What’s on Your Genealogy Bucket List?

Every year about this time, I am reminded of one thing that’s on my ‘genealogy bucket list’ that I haven’t done, and that’s go to Who Do You Think You Are? Live in England.

It does claim to be the world’s biggest genealogy event, however that title now goes to RootsTech. But still at over 10,000 attendees, it’s a giant event that is deserving of second-place. And one that I do hope to get to someday.

So while I was thinking about genealogy bucket lists, I came across “The Bucket List GeneaMeme” created by Jill Ball back in 2012. I am always up for a good geneameme, but for whatever reason I didn’t take part in this back then, so I’m playing along now.

1. The genealogy conference I would most like to attend is …
PARTLY DONE. RootsTech was always top of this list, which I have been to three times now. But Who Do You Think You Are? Live is a close second, which I’m still to do. So that one’s still on the “bucket list”.

2. The genealogy speaker I would most like to hear and see is …
PARTLY DONE. This is a tough one, as I have seen and heard so many great speakers, though I know there would be so many more that I haven’t heard yet. So my answer is more along the lines of those I know, that I’d love to sit and listen to all day: Judy G. Russell, Paul Milner, Thomas MacEntee, Helen V. Smith, Shauna Hicks, Chris Paton. I have heard from others that Blaine Bettinger and David Rencher are also incredibly great speakers and very inspiring. So hopefully one day I’ll get to hear them in person.

3. The geneablogger I would most like to meet in person is …
DONE. I remember being hyper-excited to meet Thomas MacEntee (of GeneaBloggers), Cyndi Ingle (of Cyndis List), and Dick Eastman (of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter). It was a true honour to meet each of them. And while I’ve noted this as ‘done’, we know that always so many more wonderful genie people to meet. So I’m looking forward to meeting more.

the geneablogger group photo from RootsTech 2017

the geneablogger group photo from RootsTech 2017

4. The genealogy writer I would most like to have dinner with is …
STILL ON BUCKET LIST. I’ve had dinner with a number of fabulous genealogy peeps, who happen to be writers. But I’ve chosen to note this one as “still on the bucket list” because I would have dinner with any of them, anytime.

5. The genealogy lecture I would most like to present is …
IRRELEVANT. As I’m not into public speaking, I’m going to ignore this one.

6. I would like to go on a genealogy cruise that visits …
DONE. Personally I’d go anywhere where there’s sunshine and has great genealogy speakers aboard! But I will say that Unlock the Past’s 8th Cruise, which went to the Baltic region, did stop at Finland for a day, and I got to meet some of my Finnish reli’s and had a fabulous day together. More on that here.

7. The photo I would most like to find is …
STILL ON BUCKET LIST. This one is easy … 4x great grandma Charlotte Trewartha (nee Phillips). I have a photo of her Candy shop, and her obituary, but have never seen a photo of her. More on her here.

8. The repository in a foreign land I would most like to visit is …
PARTLY DONE. At this moment the one I want to visit is the National Archives of Finland, as I’ll be going there soon and hope to find some info on my great grandpa’s family. But one that was on the list that I have done, is to research at the Family History Centre in Salt Lake City, which is five storey’s of pure research heaven!

the National Archives of Finland, Helsinki

the National Archives of Finland, Helsinki

9. The place of worship I would most like to visit is …
10. The cemetery I would most like to visit is …
DONE. To me the cemetery and church go together so I’m answering this as one. I’ll say ‘done for now’, as I’m not avidly following any lines that I’d need to visit a church or cemetery at the moment. But I did get the chance when in Devon and Cornwall to  check out some which was awesome.

Lamorran Parish Church, Lamorra, Cornwall - taken August 2014

Lamorran Parish Church, Lamorran, Cornwall – taken August 2014

Lamorran Church Cemetery, Lamorran, Cornwall - taken August 2014

Lamorran Church Cemetery, Lamorran, Cornwall – taken August 2014

11. The ancestral town or village I would most like to visit is …
PARTLY DONE. Ever since I was about 18 and found out I had Finnish reli’s, I’ve wanted to go to Finland. And apart from my 1 day visit there a few years ago during a cruise, where I saw a little of Helsinki I know nothing about the place, so am really looking forward to my trip in a few months, where I’ll get to catch up with my reli’s and see a whole lot more of Finland. Also I was fortunate to visit Lancaster Castle in Lancashire, which is where my 3x great grandpa worked there as a gatekeeper (more on that here), that was cool!

12. The brick wall I most want to smash is …
STILL ON BUCKET LIST. Not brickwall as such, but I would love to find Samuel Trewartha’s emigration record from England to the US (or maybe Canada). I would also like to know where he is buried. I have him in England, and I have him in New Jersey … but I don’t have details of when and how he got there. One day I’ll find it. But at this stage it’s on the bucket list.

13. The piece of software I most want to buy is …
STILL ON BUCKET LIST. There’s actually two programs I’m interested in but haven’t got around to getting yet. One is TreeView and the other is Charting Companion. I’ll get to getting them sometime, but both require some time to play, and I’m too busy with other things at present, but will get to it sometime.

14. The tech toy I want to purchase next is …
STILL ON BUCKET LIST. I’m not really looking for anything new, but I probably need another 1TB or 2TB portable harddrive soon, to keep copies of all the photos I scan. You can never have too many backups of them!

15. The expensive book I would most like to buy is …
DONE. I’m a sucker for books, and tend to buy what I want/need. And the fact that I would rather buy books than shoes speaks for itself. But there’s nothing I’m hanging out for at present.

16. The library I would most like to visit is …
PARTLY DONE. The one that was on my bucket list for years was Trinity Library in Dublin. But I was lucky enough to get there in 2015, and it is as spectacular as it looks. So now the next one I’d like to get to is the Helsinki Public Library in Finland. And although the books will mean nothing to me, as no doubt they’ll mostly be in Finnish or Swedish, it’s the library and atmosphere I want to go for.

Trinity College Library, Dublin

Trinity College Library, Dublin

17. The genealogy related book I would most like to write is …
IRRELEVANT. At this stage I have no intention of writing any books (family history or guide book type thing) but who knows. However if I was to ever write a family history on my Winter family from Finland, I already have the title worked out. It would be called “A World of Winters”.

18. The genealogy blog I would most like to start would be about …
DONE. Well, I started my Lonetester blog in 2011, and my Memorabilia House blog in 2013. These keep me happy, with discovering, writing and recording family stories and heirlooms.

19. The journal article I would most like to write would be about …
IRRELEVANT. No plans at this stage. I’m a casual blog writer, not an article or book writer.

20. The ancestor I most want to meet in the afterlife is …
STILL ON BUCKET LIST. Hmm, how many can I choose? 

So while I’m on the topic of bucket lists, Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist blog, also wrote a post on the Genealogists Bucket List. Her’s is a little different, and includes suggestions of things to do like going to a National conference, to read a great genealogy book, and to discover some living relatives you didn’t know you had and so on. All fabulous suggestions, and written in a totally different way to Jill’s.

So what’s on your bucket list? Research trips, visiting relatives, getting some to do DNA tests, writing your history, starting a blog, research on a particular line, cataloguing what you have in a methodical way (note to self: I must do this)?

There’s always things to add to the bucket list, but so you don’t get overwhelmed, don’t forget to have a look back and see what you’ve already achieved as well. That’s important as well.

Now here’s hoping we all get to cross at least one thing off our genealogy bucket list this year.

3 Responses to “What’s on Your Genealogy Bucket List?”

  1. Jill Ball says:

    Thrilled that you took up the challenge with such a detailed and interesting post, Alona. I must find the compilation of posts and add this latest one. ..It’s never too late to join a geneameme.

  2. GenieJen says:

    Great to see you have done so many things already. You write so well, I can’t believe you couldn’t write an article or gives talks.

  3. crissouli says:

    I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS at FRIDAY FOSSICKING at


    Thank you, Chris

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