My Genealogy Goals for 2021

I love the idea of setting myself Genealogy Goals each year, realistic ones, not pie in the sky things, but real achievable targets. This helps maintain focus and prioritise what you are working on. A few years ago I completely fell of the rails and totally lost focus and I put that down to not having a plan in place, for what I wanted to achieve that year. So I vowed then, ‘Never Again’.

This year will see the return of a few missed goals from last year, it’s important to keep these in focus for next year and a few new ideas and goals. It will be interesting to see how some of the newer ideas develop, these are not necessarily big undertakings but more of a different approach.

I am going to start off with my blog, I am still overwhelmed that people actually follow my blog and read what I write, I find that incredibly humbling and I an eternally grateful for each and everyone of you, for stopping by and I appreciate all your lovely comments as well. Thank you all so much.

I have a number of long term goals with both my research and my blog that I want to pursue in 2021, which will mean that I will end up blogging less, but hopefully the blogs will be of a higher standard. Quality over quantity and a ‘Less is More’ approach. I also want to look into guest blogging on other websites and inviting people to write a guest blog on here. So if you are reading this and it sounds appealing then why not drop me a message.

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I still dearly want to re-visit Dublin and take a trip to Gallipoli, so both these will certainly be on my list again for 2021. I am not building my hopes up, this will be out of my control, but if not, then they will simply go back on the list again for next year. These things are out of my control and I can’t waste energy worrying about something I can’t influence.

Last year I made a massive massive breakthrough with a needle in a haystack DNA discovery and that has made me hungry for more ‘Brickwall’ success.

My DNA Breakthrough and Looking for a Needle in a Haystack

I have one major Brickwall that has been sitting there from the very beginning of my Family History journey and has been nagging at my conscience for around 20 years. Where does my 4 x Great-Grandfather on my Direct male line, originate from? I have tried Autosomal DNA and Y-DNA testing to try and help solve this, so I am under no illusions as to the enormity of the task. The intention is to peel everything back to the beginning and piece together every aspect, with a fresh set of eyes, which is one of the longer term projects that I have mentioned above. Even if this does not reveal any new clues, it’s important that I re-visit this work, as we should all re-visit our work from time to time.


I have absolutely loved listening to podcasts in 2020 and have a number of ones that I listen to on a regular basis. I even took part in one myself in 2020, with Family Tree Magazine. I really want to explore this avenue a lot more. That and also zoom chats, these have kind of been ‘forced’ on a lot of us because of the situation we found ourselves in last year, but there are so many opportunities to explore in this area. I have no hard and fast goal here, it’s a bit ‘woolly’, but I just want to get involved a lot more, how that takes shape, only time will tell. Maybe my own youtube channel, maybe not, but you never know!

My DNA work became derailed last year, I started the year off ok, but became side tracked with a number of different projects that took up a lot of time and set me off in different directions, that left me very little time to invest in my DNA studies. I have found with DNA work that you need both focus and time, without both of those things, it’s easy to ‘drop the ball’, so I took a step back in the last part of 2020 for that reason. I am hoping that with a clearer workload that I can find time to at least get my DNA back on track.


I also want to update some of my older blogs, bring them up to date. Some of them are 3 years old now and times have changed and things have moved on, so I will refresh some of the older blogs, give them a bit of a face lift.

I always set myself the target of joining 2 Family History Societies associated with my current researches and there is nothing to make me change from that goal again.

I definitely need to make some more progress on my Photo project, it started off well then stalled in the middle of last year. I am not setting myself an unachievable target of completing them all next year, but if I can make steady progress I will be satisfied.


I still have a number of my 2 x Great Grand parents biographies to finish. I have completed 10 of the 16, so it would be nice to see if we can finish that this year as well.

The next goal will be out of my control to a certain extent, but if we see a return to a more normal life again in 2021, attending Family History Shows and events will be high up my priority list. As the saying goes, you don’t realise how much you miss something until it’s taken away. Although we have adapted as a community, with lots of zoom presentations going on, you just cant beat meeting old friends, face to face and catching up, so here’s hoping that we can see each other again at both Family Tree Live and RootsTechLondon!


One last goal for 2021 is to try and become more tech savvy and maximise my exposure to social media platforms, this year I’m going to give Pinterest another go, so if you are a frequent user, feel free to look me up and see what I’m up to.

Of course writing my ‘Dear Paul’ column for Family Tree Magazine will continue this year, it’s something that I am both proud to be involved with and feel very passionately about. I will also continue my #AncestryHour duties on Tuesday nights at 7pm, this interactive fast paced chat is something that I dearly love and have met so many new genealogy friends this way. I will also continue as a moderator on the Family Tree Forum website, a small and friendly Genealogy Forum that I have been a member of since 2008.


So it looks like another busy year ahead, lets hope 2021 brings us back together again as a community, I am looking forward to new and different challenges in 2021, but just as importantly I am looking forward to having some fun and the opportunity to meet up with some of you again!

“Happy Treeing”

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18 thoughts on “My Genealogy Goals for 2021

  1. I have some family members now 4 and maybe more that want a Di Mattia Tree History of all those involved. I have recently revisited digital informationi and have had great success in obtaining more information to the tree. I have been talking to Cousin in her 80’s and she has asked me dozens of questions. Which I am happy to answer. I have been busy researching and haven’t had time to write in 52 ancestor in 52 weeks either.
    Another goal I have is I want to deliver the family history to dear neice in Louisianna sometime this year. I have my work cut out for me. It’s been kind of nice that we are locked down here in America as I have been concentrating on my family history with real intent. I also want to learn how to use a number system instead of printing out family group sheet. I do enjoy your family history blog too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words its greatly appreciated and I’m pleased that you enjoy my blog. It’s so important to talk to our elderly family members before they get too old and maybe lose their memories. My one regret is I only started this hobby after all my grand parents had passed away, so I have missed out on hearing their stories. I was so lucky that one grandfather did start writing down his life story, so that is so precious to me. One of the only benefits of lockdown is that it gives us more time to focus on our hobbies, which helps keep ourselves mentally busy which is so important.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really enjoyed reading about your goals for 2021. “Quality over quantity” resonates with me as I pursue my own goals for this year. TY for sharing your ideas and encouraging others to plan ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Really enjoyed this post, Paul! Sounds as though 2020 was a phenomenally productive year for you on the genealogy front. Hearing of your goals and progress leaves me inclined to be more public about my own research objectives – it’s great for sharing ideas about ways we can push our research onwards when we see what others have been working on.

    Have also included your post in a piece I’ve just written about setting, pursuing and meeting your genealogy goals at and I hope your writing will inspire a lot of other researchers to be bold and ambitious in their family history work.

    Looking forward to seeing what lies ahead in your genealogy path in 2021!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Sophie, appreciate your comments and thank you for including my details in your own post. I am a firm believer in being truthful with what you want to achieve and openly admitting when you don’t achieve your goals. I also like to look back to see what caused that particular failure. Like my Top 10 Sins of a Genealogist blog, which became extremely popular, being open and honest with yourself, is a big factor in avoiding making the same mistakes repeatedly. I now routinely set goals and review them regularly, because I totally lost my way a few years ago and was literally apathetic in my research. That had to change, hence why I now set my yearly Goals, I might not hit every target, but at least I know what target I am supposed to be aiming at!

      Liked by 2 people

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