Keep on Trucking


By Dale E. Lee

When you get the Genealogy Bug, you can’t put things down, and you want to do more and more to find your ancestors. It becomes interesting and exciting. But to get the Genealogy Bug, you have to put in some time and effort. There is a learning curve involved. You just need to get through it.

If you’re just starting and feel a bit overwhelmed, don’t get discouraged! If you get on a project that seems overwhelming, if you just keep at it, at first, it seems hard, then as you learn more about it, the difficulty decreases, and afterward, it gets to the point you can handle it. When you experience some successes, it drives you on to further successes. Success breeds success. Keep on Trucking!

More and more resources are opening up and being explored every day. First, we only had people’s memories.Then we could go to record repository buildings.Afterward we started microfilming those records. Then digitizing them at a tremendous pace. And now we’re doing DNA testing. Never at any time in the history of the world have we had more information available to us in such an easily accessible manner.

But along with these significant steps forward, there have always been periods when we’ve lost records due to fires, war, etc. Do whatever you can now, because in the future, you will not have that ability for a period of time. I’m sure you can see that from what is happening with the Coronavirus pandemic we’re currently experiencing.

Now, a word of caution, be careful when going through the learning curve. You can study for an extensive amount of time and not get anywhere. A better approach is to set a goal to accomplish a specific task, such as finding documentation on a particular individual or finding the Father of an ancestor, etc. Let the training be dictated by the accomplishment of the goal, not the goal to come at some future point of time after you’ve done extensive training. The sooner you apply the training to an actual task, the better you’ll remember how to do it. You can train for a year and not accomplish anything, then forget what you learned at the beginning of the year. But if you searh for, and find a relative, you can look for and find the training to accomplish that particular goal. And you’ll pick up tips and hints of how to do it along the way; and remember them.

There are many tools and resources that you have available at your fingertips. has published many How-To articles, and the internet has many other resources. is dedicated to helping those seeking for their ancestors (those we call Seekers) in their search. We are attempting to shorten the learning curve and make it simpler to find the solutions you seek.

Remember, you don’t get credit for things you start, but only those you finish. To be successful, you have to be a finisher. And this means you need to breakdown your overall objective of helping your ancestors into manageable projects and projects into manageable tasks. Prioritize the projects and tasks you undertake. Finish the projects you start and make sure they are the most important projects to work on at the time.

You can’t eat the whole elephant in one sitting, but you can accomplish a fantastic amount of work over time. One Lady told me she indexed over 100,000 names in a single year. That is exceptional, but I have no reason to doubt her. She was retired and had the support of her husband, who was also interested in Family History. Note, she did it with braces on her hands. Not all of us can do things like that, but we can accomplish extraordinary things if we just try. This was one project, but there are many others you can get involved in.

A following is a list of projects for you to consider:

  • Videoing your living Grandparents
  • Finding and entering information on four generations of your family, starting at yourself
  • Scanning and uploading biographies and autobiographies of your ancestors
  • Collecting as many pictures of your ancestors as you can from extended family members
  • Digitizing old photos
  • Helping to index records on the FamilySearch website
  • Asking for Family History documents and information from your Relatives and entering it into a Desktop software utility
  • Joining Family History Blogs
  • Recording your personal history
  • Verifying the information you have received and obtaining documentation to prove what you have
  • Help others on their journey while they are seeking out their ancestors
  • Going to RootsTech and or joining other organizations that can help support you
  • Joining and or creating a Family Organization and having organized reunions each year

There are many other things you can get involved in. The point is, start a project and keep going until you are finished. Then start the next project. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish over time.

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2021.04.21 - SMART Family History Goals

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