Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver has challenged us to provide answers to the following questions in his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Exercisse this week.

I can't resist a Geneameme and this activity looks like one.

On the grounds that some answers may incriminate me (does Mr GeniAus really need to know how much time I spend each week on genealogy realted pursuits?) I may not be able to provide answers to all of the questions. So here goes:


Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!): 

1) Answer these questions in my survey about genealogy resources and usage:

a)  Which genealogy software programs for your computer do you use (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Reunion, GRAMPS, etc.)?

Family Historian and, for publishing to my family site, TNG
b)  Which online family trees have information submitted by you - in either a separate online tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree) or a universal (collaborative) online tree (e.g., WikiTree)?

I host my own tree online at and have a partial private tree on Ancestry.
c)  For which subscription genealogy record providers (e.g., Ancestry) do you have a subscription? and
d)  Which FREE genealogy record providers (e.g., FamilySearch) do you use regularly?

How long is a piece of string? Familysearch is the main FREE genealogy record provider but I use a long list of other non-genealogy sites like archives and other databases for genealogy. I use any site that lists names or places.

e)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research online?  [Note:  not reading, or social networking, but actual searching in a record provider].  Estimate an average number of hours per week.

Not enough
f)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research in a repository (e.g., library, archive, courthouse, etc.)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

This comes in fits and spurts. Last week I spent a day in the NSW State Archives, when I visit Canberra our National Capital a coule of times per year I will spend two or three days in repositories there, when I go to England (twice this year) I will spend up to a week in various repositories and when I go to Rootstech I allow two or three days for research in the Family History Library.
g)  How much time do you spend each week adding information to your genealogy software program (either on your computer or online)?  Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

Maybe 8 hours a month - my database needs a lot more attention
h)  How much time do you spend each month at a genealogical society meeting, program or event (not a seminar or conference)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

Around 10 hours a month
i)  How much time do you spend each month on genealogy education (e.g., reading books and periodicals, attending seminars, conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.)?   Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

Lots - As well as reading books and blog posts I listening to podcasts, tune into webinars and join Google Hangouts. I also go on the odd Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise.
j)  How much time do you spend each week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, websites, and social media?   Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

Maybe 40 hours per month.

No wonder I don't get too many other books read.


Sharon said...

There are definite advantages to retirement.

Steve said...

Another resource that has just "opened up" in a big way is genealogy books in ebook format.

Amazon recently introduced its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows you to borrow and read as many Kindle ebooks as you like, for $9.95 a month. I wonder if genealogists have grasped what a godsend KU may be. Here's why:

In the genealogy section of the Kindle ebook store on Amazon, along with the how-to-climb-your-family-tree books, there's a huge number of reference and raw-data collections, from histories of specific families to ships' records, newspaper abstracts, etc. The problem with such books in the past has been that you didn't know until after you purchased one (whether a print or a digital copy) if it contained information relevant to your own research.

With Kindle Unlimited, this pig-in-a-poke problem vanishes.

Here's what you could do to further your research without gambling on books that may or may not have anything of use in them (to you). With a Kindle Unlimited subscription,

you could borrow ten genealogy ebooks (the maximum allowed at one time). Then you could flip through them, or use your Kindle device's search feature, to find any information of use to you. If you don't find anything, then you can simply return them and borrow ten more.

I know that these days, there are tons of information for ancestor hunters available for free or for a subscription fee at the dedicated genealogy websites such as

But there's still a lot of data locked up in various small-press books and books by individuals writing their own family's story. Kindle Unlimited gives us genealogists a virtually cost-free way to unlock those books -- at least the ones that have been committed to ebook format (and you might be surprised how many there are).

By the way, you don't even need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download a free Kindle reading app for your smartphone or laptop that will do the trick. (Also BTW, I do NOT work for Amazon.)

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

How on earth do you manage 40 hrs of reading, writing etc re social media, though I admit that's a normal working week.?


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