No Time For Family History

17 December 2009

Many years ago I bought a slim Federation of Family History Societies publication by Eve McLaughlin entitled No Time For Family History? and this was largely in the pre personal computer days. Back then we were busy people and we squeezed the family history in by not doing the housework or forgetting to feed the pets or worse still, the family.

Now in these computer driven days, I am finding I have even less time because when I log on, usually daily, I do a series of actions so that I don’t forget anything.

Order of tasks:

Download primary Bigpond email account – respond as required

Download other email accounts (includes website, gmail, secondary Bigpond account)

Check Twitter accounts (I maintain two Shauna Hicks and Ausarchivists) – look at any interesting tweets – retweet or do my own tweeting

Check Facebook account – respond or add as required

Check GenealogyWise – ditto

Check Looking4Kin – ditto

Check PROV ning community – ditto

Check Linked In – ditto

Check RSS feeds – read/skim and retweet as necessary

Check Skype (although this activates while online)

Look/read any online newsletters received (there are several I subscribe too)

Ditto with blogs and I am following more and more (Geneabloggers list of Aussie blogs is a useful summary of what has been published on a daily basis). I also write two blogs, this one and a Brick Walls series on Unlock the Past.

I also subscribe to Genes Reunited, World Vital Records and Lost Cousins so I get updates from them every so often.

And I have probably forgotten something but you get the picture by now.

With a bit of luck the telephone won’t ring. With even more luck, I won’t hear it.

So depending on how active everyone else has been, this can take me quite a while especially if there is new info or sites to check out or I have to look up info to respond and so on. These are all things that I generally didn’t do six months ago except for primary email.

However , I have learnt so much by actively participating in all of these social networking applications. Lots of clues and ideas and support to get back in there and find those tricky ancestors who don’t want to be found or just more information on their lives and the times in which they lived.

In some ways I am now welcoming the absolute lack of stimulating television (and yes there wasn’t that much before) but the silly summer season is now giving me nights (and daylight saving time tricks me into thinking it is still day time and not bed time). I find I am rising with the sun ca 5am (my habit since time began) and now going to bed closer to midnight if not later – hours I haven’t kept since my wilder days.

There is so much out there still to be discovered – all I need now is someone to write the book on how to find time to do your family history without falling asleep in your Cornflakes!


Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society. In 2009 Shauna received the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) Services to Family History Award for her achievements in Queensland, Canberra and Victoria.

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1 Comment

  1. You’ve described my experience almost exactly…

    I know what you’ve forgotten – Google Wave!

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