Fall into Genealogy This Autumn

Fall5x5Can you sense it in the chilled air? Can you hear it in the excited voices? Like many that came before, this September is bubbling over with anticipation. It feels like a new beginning, a new outlook on life, a new perspective on what we can accomplish if we set our minds on it.

September—unlike any other month—feels like a new beginning, a time to jump into something you’ve always wanted to experience but never have. Unlike January 1st—which is only a date on a calendar—the ninth month of the year contains the sensation of a fresh start. There’s an energy that carries me through the weeks quicker than any other month. I start wondering about what new things this year will bring.

It might be the crisp temperatures bringing a welcomed relief from the heat of July and August, or it might be the start of a new school year. For students, this month is the beginning of all possibilities. It’s about new schools, new classmates and new challenges. In early September, the world and all the wonderful things within it are at their feet…and ours, too, if we let it.

What will you do in the next ten months? Here are a few ideas:

1) Set a genealogy goal: It doesn’t have to be huge. You don’t have to research your entire family tree in one year. You can pick a branch—say your mother’s father’s family—and start gathering and organising the data. Or you could go smaller. Perhaps you’d rather gather the information on your sister and her kids and grandkids. Regardless of what you choose to do, set a goal that is obtainable. Nothing depresses the spirit quicker than taking on a task that’s too large to complete.

2) Take a course on local history or genealogy: The course might be at a university or a college, but online courses are also available to help students gain an understanding of the subjects. If courses are not an option or you simply don’t like classroom settings, purchase a worthy how-to genealogy book and read it from cover to cover. Learning the ins and outs of genealogy will help avoid costly and timely mistakes.

3) Join a local genealogy group: This is one of the best ways to discover the resources available in your area. Getting involved in a genealogy group can help expand research, but that’s not the best part. You’ll find like-minded individuals who share your love for the hobby.

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4) Volunteer at your local historical society or genealogy centre: Volunteers are hard to come by these days. Offering your time to one of these local organisations is beneficial for both parties; you’ll be able to share what you know and you’ll meet interesting individuals who may be able to help expand your research. Who knows, you might even find a lost cousin. Participating in historical events, such as re-enactments, cultivate a love for history and can add unexpected details to a family tree.

5) Organise: Maybe this is the winter you’ll tackle the task of organising your genealogical data in a proper format either in a word processing program or a commercial software.

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