Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: My Genealogy Life

Uh-oh, this could get scary.  This week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver asked how much of your time is spent on genealogy:

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)  Tell us about your "genealogy life."  How much genealogy and family history work do you do, on average, each week?  What tasks do you routinely perform every day, every month, every year?

2)  Share your genealogy life in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook or Google+.

Ok, here's mine:

On a weekly basis, I probably spend between 60+ hours on genealogy in some form.  An average week with no other obligations:

• Doing research averages between four to six hours every day.  This encompasses research for clients, volunteer work, and my own family and extended family when I can fit it in.  This time includes data entry, report writing, and information sharing.

• Reading the blogs I follow on a regular basis takes about one to two hours every day.

• Social media suck up a lot of my time, even when I try to restrain myself.  I check genealogy-related content on Facebook daily and two to three times a week on Google+ and LinkedIn.  This runs to about 10 hours a week.

• I wish I wrote faster.  As it is, writing for my blog takes me at least 5–8 hours a week.  When I'm working on Who Do You Think You Are? posts, it can go as high as 15+ hours, because I spend so much time looking for the sources used on the programs so that everyone can see them.

• I usually watch three to four Webinars each week, for another 3–6 hours.

• Volunteer work is my other big time sink.  I'm on the boards of three organizations and the editor of three publications, I have a regular volunteer shift at the Family History Center, and the last time someone asked me to write down everything I do the list had more than 20 commitments.  Volunteer work easily takes at least 10–15 hours every week.

Monthly and yearly stuff:

• Attending meetings of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society and African American Genealogical Society of Northern California averages about 7 hours each month.

• I attend meetings of other genealogical societies as often as topics and time allow.  This is probably another 6–9 hours each month.

• I give on average two presentations each month.  Creating and updating the files and handouts and giving the talks comes to about 10–20 hours each month.

• I would like to attend more institutes and conferences, but I have neither the money nor the time to do so.  I usually manage to travel to two or three conferences out of state each year, and three or four local events.  This year I went to SLIG and I'll be attending Jamboree, the IAJGS Jewish genealogy conference, and the International Black Genealogy Summit.  Locally, I was at San Francisco History Days, the Sacramento annual African American Family History Seminar, and the CSGA spring seminar in Fresno, and I will be going to the local Ancestry Day in June, the CSGA fall seminar in Oakland, and the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society's October seminar featuring John Philip Colletta.  And as Randy said, these are in addition to my regular commitments.

Yes, genealogy is my life.


  1. Hi Janice! I finally emerged just long enough to read a bit on the computer. You are very busy! I love genealogy conferences but they are SO expensive!! I've also wanted to visit Utah for many years.
    As you know, I haven't been well, so I've had to put my research on hold. It seems that not only are genealogy conferences expensive but my Lyme specialist charges 1,000 per visit ( no insurance accepted).
    Researchers that traverse cemeteries and old properties should beware of the dangers of vectors like ticks and take precautions to cover themselves and wear propellants. I've learned my lesson ( the hard expensive way). Wishing everyone happy safe genealogy trails this summer.

    1. Hi, Elizabeth, and thanks for writing. I'm glad to hear you are at least a little bit better. You are correct, conferences do tend to be expensive, but don't overlook local one-day seminars. They are usually very affordable, and you can still learn new stuff! And thanks for the warning about ticks at cemeteries. I hope you have as fast of a recovery as possible.

    2. Hi Janice, Thanks for the well wishes.
      Oh yes indeed about the one day seminars. The Family Research Center in my area usually has at least one each year with a well known professional. Local genealogy societies also hold seminars for free or a small fee.
      Last night I watched the Genealogy Roadshow and really enjoyed it though there was one fellow that was a bit ' odd'. At least he made me laugh! I don't know how the genealogist managed to keep a straight face.

    3. I'm glad you have some educational opportunities in your area. At least that gives you some options.


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