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23 Tips For Better Genealogy Research
A busy schedule can thwart family tree research, but these 23 tips will help you be smarter about your time.
Are you paying enough attention to your ancestors? In our time-crunched world, we’re busier than ever with family obligations, jobs and endless errands. Time management gurus are always telling us to “work smarter, not harder,” a principle that certainly applies to genealogy research. But how? If you’re feeling time-challenged, listen up: These 23 secrets will help you research more efficiently and squeeze just a little more family history into your busy life.

1. Plan it

When it comes to seeking out ancestors, genealogists can be a bit overzealous. We want to know everything right away, and the instant gratification of online searching makes us even more impatient. But before you even start the research process, you need to determine what you’re looking for (such as when your family arrived on US shores, or whether you have a Civil War ancestor). Then you can figure out what records you should consult and plan specific research steps to get them. This might sound like it’ll add to your task load, but it’ll actually save you time in aimless or redundant searching.
Find an example of a research plan at, and see the January 2011 Family Tree Magazine for advice on developing a research plan.
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