Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finding Time To Do Genealogy

One of the questions I've been hearing a lot lately is "where do you find the time to do genealogy?" I know that we all have obligations that can seem overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like having an extra 10 hours a day would be good. Although, we live in a modern age where we have so many more conveniences than our ancestors, we also have a increased amount of worthwhile activities to partake in. It seems that now, even kids are scheduled to the maximum.

I often hear people with kids under the age of 18, that there is no way that they can do genealogy, they'll have to wait until the kids are out of the house.

The problem is, if you wait til the kids are out of the house, it may be too late to talk to the older generation. Plus, there will be something new to occupy your time...grandchildren!

I have no magic answers. I can tell you that I have 2 kids under the age of 18 and I homeschool them. So I know that it can be difficult to have other pursuits. There are other genealogists and bloggers that I marvel at and wonder how they find the time.

My philosophy is there will always be something that needs to be done and that seems, or is, more important. You can clean the house til it is spotless and it will still get dirty tomorrow, especially with kids! So think about what you can cut out or cut down on. You can't cut out work-since you like to eat-but could you cut out watching some TV? Or maybe spend Sunday morning before church on genealogy. Maybe cook and freeze some dinners so that you can spend some of the time you save on the computer.

Consider getting a book like, The Weekend Genealogist by Marcia Yannizzee Melnyk, that can help you find ways to research in the little time that you do have. This book is great for ideas for spending even minimal time, like 10 minutes, on your genealogy.

Genealogy can be accomplished a little at a time. It doesn't have to be the all encompassing project. Even a little bit at a time brings you closer to understanding your ancestor.


Familytreeservice said...

I work on genealogy as soon as I get home from work, and after my 11-month old has been put to bed, and after I've helped tidy up (my wife is pregnant with no.2). I spend most of my weekends on it too, and I think I must dream about working on it too!! I think we all have our own ways of finding time - at the end of the day, if you love, you will make the time.

Cindy said...

Gena - Right you are!!! Especially about the spotless house. Why bother? If everyone has clean clothes, clean dishes and the bathrooms are clean - take a moment for yourself to do something you love! I have 5 children - all under the age of 18, two teens, one tween and two under the age of 5. Seems that I still find some time to do some research - usually after 8pm, but it's "my" time. Sure, I can't take 'trips' to far-away lands to do research, but I can sure connect with others and still run the dishwasher!

Greta Koehl said...

I am so glad you wrote about this subject. Family time is precious, but it's also important to squeeze in a few minutes doing something that we enjoy and that will be something wonderful to leave for our children. It can also be a great subject for discussions with our families.

Anonymous said...

Yes, finding time can be hard, even without kids! I don't have any yet (but hopefully soon...fingers crossed!), but I run my own business from home and take care of a disabled husband who is also home all day, not to mention the two cats (one of whom is diabetic). With all that, I often don't get in as much genealogy time as I want, but I always seem to manage to get at least some research done on most days. If you love it (and it's my purpose on Earth, I'm convinced), you'll find the time to do it, even if it's just a little bit here and there.

Stephanie at the Irish Genealogical Research blog