October/November 2012 Editor’s Note: Using Time Wisely

October/November 2012 Editor’s Note: Using Time Wisely

Editor Allison Dolan admits to not being able to devote as much time as she'd like to family tree work, but gives a few resources that will help you use your time wisely.

My genealogy has gone missing.

No need to alert the authorities: This isn’t a case of pilfered pedigree paperwork or deleted ancestor data. My family history didn’t get tossed in the trash (thank heavens). Perhaps my problem would be better described the other way around—that is, I miss my genealogy. I haven’t had time to devote to the projects on my family tree to-do list in what feels like ages.

I know I’m not alone, because I often hear from other genealogists how they wish they had more time for family history. Alas, I haven’t figured out how to add more hours to the day—my brilliant plans to hire a car service so I could search genealogy websites during my commute and an assistant to catalog my family archive while I sleep were foiled by budget realities. But happily, this issue is full of tips and tricks to help you make the most of the hours you do have.
For those of us who work full time or have other commitments to fill up our weekdays, the weekend is our best bet for cramming in some dedicated genealogy time. You’ll definitely want to try out the weekend genealogy projects suggested by contributing editor David A. Fryxell: With seven quick projects, there’s enough to keep you busy each weekend until our next issue arrives.
Of course, a surefire way to save time is to research more efficiently—you don’t want to waste your precious genealogy time going in circles. Lisa A. Alzo comes to the rescue with 23 secrets to working smarter, not harder.

As Lisa points out, setting aside a mere 15 minutes per day for some sort of genealogy job—whether it’s reviewing a record or squeezing in a quick web search—adds up to almost two hours of family tree progress per week. At that rate, I won’t be missing my genealogy for long.

Allison’s top three tips from this issue

1. Consult as many sources as possible for any genealogical “fact.” Even primary sources can contain errors. 
2. Cite your sources to keep track of what records you’ve already checked, and assess how reliable the information is.
3. Search the Daughters of the American Revolution website even if your ancestor wasn’t a patriot—your forebear may appear by virtue of marrying a patriot’s descendant.
From the October/November 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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