about me
blog author
Meet the Author
I'm Jennifer, and I'm an Occasional Genealogist... sort of. For over ten years I've been a professional genealogist. I started researching my own family nearly 30 years ago. Like many of you, I started as an Occasional Genealogist. I had to squeeze research in while in school and while working full-time. Then I got my first genealogy job and for awhile, it was genealogy all the time. Now I have two kids. I do other people's genealogy constantly but my own? Coming up with ways to do great genealogy, despite all the interruptions, is now mandatory.

Read These Posts First

Posts contain affiliate links. See my disclosures page for details.


Are You Stuck in Your Research?

Have you been doing genealogy for a while? Are you asking yourself, "why is my genealogy research stuck?" Do you need new ideas for how to find more genealogy records?
Is your genealogy research going in circles? Learn a free and easy solution in this post. #genealogy #familyhistory

Maybe you've been trying to learn more but you keep hearing the same information over and over.

Do you simply lack the time to find and read new educational material (whether books, blog posts, or articles)?

Why is My Genealogy Research Stuck?

Occasional Genealogists need education as much, if not more, than often genealogists. Your genealogy knowledge grows a lot from experience. If you don't get to research a lot, you can really be hampered by a lack of education.

Often beginning and intermediate genealogists get stuck simply because they don't know about another record type or about a technique. It's not that the records don't exist. Sometimes you've already found them. It's what you don't know that has you stuck.

When you hit a research plateau, it's probably time to learn. #genealogy #familyhistory
When you hit a research plateau, it's probably time to learn.

To make the most of your limited research time, you should try and get as much education as possible.

To make the most of your limited research time, you should try and get as much education as possible.

How to Find "More" Genealogy

At some point, you're going to need to go beyond basic genealogy education and learn some more advanced techniques. Learning about new types of records is usually pretty easy and often quite fast.

Learning more advanced techniques is a different story. It can take much longer to learn a new technique. It's easier when you combine learning and application (i.e. use your new skills and get experience). But you're an Occasional Genealogist, how will you find the time?

A Fast and Free Solution to Genealogy Brickwalls

A great resource for bite-sized, but more advanced education, are the webinars from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). If you're familiar with BCG and think their webinars aren't for you, stop! Think again.

These webinars are for any genealogists, whether they are certified, want to be certified, are just trying to improve their skills, are professionals, want to be professionals, or are just avid hobbyists.

That's right, these are webinars for hobbyists, too.

If you feel like you keep learning the same thing over and over again from magazines, online lectures, and even blog posts, give the BCG webinars a try.

The webinars are free when they're live. A few remain free as recordings. Previously the webinars were only accessible through the BCG website but now you can register (for free) for the live webinars and purchase recordings from Legacy's Family Tree Webinars.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars offers many other webinars. The BCG Webinars are most likely the most advanced. If you find them too advanced, try and find another webinar on a similar topic to help you fill in the gap between your current education and the BCG webinar.

Genealogy Education

One of the great things about genealogy is it doesn't require formal schooling. If you don't want to find yourself permanently stuck, you need to self-educate, though.

You probably need some "formal" education in the sense you should learn from a teacher/instructor, not just by reading.

Reading is the primary way genealogists have always improved their knowledge. With the Internet, now we can conveniently learn from an instructor via live and recorded webinars, classes, and even on-going education.

If you're ready to move to another level but need some quicker options or a one-stop-shop for more advanced material, the BCG webinars are a great place to start.

Looking for other educational suggestions? Check out my Genealogy Education Pinterest boards.

Is your genealogy research stuck? Try this solution. | The Occasional Genealogist #genealogy #familyhistory

Why is my genealogy research stuck? It might be a simple solution you can start on tonight! Learn about this free and easy way to bust through more genealogy brick walls in this post. | The Occasional Genealogist #genealogy #familyhistory

Research stuck? Are you sure there's more out there? How do you find more genealogy? There's a surprisingly easy way to find more family history information. Learn more in this post. | The Occasional Genealogist #genealogy #familyhistory