Family history is a vast subject that includes digitizing photos, documents, and possessions. It includes writing stories and making videos. It also involves finding new family members.
Despite the plethora of tasks someone can do to capture, preserve, climb their family tree, folks will say, “My genealogy is all done.”
If that is the case, then please help someone else with their genealogy. Let me share a few ideas.
1. Volunteer Gravestone Photographer
Take photos of the grave markers at cemeteries near your home, or within an easy driving distance. In a previous post, I asked, “Does Little Gay Gean Matter?” For your research purposes, she may not. However, she does matter to someone else. One way you can help that other person find the information they need on this relative is to take photos of the stones nearby. Then share the photos online at FindAGrave.com or BillionGraves.com. If you visit or live in Canada, you can share your photos on CanadianHeadstones.com.
Please tidy the stones before you photograph.
But take pride in the service you do by spending a little time taking a great photo, not just a mediocre one. Make sure the picture is in focus, and the area around the stone is tidy. Also, take a photo of the entire plot and then individual markers, and close up of inscriptions as needed. Think like an archivist rather than a point and shoot hobbyist.
2. Index Records
Many of the records that helped your tree become complete involve searchable records. Help make more documents searchable for others by indexing. FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com have indexing projects that you can support. If you can read a foreign language, you are in HIGH demand.
Volunteers who index power the blue hint feature on FamilySearch.org
3. Volunteer Look-Ups and Research
If your tree is complete, help someone else by assisting directly in their research. Volunteer to look up records and make copies at genealogy libraries, archives, and repositories. Provide some research help for those who are just getting started. You can volunteer by answering queries posted in Facebook Groups such as:
- Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness (US)
- Beginning Genealogy, Just Ask
- US South Genealogy Research Community
In short, celebrate that your family history is all done, and then go help someone else get to this point. Many researchers, of all levels, could use the extra hands.