New Year, New Goals

It feels somewhat strange setting these goals for 2022, whilst we are living with so much uncertainty in our day to day lives, but all I/we can do, is try and maintain a sense of normality, whatever normality is and try to maintain some kind of perspective with life. With that in mind I have tailored my goals a lot more this year, compared to previous years, purely on the basis that there are just too many unknowns at the moment. What this does allow me of course, is a lot more wriggle room should a new project arise.

Overall the theme for 2022 will be about consolidation and building on the things that I enjoy doing with my family history. Central to that will be my role as the editor of the ‘Dear Paul’ column for Family Tree Magazine. This will always be my Number one priority and I have one or two new things lined up for 2022. I also have some fascinating stories that I am currently working on, so watch this space for some really interesting stories, some funny, some of course sad, but all part of the fabric of what makes us who we are today. So if you find something quirky, record-breaking or just plain funny whilst researching your family tree, then why not drop me an email to: and you just might feature in the next edition!


I will still continue my two moderating roles for 2022 and will continue to play an active part in both #AncestryHour and family tree forum. I enjoy both these roles very much and it’s my small part of “putting something back” into this wonderful hobby of ours. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have received lots of help with my research and if these roles can in some way put something back, then I am grateful for the opportunity to give something back.



The big news for 2022 will be the release of the 1921 census and all the new information this will bring. I am not expecting any startling new revelations on my own tree, but you just never know! There could always be a sneaky surprise or two hidden away there. I won’t be going mad initially, apart from looking out for my grandparents, I will probably wait until the costs come down, or it becomes part of a subscription package, before I systematically look at all the extended branches of my tree.

RootsTech22 is just around the corner in March 2022 and I am extremely honoured this year to be a RootsTech Influencer (Ambassador). The whole concept of RootsTech is such a wonderful idea, bringing the whole global genealogy community for one huge event is massive. Of course a live show would be amazing, but the new hybrid online show, which connects our wonderful community together over a few days, is such a privilege to be a part of. You do feel connected as a community and part of a much bigger global network of people. I am really looking forward to this show, which promises to be even bigger and better than last years.

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The biggest brick wall on my tree has been sitting there an agonising 20 years now and I really want to strip back all that early research and look at everything again, with a fresh pair of eyes. This is a brick wall that I constantly revisit but only in fleeting passes. I really need to break the whole thing down again and take a new look at this, with hopefully my improved skills. Autosomal DNA testing and YDNA testing have helped with some fairly good pointers, but conclusive evidence is harder to come by. My 4 x Great-Grandfather appears in a tiny village in Essex in 1816, but where he was born around 1761 is still a mystery. The plan is to start again with a blank page and build this up from scratch.


On the subject of DNA, I would really like to start looking again at my DNA matches and do some more work in this area, I already feel that the progress and knowledge that I had previously gained has slowly disappeared. Like any newly acquired skills, if you don’t use them on a regular basis, the knowledge gets slowly watered down. Therefore I have kept the DNA goal on my list for 2022.


My previous goal of compiling a family biography for all sixteen of my 2 x Great-Grandparents is almost complete, but that ALMOST, needs to be converted to a FINISHED. The ones that are left are the most difficult ones and the ones that I have the least information about, therefore this makes them the most difficult to complete. There are just two more to complete, so I am hopeful that I can complete both of those this year.

Whilst we are talking about biographies, I still have the mammoth task of writing another 25 biographies of the firefighters who lost their lives at the old palace school. I am not going to set myself any unrealistic targets this year, but if I can get anywhere near a biography a month, I will be really pleased. Realistically anything above 9 in a year should be achievable.

I mentioned in my summary of last year’s report see here that I had joined several family history societies and this year I am hoping to get more out of these memberships and try to join in with more talks and zoom meetings. There are just so many really great guest speakers delivering a wealth of different talks that I have missed out on, so I really do need to make a conscious effort to make the most of these this year.

So in short, not a massive list of goals this year, but hopefully ones that are realistic and achievable. Like I said at the beginning, I am hoping for a steady year of consolidation. Concentrating on completing projects that I have started whilst hoping to kick-start a few other things that have fallen by the wayside over the last couple of years.

Let me know what’s on your genealogy goals for 2022, whether your list is large or small, I would love to hear what you hope to achieve in 2022.

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11 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals

  1. You’re really focusing your efforts in 2022 and I’m sure you will find success in breaking that brick wall, plus completing the family bio of your 2ggs. I’m envious you have enough info to write bios for ancestors that far in the past! Looking forward to your Dear Paul columns and of course being part of #AncestryHour when it resumes. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I envy your organization! It’s wonderful to set concrete goals each year and take stock at the end to track progress. I find myself wandering down rabbit trails if I don’t make a research plan and end up with a lot of wasted time. Do you keep a formal research log?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliment, don’t feel guilty for falling down rabbit holes, we all do it and it’s ok to do it, as long as you can find your way back out again that’s fine. I lost my way completely a few years ago and that’s why I need clear goals to work to, but don’t be afraid to do some genealogy “off reading” as I like to call it. I go keep a research log, I do find it useful


  3. Dear Paul, thank you for sharing your New Year’s Genealogy Goals (NYGG). One of my NYGG this year is to connect with other Geneabloggers and invite them to my Essential Genealogist podcast interviews. It was a pleasure to meet you in March 2021.
    My aim is to interview one Geneablogger per month and I often come here to see who is on your list of followers, and browse their blogs. (one day I aim to have a following for my blogs)
    PS I was given a subscription to the print-based Family Tree Magazine for Christmas last year, I look forward to seeing the Dear Paul column in print.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Carole for having me as a guest on your podcast I really enjoyed the chat, if you need any future recommendations of who to interview then feel free to drop me an email. I am so pleased that you have a subscription to family tree magazine and I hope that you enjoy the friendly fun and informative vibe of the magazine

      Liked by 1 person

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