I am sure you all know the old saw ‘if you don’t have a plan, that’s your plan’. Well, I am here with Today’s Tip and it is this: In genealogy and your family history, you need a strategic plan!
When I began my work, I thought the only plan I needed was how I was going to find the next person who needed to show up on my tree. Then I started to think about WHY I was doing this. Sure, I was doing it because I have a deep and abiding personal love of family, history, and tradition. But then I thought back to what it was that motivated me to begin in the first place. I had several prime motivators that happened at differing times of my life. A huge one was that all my life, until I was off and married, I had a grandparent live in my home with me. This multigenerational approach to family was a wonderful addition to my life and even as a youngster I realized what a different dimension it added to my life. Another was the loss of my father. He offered my life so many aspects that I now lack that I have grieved that loss ever since. Then there was the joyous occasion of the births of my grandsons. WOW, nothing like a new generation to kick you into understanding the value of family, roots, and traditions, especially when they are both named after significant family patriarchs.
Then I got to thinking that there were some very important benefits that could come to the family if I didn’t goof the whole thing up! I could educate family members on the cultural fabrics that come together to make our lives. I could educate on the world history that impacted our ancestors. I could find missing and disconnected family. I could perhaps give a deeper meaning to the word ‘family’ for some.
So I set out and developed a strategic plan for our family history. Not complex and certainly not a thing of beauty to any MBA or corporate planner, but it would do the trick for us. It would guide me, lead me, push me, and energize me in my pursuit of our family history.
Over the next few days my Tips will focus on various aspects of the plan I developed and now follow, but here are a few of the goals that are in it:
- Make it FUN!
- Be inclusive and interactive.
- Insure worldwide accessibility.
- Include all branches of the family, including those by marriage and be expansive.
- Increase participation by more family members in the pursuit of our family history.
- Provide proper and complete documentation sets on each member of the family who gets added to the tree.
- Feature multimedia, especially photos and video.
- Focus on interactive communications and not one-way dialog.
- Recognize and embrace the diversity and reality that will become apparent.
- Communicate with the membership on a regular basis to enhance excitement.
So these are the core goals of our family history strategic plan.
More to come, but if you do not have a plan for your family history work, put on your thinking caps!
Onward To Our Past,