Though the holiday buzz has not yet died down, thoughts inevitably turn to plans for the coming year (though I must admit that, to me, the year used to start in September, when the children went back to school). And still in the spirit of giving, it may be time to turn the tables and give something to yourself.
I am thinking of subscriptions to genealogical newsletters and magazines, among other things. I like to keep up with the latest developments in Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter, which can be found at www.eogn.com. It arrives weekly via email, and you can go to the website for daily updates. Annual subscription to the "plus" edition is: $19.95. Three months is $5.95. The standard edition is free.
Family Tree Magazine comes out six times a year and is full of ideas and information (and tempting ads), presented in a cheery down-to-earth style. They have recently been running tear-out state guides, two in each issue. Annual subscription costs $27.
I get my more serious, scholarly input from the publications of the National Genealogical Society, including its NGS Newsletter 4 times a year and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Annual membership is $55 for individuals and, in addition to these periodicals, gets you discounts on their various other publications and home study courses.
Sadly, Heritage Quest magazine folded in 2006, but its subscribers were switched to the newly renovated Everton's Genealogical Helper, which has come a long way from its old dull format and amateurish layout. The November/December issue had 196 fact-filled pages. Subscription is $27 for six issues.
Besides these general publications (and there are more), don't forget local and regional offerings. Look up genealogical and historical societies in your regions of interest, and consider joining one or more. Not only will you receive their newsletters, but you will be able to communicate with other members and probably have the opportunity to compare notes on surnames. In some places these organizations may be the repositories for older public records, or have indexes to them. Their members will also probably know the ins and outs of local courthouse, library and cemetery research. These organizations are usually listed on USGenWeb.org, under the relevant state and/or county.
That's all for now. Happy New Year and happy hunting!