We are all at different stages of life. Some of us are single, married, parents or grandparents. Some of us are attending school, busy in our social sphere, working or staying home with our children. All of us have various obligations that differ in time and intensity. Mormons, while encouraged to do their genealogy have also been reminded that …”it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.” – Mosiah, Chapter 4, verse 27.
And Elder Oaks in his talk, Family History: In Wisdom and in Order” Ensign, Jun 1989, spoke to Church members about Genealogy saying, “Our effort is not to compel everyone to do everything, but to encourage everyone to do something.”
So I’d like to offer five time saving tips that might help you fit a little Genealogy into your busy schedule:
1. Check the Library Catalog Online – If you want to visit your local library or genealogical society, you can save a lot of time on your visit there by looking at their catalog on their website (if they have one). You can check it multiple times throughout the day as breaks allow, writing down the names and call numbers of the items you want to look at when you visit.
2. Make To Do Lists – As with most any endeavor, setting goals and writing down exactly what you want to accomplish keeps you focused. You don’t want to spend half your time at the library with your mind wandering. Know exactly what you’ll be looking for or doing before you go.
3. Get Organized – If you’re like me, you know you’ll be more efficient in gathering information if you’ve organized first and have a place to quickly and neatly store the information you gather. Maybe that means creating file folders for family names you plan to research, having research logs at the ready for research trips or more.
4. Write Letters – If you don’t have the time required to gather family information from a relative either in person or by phone, write them a letter. It will take just a few minutes to compose a letter asking important family history questions. You could make it even easier for that relative to respond by printing out a fill in the blank question and answer form and enclosing a self addressed stamped envelope. Or you could send a blank tape with your letter for that relative to record their responses onto.
5. Utilize volunteer resources – Even if you live in the area of genealogical interest, if you can’t find the time needed to procure certain information or documents, it may only take a few minutes to find someone who can. Websites like Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness offer lists of people willing to look for items of genealogical interest for free, though there may be small fee’s for copies or shipping.
There are many more ways to wisely use your time so you can find time for Genealogy. Do you have any you’ve thought of?