Question of the Week: Do you change your research focus when the seasons change?

+11 votes

Here in the US, we're celebrating Labor Day on Monday, otherwise known as the end of summer. (That went by way too fast!)

If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, you're moving into the warmer months. 

Tell us about your seasonal research plans!

asked in The Tree House by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
Can't think of any research changes as the seasons change. Same old, same old.

11 Answers

+10 votes
mine are the same only focus on certain names, I will do this until I get stumped or bored than I will change names.
answered by S Sagers G2G6 Mach 2 (21.2k points)
+8 votes
I have no focus. I tried that and it didn't work out well. I seem to go with sources that are new to me. That always lead me to not only new projects and sources but somehow takes me back around to unfinished projects and a better understanding of sources I thought I was familiar with.
answered by James Applegate G2G6 Mach 5 (53k points)
+9 votes
Late in the game here, but the only thing I can think of is I won't go traipsing around graveyards in the winter snow!
answered by Denise Chiasson G2G6 Mach 1 (17.2k points)
+5 votes
I find myself in libraries more often when the weather is OK for driving.  

I good weather like spring, summer, and early fall I do outdoor research like graveyards, taking photos of homes or areas where ancestors lived or attend fairs like the Scottish Festival in our town.  The German Stassenfest is another fall festival here.  We don't have one for France or I would do it too...

Research on the families is always ongoing.
answered by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (455k points)
+6 votes

Interesting question!

I'd say the biggest difference for me is that I don't do much research at all when there is something to be done in the vegetable garden. By mid-April, I'm out every evening after work, trying to get a little time in before dark, and that continues through early November.

Otherwise, there is some seasonality because I tend to focus on whichever line makes the most sense for my next research trip. 

This is the first September since 2013 that I haven't made a trip to New York to work on my paternal grandfather's line. I still feel like working on that line now, just out of habit. 

I'm going to take a Great Lakes genealogy course at SLIG in January, so I guess October will be the time to shift over to my maternal grandmother's line for  while.

answered by Carole Partridge G2G6 Mach 6 (69.3k points)
+6 votes
I don't necessarily change my focus with the seasons, but there are definitely periods throughout the year when I'm more active in my research (namely throughout the winter months when I'm more likely to be inside on weekends and content to sit in front of the computer).
answered by Derek Whitten G2G2 (2.9k points)
+4 votes
No, I don't.

I start off by assessing which projects I am a member in, I then make the decision of then combing through my personal category for a someone to work through (there are a few under various directories.. sorry I mean subcategories), if that doesn't yield a candidate then I comb through my watchlist (decent length, 2k) and pick someone from there. More often than not I have wound up tracing back a line to where it falls under the jurisdiction of another project which I'm not part of (usually which results in my checking their requistes for falling under their umbrella and then add the template) and promptly work back to the start point adding the addition.
Withing my native project (New Zealand) I head up our equivalent which looks at our past and present politicians - and assess who hasn't been connected yet and work through that (and occassionally picking up an orphaned profile set as open who is actually still living)
Look for a collab of the week and check what I can bring to the table (whether it is work on a spouse and their respective family if hadn't been done, checking whether there are sources which can be added which haven't or whether it is working category association)
Check the One Name Studies list for studies which match my watchlist (which would sit open on another tab (when I'm not in class) and then open up a couple to the category page) and then proceed to add each valid profile to the study (in the process breaking down by location)
answered by Richard Shelley G2G6 Pilot (103k points)
+4 votes
The great thing about having genealogy as a hobby is that you can change your research habits at will. The work will always be there - our job is never finished. I concentrate on a certain line until I get stumped or bored. I'll then move on to another line. But I will always come back to names or lines that I took a break from. Seasons do affect my work. In the dead of winter I may work on Wikitree all day long. But in the growing season I prefer to be outside and do a my Wikitree work in the evenings.
answered by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (203k points)
+2 votes
I tend to work on one nationality for a while and then go to another, some times when I get bored or sometimes when I hear from a new cousin that gives me a chance to look at something different.

I spent many months tracing Italians, but this summer, my German -American cousins came for a visit and wanted information. They also had some to share. So I have been chased down a variety of my German lines this summer. But which family I work on can change from week to week, a few days on one family and next you know I am researching their inlaws! I usually try not to get too far afield and after a week or two go back to someone I am actually related too rather than the inlaws of some cousin by marriage <g>.

This week I have been focusing on Germanic relatives and their in laws who were involved in the US Civil War. My other nationalities were in Europe during the 1860s, so only my Germans were in the USA during the US Civil War. The Germans all seem to be Union Army. When I feel like looking at my sons-in-laws lines, I will find some Confederates! It will be good to have them all properly entered here no matter what side they fought on. Like many families, we are related to both sides.
answered by Sharon Centanne G2G6 Pilot (139k points)
+2 votes
My brick walls are weatherproof!
answered by Dan Sparkman G2G6 Mach 1 (16.9k points)
+1 vote
My focus doesn't change depending on the season, but rather if I am bored with the subject of my research.
answered by Cheryl Hess G2G6 Pilot (145k points)

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