I will address the following concerns:
- Someone in my family “does” genealogy.
- My genealogy is already “done.”
- I don’t know how to do genealogy.
- Genealogy is for old people.
- I don’t have time.
1. Someone in my family “does” genealogy.
There is a certain attitude among some genealogists. We’ll call them My-Monsters. (See the original Brian Regan skit. Go ahead, I’ll still be here when you finish.) My-Monsters want to do all the work themselves. And then they don’t want to share the information and sources they found while doing all the work themselves.
So perhaps you’re afraid of the My-Monster in your family. But make sure that your genealogist relative is actually a My-Monster before you run screaming. They probably realize that there is so much work to be done and that they need help. Ask what corner of the family tree they would let you work on.
(You really don’t need their permission. With the addition of the new.familysearch.org site, you can’t really be a My-Monster. If you want your ancestors to receive temple blessings, you have to submit their names to the database. Which means that anyone can view it. Which means that anyone can help.)
2. My genealogy is already “done.”
If your family history is completely, accurately, and clearly documented from yourself to Adam, every written, and every temple ordinance performed, then yes, you are done. Congratulations.
If that is not the case, then you are already familiar with Step 1 and can move right on to Step 2.
3. I don’t know how to do genealogy.
These days, “I don’t know how to ______ ” really isn’t an excuse for not doing ______. Whatever you want to learn, I guarantee there are training videos on YouTube. In our case, there are training videos on lds.org/familyhistoryyouth.
You can also stay tuned for the rest of my family history blog post series.
(Remember that sometimes just starting is the hardest part.)
4. Genealogy is for old people.
That’s a lame excuse. By the time you get old, you won’t be able to see the computer or move your fingers well enough to type and click on things. I would say you are best equipped for family history work… right now.
Genealogy these days is ALL on the internet. We can’t expect our poor old people to fight the battles when the war really is in our own territory.
5. I don’t have time.
This is the real complaint behind #4. But I’m guessing you won’t have time then either, between pinochle and jeopardy. If you’ve decided that you want to make more of your senior years than that, you still won’t have time.
Take a look at your life. See where all your time is going. With a little thinking, planning, and tough choices, you can be this little jar here.
Okay. You’re out of trouble now. Go start Step 2!