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How to do research in the Family History Library
in Salt Lake City, Utah
by Gary L. Foster

6.  Follow up on your research after returning home

The biggest mistake made after returning home is to "stack" your research on or under your desk or put it "out of sight" and return to your normal busy life.

By the time you get back to looking at all the new things you found on your last research trip to the Family History Library you feel out of sync and can't remember why this piece of information was so important.  Right?  We all have done this and wish we could break a bad habit.

Here are some suggestions to returning home without dropping your genealogy research mode:

  • Before leaving Salt Lake City summarize on a list what you have found in new information and what you need to do with it when you get home.  Make a To Do List.
  • Be specific with the details, tell your "busy self" what to do with the information, who to contact to share this information with and why this information is important.
  • Set an appointment with yourself everyday for at least a week to work on your new information so you can get it tied into your genealogy database software.  I follow this appointment idea everyday of my life.
  • Do not allow any interruption to take away your scheduled appointment time with yourself.  No exceptions.  Give yourself a scheduled appointment everyday and then allow the rest of your life to fill in the remainder of the day.
  • Remember your ancestors are quiet and your distractions are noisy.  Give yourself some peace and quiet by visiting with your ancestors records so often that they no longer are just a name, place and a date.  See them as if their lives and the lessons they have taught are part of your life style.
  • Become a person in charge of your life and the events happening around you.  Take charge of your time and do it now.

Prepare a list of things you want to know on your next research trip and keep adding too it until the list is so long that you just have to return to Salt Lake City and open the door of opportunity as soon as you can.

Just before you die, you might consider making a gift, donation or a loan to the Genealogical Society of Utah so others will benefit from all the research you have done.

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