Maegan Kasteler | Nov 2, 2018

Family History for All Ages: Adults

This is the third blog in a series of four blog posts designed to help you find fun ways for those of all ages to get involved in family history. Read the first post here and the second post here.

Sometimes family history work can seem like drudgery. It is easy to get caught up in the research and data entry side, but just like family history can be fun for kids, it can be fun for adults too. Here are some ideas for newbie genealogists all the way to professionals to help reignite your passion for family history.

Indexing

It may seem redundant, but indexing can be fun! It’s a great way to take a break from traditional research and clear your mind. Indexing also helps other genealogists in their work and expands the database of records available and catalogued for all.

Indexing can also help you better understand what information you are able to find on different types of records. Getting in and seeing actual images, handwriting, and historical information can help you gain a new perspective on your personal family history work.

Indexing might help you get out of your rut in your research as you find new places to look for information. Therefore, it might just be the best break you can take.

Digitize your videos, photos, and documents

This might not sound like fun, but trust us, the end result is fun to have! All of us have stacks of photos and documents lying around just waiting to be fed through the scanner. There are many different ways to go about scanning your documents, and it all comes down to personal preference. You can scan on a traditional bed scanner, invest in an auto-feed scanner, or even take digital photos front and back of your photos and documents.

Once you have scanned your documents and photographs find a storage method that works for you, and then back them up! Storing your photos in cloud storage will add an extra layer of security, making sure you will always have access to your scanned photos and documents.

Digitizing your videos can prove to be a unique challenge. You can find numerous devices that help you change your old VHS tapes to digital copies, or a local store that prints digital photos might have the ability to convert the tapes. Again, it is important to make sure you back up these files adequately.

Write your autobiography

Take a break from focusing on those who came before and focus on yourself! Spend some time reminiscing on paper about your own life. We recently released a blog post titled: Journaling and Personal History: A Guide (link to corresponding article) that details some ways you can efficiently write your personal history.

Writing your autobiography is a great way to make sure that important information about you survives and is able to be passed down through generations. As you know from doing research about your progenitors, this will be a huge help to your descendants, and it might even help them develop an interest in continuing your research.

Make a family health tree

With all the advancements in DNA research, it's a great time to create your family health tree. Using what knowledge you have of your parents and grandparents, and talking to those who might have more information, you can create a version of your family tree that includes health data.

Knowing what the health of your ancestors was like can help you get a better picture of their lives as well as your own.

Keep your eye out for the final edition in this series: Family History for All Ages. And share your ideas with us on Twitter! Tag @RootsTechConf.

Maegan Kasteler

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