Do you have some extra free time coming up? Why not fill it by filling in some information on your family tree? Here are 13 best genealogy projects that I’ve used during my long weekends.
1. Visit Older Relatives and Interview Them
If you don’t take the initiative to get old family stories recorded, no one will. So, the next time you have a long weekend coming up, make a list of older relatives who live nearby and see how many you can visit to talk about the good old days. Bring a voice recorder or video recorder and a pad and pen. You can probably get in two relatives a day, spending half a day with each of them. This leaves room for both genealogy and pleasant small talk.
2. Take a Genealogy Vacation
Take a few days to drive or even fly somewhere that is significant to your family history and do some research in the field. There’s nothing like visiting the places where your ancestors lived to make them real again.
3. Work on Your Family History Book
If you are writing a book on your family history you hope to publish, this is a perfect time to get a lot of work done on it.
4. Organize Your Family Photos
You know you’ve been putting this one-off for ages. A long weekend where you don’t have anything else to do is a perfect time to finally get it done. Make sure you label photos with an archival-safe pen and use albums with acid-free sheets.
5. Make Family History Gifts
Gifts based on family history make excellent and meaningful presents. Spend your long weekend making them for everyone you know with an upcoming birthday or anniversary, and for the holiday season. You’ll be way ahead in your holiday preparations this way.
6. Read a Genealogy Book
There are a lot of really good books on genealogy research out there. Spend your weekend reading one and learn some new tips and techniques you may not have considered in the past. You’ll learn a lot.
7. Attend a Genealogy Seminar or Conference
If there is one going on in your area, this is an excellent use of your long weekend. You’ll meet other genealogists, attend interesting talks on different genealogical subjects, and get to sample the wares of various vendors.
8. Start Working on that Line You’ve Been Meaning to Get To
You probably have a family line you haven’t worked on much or at all, that you’ve been meaning to start working on at some point. Now is the perfect time to begin.
9. Work on Your Genealogy Blog
Do you have a neglected genealogy blog? Use your long weekend to update and refresh it to get new readers.
10. Organize a Family Reunion
Spend your long weekend planning a reunion and sending out the invitations. Encourage attendees to bring old family photos and updated genealogy information for their branches.
11. Work on Your Lineage Society Paperwork
Are you working on joining a lineage society? Spend your weekend getting the paperwork together and filling out the forms you need to join.
12. Clean Up an Old Family Cemetery
If there’s an old, neglected cemetery near you where some of your ancestors are buried, you can show your respect to them by cleaning it up. This is perfect for ancient cemeteries that are not maintained by any government or organization.
13. Give a Friend or Extended Family Member a Hand With Their Own Genealogy
A big part of genealogy is being generous and assisting others. If you’re all caught up on your own projects, visit a friend or family member and give them some assistance with their own projects. You’ll all have a good time!
Will Moneymaker founded Ancestral Findings back in 1995. He has been involved in genealogy research for over 20 years. The thrill of the hunt, the adventure, and the excitement begin when he started investigating the meaning of his surname. Why I Love Genealogy (And You Should, Too!)