10 September 2017

Find Your Happy Place in Your Favorite Genealogy Tasks

One of my favorite parts of my day job—those hours when I'm not doing genealogy research—is tackling projects I can do alone.

You say you need 300 web pages edited because of a new product name? No problem. You say you need a bunch of high-resolution images optimized for the web using Photoshop? No problem.

I enjoy handling organizational projects and projects where I need to find the best solution to a specific problem.

Looking at that description of the types of work I enjoy, it's blatantly obvious I was meant to be a family tree researcher.

An old family photo can inspire you to be a genealogist.
A photo like this is all the inspiration I need to work on my family tree.

As I'm thinking about it, there are a handful of big projects I need to complete for my family tree. How many of these can you relate to?
  • Enhancing the citations for the documents in my family tree.
  • Capturing the facts from the tons of Italian birth, marriage and death records I've downloaded.
  • Adding images of these documents to my tree.
  • Find the missing census forms for people in my tree.
  • Requesting the birth and death records I'm missing.
It is ironic that I've written about this idea before. I've encouraged you to Divide and Conquer Your Family Tree Research Tasks. I've tried to inspire you to Organize Your Genealogy Research By Choosing Your Style. I've urged you to Work in Batches to Strengthen Your Family Tree.

But I haven't always been able to live up to these goals.

Life gets in the way of genealogy, and that's fine. Maybe we need to be a bit less demanding of ourselves.

If I didn't have that day job, I might spent at least four or five hours a day on genealogy. But for now, I'm going to divide those tasks above into manageable chunks. I'll knock them off, bit by bit, and gain the same satisfaction I get from my job.

If you're reading this blog, you must feel a devotion to genealogy as I do. Remember this:
  • We've all got a lot of individual genealogy tasks to tackle.
  • When we put all the pieces together and do our research well, we rejoice in the result.
So here's my recommendation to you—and to me. Figure out what's needed to get your family tree in tip-top shape. Decide which family tree tasks you enjoy the most.

Then kill two birds with one stone: Fortify your family tree while making yourself a happy, joyous genealogist.


  1. Oh, boy! Can I relate to this! I have good intentions and I am retired but life still needs my attention. I try to do the best I can with the time I can devote to genealogy. I try to take a break too, walk around, limber up because sitting too much is not good for my health. But it's those darn, pesky BSOs that keep my mind going 24/7 it seems. So many ancestors calling to me. So many ancestors to find. So many ancestors to untangle. So many...

    1. Judy, I'm so glad you were able to relate to this article. As I wrote it, it felt like I was airing out my dirty laundry. But I've gotten positive responses.