Ideas for Less than a Half-Hour


Need some ideas of how to further your family history research yet you can only share less than 30 minutes every few days or even once a week. The following are some ideas of simple and quick mini-project you can do in a very short period of time. If you do one a week there will be major advancement in your research.


One great suggestion is to go to Google Alerts and have those ancestral surnames or a certain relative’s name placed in a search alert. That way, whenever that family name (I would only suggest that with more unusual surnames) is found in a web site, you receive an email announcement that there is this link to investigate. You can receive notices once a day, weekly or as it happens. You can create several different alerts. Using a specific ancestor’s full name may not get as many search results, but it only take ONE to hit a the jackpot.
An important item you need to do and does not take much time is to Back-Up our family history information. If you have on a software genealogical program, in word documents, a collection of scanned document or photos – it needs to be saved in another location off your computer. The handy flash drive / thumb drives are small, compact and range in sizes from 4 GB to 32 GB. That can hold quite a bit of family history.
A third idea is to scan and label just 10 family photos, all which can be done in less than a half-hour. Do that once a week or even once a month and that big box of un-scanned photos will decrease in size very quickly.
Go to a genealogical message board such as Rootsweb or Genforum and put in a short query about a certain family, providing location and dates. Ask to connect with anyone having a similar family branch. A reminder, you can put an query in for just about any location in the world.
Share your collection of photos by placing them on a CD, DVD or Flash drive. Send copies to other relatives, identify those people you can and do ask for help in any you can not name. Also you can ask other relatives to share their collection of photos with you.
Have an ancestor’s diary, journal or stack of letters; how about starting with just one page and transcribing it? Stop after one page or two which should only take about 30 minutes. Keep the typed transcribe material together until you have completed the journal or diary. What a treasure that is, especially after you take the few minutes to closely read each word.

Photo: Some of my family scanned photos.

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