Randy’s Genealogy Activity Highlights for 2020

 Looking back over the past year, I see that I pursued these genealogy and family history related activities:

1)  Speaking

*  Gave three presentations to Chula Vista Genealogical Society via Zoom in April, May and June.  

*  Gave two presentations to Orange County California Genealogical Society in September via Zoom.
*  Gave a presentation to Whittier Area Genealogical Society in October via Zoom.
*  Gave a presentation to Larimer County (Colorado) Genealogical Society in November via Zoom.
*  Gave a presentation to a Chula Vista PEO group in October via Zoom.
*  I had planned on cutting back in-person presentations due to travel issues, but COVID did the job for me.
*  I created no new presentations this year.
2)  Society Work

*  Moderated 2 SDGS RootsMagic User Group meetings at San Diego FamilySearch Library with 6 to 15 in attendance. These meetings were canceled starting in March due to COVID and the lack of RootsMagic 8 release.
*  Moderated 12 CVGS Research Group monthly meetings (3 at Chula Vista Civic Center Library and 9 in Zoom meetings) with 8 to 20 in attendance.

*  Moderated 11 CVGS DNA Interest Group monthly meetings (2 at Chula Vista Civic Center Library and 9 in Zoom meetings) with 10 to 20 in attendance.
*  Wrote, edited, printed, mailed and emailed 12 CVGS monthly Newsletters (10 pages each month) to the CVGS membership.
*  Served on the CVGS Board for the 18th consecutive year as Research Group Chair, DNA Group Chair, and Newsletter Editor, attending monthly Board meetings and General Society program meetings (3 in-person, 8 on Zoom).
*  Set up the Zoom account for CVGS and hosted all of the CVGS Zoom meetings.  We are recording the program meetings and putting them on the CVGS website.

3)  Education

*  Watched about 50 Family Tree Webinars and about 3 Virtual Genealogical Society webinars as part of my subscriptions to both services.
*  Attended the 2020 RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City in February, attended a few classes, enjoyed the exhibit hall, served as an Ambassador, and received a GeneaBlogger Lifetime Service Award.

*  Attended the SDGS January seminar, and every SDGS in-person and online program meetings and special webinars on Zoom.  
*  Attended the SDGS DNA Interest Group meetings on Zoom from April to December hosted by Colin Whitney, often with speakers.
*  Attended most CVGS monthly General Meetings (January in-person, April to December via Zoom) with one presentation by a speaker.
*  Participated in about 40 Mondays With Myrt webinars via Zoom contributing information, commentary and opinions about events in the genea-sphere.  Also watched several Wacky Wednesday webinars.
*  Watched hundreds of YouTube videos about genealogy-related topics – I subscribe to about 90 YouTube channels for genealogy.
*  Read the NEHGS magazines and downloaded them to my genealogy education folders.  American Ancestors also provides digital editions of a number of periodicals for New England which I search occasionally and download articles to my genealogy folders.
*  Downloaded syllabus articles from RootsTech, Family Tree Webinars and save them to my education folders.
*  Read thousands of genealogy-related blog posts from hundreds of geneabloggers using Feedly on a daily basis.

4)  Blogging

*  Wrote 939 blog posts on Genea-Musings in the 15th year of the blog.  Most of my posts are about my own research (e.g., Amanuensis Monday, Tombstone Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Seavers in the News, 52 Ancestors, and Saturday Night Genealogy Fun), but some are genea-curation about the industry (e.g., New and Updated Ancestry Collections; New and Updated FamilySearch collections; New and Updated MyHeritage collections; Genealogy News and Education Bytes on Tuesdays and Fridays; and Best of the Genea-Blogs on Sundays), occasional guest posts, press releases,  research tips (Tuesday’s Tips), questions asked (e.g., Dear Randy posts), genealogy software, online collections, or industry issues.  See:
***  Randy’s "Best" Genea-Musings Posts in 2020
***  Top 30 Most Viewed Posts in 2020 on Genea-Musings

*  I now have about 11,512,000 page views on the Genea-Musings blog according to Google.

*  Wrote 242 blog posts on The Geneaholic blog in the 14th year of the blog.  Almost all of them are daily journal posts about my work and my life.  I really slowed down in the fall.

5)  DNA Tests and Analysis

*  I have autosomal DNA test results at AncestryDNA (test), MyHeritageDNA (upload), FamilyTreeDNA (test), 23andMe (test), and Living DNA (upload).
*  Reviewed my DNA matches on a regular basis, and made notes about the match data, including known relationships and common ancestors.  I have spreadsheets for the highest matches on AncestryDNA and MyHeritageDNA matches with collected information.  I occasionally download my Shared DNA segments from MyHeritageDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.
*  Created AutoCluster groups on Ancestry (not available any longer), MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe  using the Genetic Affairs program.  I have not done much on DNA Painter yet because my known common ancestors with my matches are relatively few on the sites with chromosome browsers.

6)  Genealogy Research and Family Trees

*  Used RootsMagic as my "master" family tree program on my desktop and laptop computers.  See   My RootsMagic Genealogy Database Statistics Update – 31 December 2020 for my progress on my family tree.

*  Continued to research, find, source and enter information on my ancestors and descendants of my 5th great-grandparents to help find common ancestors with DNA matches.
*  Use the WebHints for Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast, and FamilySearch to add content (names, relationships, events, dates, places, notes and source citations) for records found that apply to each profile.  
*  Searched for more records for selected profiles on all of the sites, adding content and source citations for records found that apply to each profile.  
*  Mined selected record collections on Ancestry (using the specific database tool for Ancestry Member Tree profiles), on MyHeritage (finding Record Matches for a specific collection for my MyHeritage tree profiles), on Findmypast (Record Hints on Findmypast tree profiles), and on FamilySearch Record Hints for FamilySearch Family Tree profiles.
*  TreeShared weekly the changes to the RootsMagic tree to my Ancestry Member Tree, which generates more Record Hints for those profiles.  Update my Findmypast and MyHeritage trees using GEDCOM on a yearly basis.
*  Matched my RootsMagic profiles with FamilySearch Family Tree profiles on a regular basis using the FamilySearch tools in RootsMagic, and add or edit Family Tree profiles and/or RootsMagic profiles to add content, notes and source citations.
*  Started the General Society of Mayflower Descendants membership process – submitted the preliminary form and am working on the application form and supporting documentation. 
*  Wrote Randy’s Best Genealogy Discoveries in 2020 to summarize my genealogy research efforts.

7)  Digital Data Maintenance

*  Added digital images of genealogy records, including downloaded books or articles, to my ancestral surname and family files on a regular "as found" basis.
*  Added other genealogy-related documents (e.g., CVGS Newsletters, presentation slides and handouts, etc.) to my Genealogy file folder.  
*  Backed up the digital image files to Google Drive and iDrive in the cloud, and some files to Dropbox for transfer to the laptop on an as-needed basis.  
*  Bought another FOREVER box for more digitization in 2020.  Finally sent it in with 29 more 8-mm home movies from the 1940s to 1970s in late November.  Added more photographs in albums to FOREVER.  Now I need to buy more storage there.

8)  Summary

*  That’s what I do almost every day for 5 to 11 hours a day chained to my computer; plus eat and sleep, but usually take a mid-day nap to recharge.  I worked about 3,000 hours on genealogy-related activities in 2020.  Didn’t make much money.  I think I’m my own boss.  Made a lot of discoveries and had a lot of genea-fun.  
*  I actually gained more genealogy and research time due to COVID because I didn’t have to drive Linda to the YMCA every day, but now I’m sleeping in longer.  
*   I still find some time for family activities (a few visits – some on Facetime and Duo, church (some on Zoom), Padres baseball on TV in 2020, Chargers football on TV, and Aztecs football/basketball on TV, and reading fiction while watching TV) and household chores (I took on cooking and cleaning this year).  I check Facebook daily, and read or watch political news/events online and on TV. 

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Posted On: December 31, 2020 at 02:41PM