would be my ultimate goal to solve this mystery.
by Linda A. G2G Crew (560 points)

See this:

Notes on there say that her mother is a different name than you give. All other data matches from what I can tell. 

Gives her father as George Henry Wightman, with a link to his Find A Grave memorial page.

+15 votes
My goal is to reactivate the US Southern Colonies project with a revised scope.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (828k points)
I'm on board with that goal! Let me know if I can help.
+9 votes
I don't really have any.

My own part of the global tree is pretty much as up to date as I can get it.

So I am just going to concentrate on Notables and anyone else I can find to add to the tree.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
I may need to trim my watch list - it is getting up close to the 5000 names mark now....
+9 votes

2020 WikiTree goals:

  1. Working on filling in the gaps on my familial part of the tree... missing children, spouses and so on.
  2. Keep plugging away at my OPS...still a construction zone of chaos.
  3. Cousin hunting in my DNA matches and helping them get connected to WikiTree.
  4. Keep helping out others when I am capable of helping them on the G2G.

by Mike Guzzetta G2G6 Mach 4 (43.2k points)
My goals are your #1 and #3.

I just got a hit on a DNA cousin yesterday and today we have been chatting all day long on 23andMe and Facebook! I'm hoping to get them started on WikiTree, if they are not already here.
+9 votes
  • Still working on brick wall in my paternal line. I'm back to Joseph Strutton, b 1809. I think I know his father, but no documentation.
  • Adding updated sources to my watchlist profiles and keeping up to date on suggestions
  • Making sure all the 26,000 people in my database are on WikiTree. Thank Wikitreers for having already added a lot of them, but I need to make sure. And add those who aren't here yet.
by Shirley Dalton G2G6 Pilot (508k points)
+11 votes

To work more on my own family's profiles, and my special projects, and go down fewer rabbit holes.  laugh

by Nan Starjak G2G6 Pilot (336k points)

If you can find a way to stay out of the rabbit holes, let me know, Nan!wink

+11 votes
To convert all of my 8-mm, hi-8 and digital-8 video tapes to computer files that won't degrade or be dependent on aging equipment to be able to see.

After about 3 weeks, I'm 5% done, so it's going to take me awhile. I did just finish my grandmother's 85th birthday gathering in 1994, I'm glad that's saved.
by Rob Neff G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
edited by Rob Neff
+8 votes
1. Continue working with DNA results (from me and other close relatives) combined with traditional research to confirm known ancestors and break brick walls.

2. Consolidate/back up info from my WikiTree and Ancestry trees in a desktop program (once I decide which one to use).  

3.  Possibly a summer trip to Rhode Island to do on site research into a particular family mystery.
by Lisa Hazard G2G6 Pilot (242k points)
Hello Lisa.  I'm a newcomer to WikiTree.  I think this is my third week.  How does one go about marking ancestors as "Confirmed with DNA"?

Welcome!  Hope you're having fun so far!  There's detailed instructions for DNA confirmation here:  The short version is that you need to have both an established DNA connection with a match on one of the testing sites *and* a paper trail verifying the relationship at each parent-child connection.  For example, to do DNA confirmation for a first cousin I would have to show that our DNA matches at an appropriate amount for a first cousin relationship, and document the paper trail from me to my parent, parent to grandparents, grandparents to aunt/uncle, and aunt/uncle to cousin.  Once you've got all that information assembled, you need to add a DNA confirmation statement to the biography of each of those links, and you can check off the Confirmed with DNA button for each relationship.  Feel free to look at my profile page and poke around; I've done DNA confirmation back several generations using third cousins of my mom and my paternal uncle, so you can see some examples.  (To do confirmation further back it's more complicated; I understand what's needed but haven't tackled it myself yet.)  Enjoy!

Thanks for this reply Lisa.  My first cousin Jacques has taken a DNA test, but he's not on WikiTree.  Our Ancestry DNA tests are at the appropriate level. Can mark him, my Matante Elaine and our shared grandparents as confirmed with DNA?  Or does Jacques have to be on WikiTree with his DNA test uploaded for it to count?
Sorry... just getting back to this!   I've done DNA confirmations where the match isn't on Wikitree.  I believe accepted practice is that if a match isn't on Wikitree you can add profiles down to the next nearest non-living relative and then refer to the match by initials.  For example, "K.H., a grandson of [profile ID]" You can then check off the DNA confirmation button for each profile in the chain.  If your cousin joins and adds his DNA test info, that will also propagate up the chain to anyone he's connected to in the tree, showing that they might possibly share DNA.  That's different from the DNA confirmation process, though.
+9 votes
A member of my family was heavily wounded during the Napoleonic Wars, his wounds were treated in Italy and he never left. He fell in love with both the country and a woman and now there are 39 families across Italy who bare the Fabrin name whom are Danish by descent.

I'll probably need to refresh my Italian as I pursue this (in case there are records not transcribed on Danish)

This is my main task this year (beside running the New Zealand project)
by Richard Shelley G2G6 Pilot (226k points)
+9 votes
Finding my grandparents ancestors from the Azores!  I found their parents names. Looking up baptism records, although with a lot of looking and some luck, I did find my grandmothers, is difficult to say the least!
+8 votes
1. source all my profiles

2. contact all the profile managers with whom I proposed mergers

3. work on my bibliographies to make history come alive

P.S. If anyone wants photos of memorials in Hancock County, Maine, I will try to get them.
by S Mercer G2G6 Mach 1 (15.8k points)
+8 votes
My goals for 2020 are to continue to search for the huge number of direct descendants in my husband’s family. Many come from Scotland.
+8 votes
To go through my lines again and verify connections and documentation.  It is very common for my ancestors to have lived and married in the same area for generations.  I have evidence of same names, etc.  Want to go through a double check again.
by Maureen Martinez Valentin G2G1 (1.1k points)
+7 votes
For 2020, I'd like to learn better research techniques so that I don't get frustrated and quit.  I am doing both my line and my husband's and I have hit brick walls for both.

I would like to find source documentation for my ancestors.  Too much of what I have is just passed down from word of mouth through the generations, or circular reporting from sites like and

I would like to get as much of my close family to take DNA tests, but I don't know what to do with the raw results.  So far, I have taken one, my husband has, my brother has and one of my three children has done a test.  I have access to the raw data, but I don't know how to use it.
by Lindy Stuart G2G2 (2.9k points)

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