Raise your hand if you’re going to Midwestern Roots 2016!

Two years ago, I had planned to attend the Midwestern Roots Family History and Genealogy Conference in Indianapolis. But then I had a work conflict that meant I had to cancel. (I had to lead a team to unpack and organize a beloved client’s new home and the movers did not care about my schedule!) At that time, I was thrilled that several Organize Your Family History readers were planning to attend and hoped to meet them.

This year I hope to have no such conflicts. I have registered for the conference, which will be held July 15 and 16. It looks like a terrific conference. I’m especially glad to be able to go, since I made the tough decision not to attend the National Genealogical Society’s conference this year, which is being held this week in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s too close to my annual organizers’ conference and I didn’t want to be away from home that much this month. (That turned out to be a great decision as we subsequently decided to remodel our kitchen and demolition starts this week. I need to be home to share the misery with my husband.)

If you’re planning to go Midwestern Roots and would like get together for coffee or sit together at a session, let me know. (I promise not to pressure you to become my BFF.) Just leave a comment and I’ll contact you via email or just email me through the Contact form. I posted a similar note before I went to RootsTech for the first time and ended up starting a wonderful friendship with Lori Krause, who reads this blog.

I’m really excited about attending the conference and learning so much. Getting to meet a blog reader or two would be icing on the cake!

Reigniting the spark

Reigniting the sparkI hit the genealogical doldrums in the first quarter of 2016. There were a variety of reasons, the top of the list being our standard poodle puppy, Bix, whom we brought home mid-December 2015. But there were other competing obligations, including my business and my home and family.

Bix is now five months old and doesn’t require constant supervision. Things have settled back into routines and I have time again to do some research. But I find myself unexcited and it’s feeling hard to get started again.

This morning I sat down and thought about what it would take to reignite that spark. I started by making a little list of what I love about genealogy research:

  • Playing detective
  • The thrill the hunt
  • The reward of making discoveries
  • The stimulation of my curiosity constantly being tweaked

But so much time has gone by that I’ve lost the itch and I’m having trouble remembering what I’m curious about. I have a genealogy to-do list, but nothing’s exciting me.

Then I realized what always sparks action for me: A deadline. I’m going to visit my father in Washington state in two weeks. He’s always interested in what I can tell him about his family history. So I’m going to try to come up with some sort of discovery to share with him or create some sort of narrative or timeline that he might find interesting.

With that in mind, I’m going to set aside time on my calendar to do some genealogy research in an effort to come up with some sort of gift to share with my dad when I see him in two short weeks.

Suddenly there’s some urgency and my imagination is starting to spark a little. Hooray!

Some other strategies I came up with to reignite the spark include:

  • Read genealogy blogs to get my creative juices flowing.
  • Focus on some genealogy Facebook groups to see what others are reading about.
  • Do another 30 x 30 challenge so I do something at least daily. Or maybe I need to set myself up for success and make it 15 x 15. (Fifteen minutes of research for 15 days straight.)
  • Let doing genealogy research be a reward for working on my still-unfinished income taxes.

Now I’m feeling like I’m going to get some research done in the next few days. That feels so much better! I’ll report back next week and let you know how it goes.

Have you ever had the doldrums with your research? How did you reignite your spark?

Photo by Shivenis via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

Allen County Public Library, here I come!

I just registered for the August research trip to the Allen County Public Library, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana sponsored by the National Genealogical Society. After a couple weeks of contemplation, this morning I pulled the trigger on investing $750 on this opportunity to further my research. (I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how tempted I was.)

I’m really excited and I know I’m going to enjoy planning this. I definitely want to make the most out of the opportunity to research at this renowned library. I’m particularly thrilled about getting the help of professional genealogists who are part of the trip.

I would love any advice any of you have for me. What should I do in advance? What should I bring along? It seems to me that having a clear idea of my research goals is paramount; I’m already thinking about that.

Please share any advice you might have in the comments.

Thanks in advance!

Tempted by the NGS research trip to Ft. Wayne

I received an email this week from the National Genealogical Society about their August research trip to the Allen County Public Library, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I have to say, I’m tempted.

I haven’t been able to focus on my genealogy research this year as much as I’d like. I didn’t go to RootsTech this year, though I intend to attend the NGS Family History Conference in May in Ft. Lauderdale. I love conferences; the education I receive at them is valuable. But I typically don’t get any research done at conferences and when I get home I have to get back real life (i.e. my family and my organizing business). And then it takes me awhile to apply the new-found knowledge in my research.

But a research trip facilitated by professional genealogists and held at a renowned records repository could be amazing. I see it as a way to jump start my research, find new sources of information, get personalized expert assistance (very exciting!) and perhaps take my research to another level.

And I know I would love anticipating and preparing for the trip. That’s always very enjoyable for me.

NGS also offers research trips to Washington, D.C. and Salt Lake City. Both of those sound wonderful too, but the Indiana trip feels easier and less intimidating. It’s also driving distance from my home in St. Louis. And more affordable.

I’m going to talk to my husband about it this weekend and perhaps sign up.

Have you ever attended and organized research sponsored by NGS or any other entity? Was it worthwhile? I’d love to hear from you!