by Annie Merrell
Have you ever made it to the end of the day and wondered, “Where did all my time go?” Does family history frequently get pushed down on your to do list? Are you looking for simple ways to connect with your past and dive into the fun of family history? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then keep reading for five of our favorite fast family history activities. These are perfect for the days when you only have a few minutes to spare.
1. Add a memory to your family tree
FamilySearch is the perfect place to share photos and stories of your ancestors. The FamilySearch memories app makes this task easy. Simply download and open the app on your smart phone, log in with your FamilySearch username and password, and decide which memory to share. You can add photos, record stories, and tag ancestors in the memory.
For step-by-step instructions on using the app, read “Using the FamilySearch Memories App.”
2. Attach sources to FamilySearch Family Tree
When you open your family tree, some ancestors may have a blue icon indicating that historical records match their information. It’s up to you to check and approve the record. Once you’ve verified the information, you can link it to your ancestor and his or her family. If you don’t have time to sit down for a focused research session, adding records is a quick and easy way to improve the accuracy of the family tree and save time for future researchers who will benefit from having the records already attached.
For step-by-step instructions on attaching sources, read “How to Add Sources.”
3. Call a relative
In our current age of texting, social media, and email, it’s easy to forget about creating connections through phone calls. A phone call is a great way to connect with relatives, stay up to date on life, and learn about the past. All you have to do is ask a question and listen. With summer coming up, it may be fun to ask about a favorite family vacation or memorable summer activity.
4. Transcribe tombstones
We love free websites that help us find our families. Billion Graves and Find A Grave are fantastic resources for locating tombstones and other additional information about ancestors. Transcribing tombstones is a great way to give back to the genealogy community by making more tombstone photos accessible.
For more information on transcribing tombstones, visit billiongraves.com/get-started. You will need to create a free Billion Graves account to participate in this activity.
5. Discover and read a new family history story
Visit All the Stories to check out some of the interesting or inspiring stories from your FamilySearch family tree. We love how this web app simplifies finding ancestors’ memories on FamilySearch. The website prompts you to log in to FamilySearch. It will browse through your tree and pull all of the stories into one place. As a bonus, it estimates how much time it will take to read the story. This is a great website to have open on your phone’s web browser. The next time you’re tempted to fill a few minutes scrolling through social media, you’ll be prepared to learn a new family story instead.