How many of you have been researching your family tree non-stop for months, years, or decades?
Maybe it would not be a bad idea for the second half of 2020 to be about putting our genealogy research on "Pause." One of my goals for 2020 was to not take any genealogy-related trips. I still participate in webinars, especially since right now there are so many great free ones! We should not turn our heads away from free information that can help aid in our genealogy research. I wanted 2020 for me to really be about changing my life with steps to live a more meaningful life. Last year I began living a minimalist lifestyle and it has already changed my life.
By taking a break from researching I am not taking a break from genealogy. Instead, I am going to use this year to sit down and review all the information that I have gathered over the years. I do not want to have stacks of unorganized papers, unread books, and articles that I am not using or holding onto without a purpose. I have so many papers from research notes that I have not done much with since getting back from research trips. I hate to admit that some of those trips have been years ago. I want to take this information and review what I found and learned. While reviewing the information I want to take time to review the information I have on my ancestors is correct across the board from my binders, online family tree, genealogy software, and digital genealogy files.
Taking time to read all the methodology notes I have gathered from classes and genealogy conferences will help me to start putting what I learned into actionable steps. I have a master list of genealogy websites that I use for genealogy research. I know that there are many newer websites that I have learned about that need to be added to that list. My "Pause" will be a great time to really expand that list. Then I will not need to shuffle through a bunch of papers to find the websites that I wanted to check out. By adding the website to my master list, I will be able to have all my website information in one place again. For all I know the information that I am looking for is on one of those websites.
I have to admit when I was going through a few of my family tree binders last month I realized that I had two different types of "Family Group Sheets" that I have used over the past decade. I would really like to use the same forms under each tab of my ancestors. Since I have struggled to find one "Family Group Sheet" that works perfectly for me, I really want to design a sheet that works the way I want it to. A few years back I had designed a "Census Record Sheet" that has helped me to keep track of what Federal and State Censuses I have found or ones I need. It is one of my favorite forms because it is exactly what I need for keeping track of Census information on each ancestor. During this time on "Pause" I want to go through all the notes and forms to make sure that each form is working for me. I want to get rid of any forms that I will not be using and donate them to a historical or genealogy society for those who might find a use for the forms.
I am sure I am not the only genealogist that has picked up reference books at genealogy conferences or purchased online with the intent to use for my research. I am not going to admit how many of those reference books that I have purchased and have not even used yet! I want to change that. I only want books on my bookshelf that I am going to be using. Untouched books sitting on a shelf for years are not going to give me any help in researching my ancestors. During this "Pause" it is a great time to dust off all those books and see how they can aid in my research.
I also have so many cousins that I need to get back in touch with. My DNA results on Ancestry has connected me with some great distant cousins who I have really wanted to connect with and share my research with them. My goal during this "Pause" is to work out ways I can share what I have learned and connect with them.
There are so many things that I would like to work on by taking this "Pause" during the second half of 2020. The "Pause" on our world has helped us to gain control of the spread of COVID-19. This year has already been a rough one with the worldwide pandemic. Traveling is difficult right now and I have a feeling that the summer is not going to be filled with many vacations. So why not use this time to "Pause" in our genealogy research? I am sure there are many genealogists like myself that would find reevaluating what we have in our homes right now would be beneficial. I wonder how many of us would find out that we have information about our ancestors that we did not realize we had right on our desk or bookshelf.
Taking a "Pause" could lead to 2021 being our most productive research year!
I would love to hear your stories of why you would love to join me on this "Pause."
If you would like to join me in this "Pause" on Genealogy Research, simply follow me on social media or sign up for my weekly Simple Living Genealogist eNewsletter.
Let us bring something positive to 2020.