2015 Year in Review

2015 Year in Review

Roxborough Park in Colorado – picture taken by Nichelle Barra, September 2015

I can’t believe it’s already time for another year in review! If you’re curious, here are my previous years in review: 2014, 2013. I’m not sure if GeniAus will be doing another year in review post but this is where I got the idea: “Accentuate the Positive 2015 Geneameme

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was – well, not yet found. More that I have more information. This is my Hunt-For-John-Witherell by looking at his children (the list came from a Bible from one of them). So far… the hunt hasn’t gone too well. As far as the internet has helped anyway. It’s a record point where not much would be online and I’d need to go to the source (New York in this case) and that part will have to wait a bit.

2.  An important vital record I found was – John Stalmacher’s naturalization records! I am still hunting for his immigration passenger list. The Baltimore listings aren’t as easy to search as Ellis Island records.

3.   My 2015 blog post that I was particularly proud of was – probably about my DNA connection. It was my first connection (meaning we have replied back and forth to each other) on any DNA connections. My grandparents had just recently been tested as well and their results helped me to narrow down the search. I still haven’t found the connection yet though…

4.   My 2015 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was – Tuesday’s Tip: Use a Research Plan – that one got nearly 400 views, my best yet!

5. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was – Facebook – I use this now more for business than personal use

6. A genealogy course from which I learned something new was – Besides ProGen (which isn’t finished yet), I would say the Continuing Genealogical Studies: Genetic Genealogy, the Basics.

7. I am proud of the presentation I gave at/to – I didn’t reach my goal of 10 for this year, but I did a presentation for a family business in the area. It was awesome! I was a bit nervous before hand because this was the first group I presented to that wasn’t gathered for a genealogical reason. However, the response was wonderful and I had a great time!

8. A genealogy book that taught me something new was – This is a current read actually but I am hoping to learn a lot: Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond by Emily D. Aulicino. Review coming once I finish!

9. A great repository/archive/library I visited was – I got the chance to visit Denver’s genealogy library in downtown Denver. It was great! I even got a bit of research in on my non-research vacation. I also got the chance to visit the local history library of Boulder, Colorado and chat with other researchers. That was a great time!

10. Professional genealogy items/goals I achieved – 

  • Last Year’s Goals:
    • 3-5 Clients – I met with many people over the years and did get paying clients! That has been probably the most exciting part of my year so far.
    • Writing – I did write my first Indiana Genealogical Society article but I haven’t begun to work on my second BUT I do have an idea of what I would like to write about!
    • Speaking – I did not make my goal of 10 speaking sessions, sadly. I am okay with that as there were a number of changes that have gone on personally (and are still ongoing) that have affected this goal.
    • Social Media – I did have plans but they never came to fruition. Again, that has to do with a few items: a personal one (that will cause some changes in business but nothing major) and running a business is a lot more work than I had imagined! I had a lot more to do (like keeping business records – who knew?!) and had to push this idea to the back for the moment.
    • Education – I am in ProGen 25! We are already 10 months in to our 18 month commitment and it is going very well! I didn’t get to an institute this year sadly, but did manage some local and state conferences (I will even help run our local conference next year!), which were great.
  • So, with that, my previous year goals weren’t as realistic as I had hoped for me. Yes, I could have pushed harder to make more of those goals come true, but to be honest, running a business had me more than a little overwhelmed. I worried quite a bit and got a bit lost in the running of it. This year promises to be a bit less stressful, with some exceptions.
  • 2016 Goals:
    • Clients: I am again shooting for three-five new clients. I’ve had some repeat clients already (yay!) and hope for more!
    • Writing: I’d like to finish my article for the Indiana Genealogical Society for this year. I also want to focus more on my blog (which needs to be revamped).
    • Speaking: I have four speaking engagements already lined up for the first half of the year. So right now, that’s good. I’m hoping to get more notice as I joined the Genealogical Speakers Guild just recently as well.
    • Education: I want to continue my DNA studies for this coming year! I do want to get to one institute as well and I’m hoping for GRIP. The timing may be bad though but I’m crossing my fingers that it works out! If not, then I would like to attend NGS next year.
    • Business Goals: Keep it running! I’ll have some new challenges this coming year (like tax season!) and I just want to stay on top of my record keeping as I’ve done so far.

Happy New Year everyone!

Please like & share:


Continuing Genealogical Studies: Genetic Genealogy, the Basics – Review


Happy New Year! Friday Finds Dec 26 – Jan 1st 2016


  1. Thanks for the mention and reminder. I’m more disorganised than ever this year as I was overseas holidaying until Christmas Day. Thanks for using the geneameme to outline your amazing progress.

    I may just repost it again in the next few days.

    • Nichelle Barra

      I know how that goes! Thanks for creating it in the first place 🙂

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