Monday, June 28, 2010

5 Ten-Minute Family History Projects

5 Ten-Minute Family History Projects
By Juliana Smith 27 May 2010

Lately I’ve been hard-pressed to squeeze in time for my family history. Seems like every weekend is taken up by some event, and those that aren’t booked are filled home improvement tasks that have been begging my attention. Are you in the same boat? Here are ten projects that can be knocked out quickly and give us a quick family history fix.

1.) Create a Military PageWhile we’re celebrating Memorial Day, it’s appropriate that we take a few minutes to honor the veterans in our family tree. You can create a page in less than ten minutes through your online tree. Here are the steps.>> Go to that person in your online tree.
>> Click on the link for that person to “View Profile.” (If you hover over that person, you should see a box pop up with that link.)
>> Click on the link for “More Options.” That will open a menu that includes a link to “Create military page.”
>> Add photos, stories, audio, and edit details you’ve learned about their military service.
>> Share the page with your family easily using the links to Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.

2.) Back Up Your DataWhen was the last time you backed up your family history files? If it's been a while, take a few minutes to do it now. If something happens to your computer files down the road, it may well be the best-spent ten minutes of your genealogical life.

3.) Create a Reading StashSummer activities sometimes afford time for reading--at the beach, in the car on road trips (preferably not while driving though), lounging in the yard or on the porch (or on hot days curled up in front of the air conditioner), etc. Assemble a tote bag with reading materials so that when the opportunity presents itself, you just have to grab your bag and go.

4.) Record Heirloom Origins As the family historian, you may have been fortunate enough to have inherited heirlooms from all branches of your family. Will your family members know where all those precious items came from and the stories behind them? Not if you don't record the history of the items now. Take a digital photograph of the item and insert it into an electronic document and record the history that way. Once you get started, it's really kind of fun and can lead to memories that can help you in your research.5.) Build up Some Genealogical KarmaWe've all accumulated records that may be helpful to other researchers who are working on the same or similar family lines. Why not throw out a couple of posts on the message boards and mailing lists with some of these records. You may make some other researcher(s) very happy, and as a reward, you may inspire them to post some of the records for your ancestor that you've been seeking. Weekly DiscoveryMay 31, 2010

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