Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Where Have All The Genealogists Gone?

During 2016 I noticed that genealogy just wasn't there for me anymore. At first I attributed it to burnout from being involved in to many activities. So I slowly cut back on everything I was doing, but it still just wasn't restoring my motivation. So I thought well eventually after 60 years of research you just reach your limit and it is time to stop. That was when I decided that this is the reason so many genealogy groups are losing members. They just wear out!!

And then Thomas MacEntee appeared with the solution. A Genealogy Do-Over. I am not sure where I first learned about this idea but it really got my attention. And apparently it got the attention of many others too. My Facebook page is now filled with more genealogy posts than political rants. (A rather unexpected benefit.)

The concept of this year long project is to completely purge your files and start from scratch. Now you don't throw all those notes away. No. You pack them up in boxes and totally clean up your research. Then you put them in the back of the closet and stack other boxes on top of them so it will be way too labor intensive to get to them. I chose Christmas boxes that I will not need until December.

What a great feeling! Have you ever downsized. I did; when my husband died. Mainly because there was only one person living in my house now and I really didn't need a lot of stuff. I mean how many coffee cups can I use in a week. How many frying pans? Huge bowls? I don't think so.

As I went thru my files (by the way I love paper, so they were real files with folders) I found so much garbage and duplicates. Plus I found stuff I had no idea where it came from. I am sure this came from the advent of genealogy by computer. I began to realize what was bogging me down. All this paper had become overwhelming and pretty much zapped my genealogy motivation. I had been trying to prove to several lineage societies but I was working with a disorganized mess. 

I am now beginning to wonder if this is something that is happening to most genealogists and that is why they are disappearing. They are losing interest in this exciting hobby. We have been on overload because of all the information out there. It is hard to focus and you just bounce from one thing to another. 

If you want to reboot your research I would highly recommend that you check out this website

It will tell you how to get started, buy the workbook and connect with others who are enjoying this year long adventure. Don't worry if you are a couple of months behind. I started in January and in a few days was hit with the tragic loss of a newborn grandson. That pretty much knocked me out for over a month. But I am back at it now and making adjustments in the program in order to catch up with everyone.

In my next post I will talk about a fun idea I am going to do with Who Do You Think You Are. The new season starts on March 5 and I have decided to approach it with the mindset of a beginning genealogist.


  1. Welcome back to the world of the genealogy with a twist. A lot of online database popping up in Ancestry and FamilySearch. And a lot of genealogy Facebook Group too! I began my research in 1989- Started in high school in 1985/86 but really caught the bug in 1989 when I began to search for my father's side of the family. I began to do online research off in on from 1995- 2000. I was my grandfather's caregiver and after he passed, I got into it more and more. I am too in the Genealogy-Do Over group.. task is daunting at times. I am currently doing my digital files, before I continue with my paper files. I don't know what pc browser you use, but I have my "save" file set for me to choose where I want my file to go... this way it forces me to re-name in the meantime =)

    Good luck in your Do-Over!

    1. Hi Renee! Welcome to my blog. I am so excited about this Genealogy Do Over. It sounds like it is a much needed "twist" for a lot of people. I have a feeling as we go through the year we all might make some cousin connections. Good Luck with your research.