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15-Minute Genealogy Tasks for the Busy Seasons

It’s that time of year when people are B–U-S-Y. It’s also the time of year when you’re trying to make good on old resolutions or plan for new ones. Below I’m sharing a list of tasks you can do in 15 minutes or less that will have you finding time for genealogy during your hectic seasons throughout the year.

When it comes to researching, there are many tasks that can be done in 15 minutes or less. Some tasks are addictive set a timer. When it beeps, STOP. You can keep come back the next time!

  • Create a research log or to do list
  • Brainstorm new search ideas
  • Examine ONE hint on FamilySearch
  • Examine ONE hint in RootsMagic for FindMyPast or Heritage
  • Investigate a newspaper site for an ancestral name and place
  • Contact a fellow researcher and ask for tips or to share resources
  • Look up a specific record such as SSDI or census record
  • Look up one name on Find A Grave
  • Submit a correction or update to Find A Grave
  • Run a problem report in RootsMagic
  • Resolve one clean-up task using Find A Record for your FamilySearch Family Tree
  • Create a research log in RootsMagic or a Spreadsheet
  • Update your research log with your recent query results
  • Look up an ancestor’s name in a newspaper database such as Chronicling America, Historic Newspaper Collection, Genealogy Bank, Newspaper Archives
  • Look up an ancestor in a City Directory on Don’s List
  • Look up a building in a state virtual archive such as the Ohio Memory Project or The Portal to Texas History
  • Type a surname, place name, or a military unit into Google Books
  • Update your contact list with current family addresses
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Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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