Genealogy Burnout

By Janet Curley

I want to thank all my readers for their patience over the past few months. As the title suggests, I believe I have been recovering from a period of Genealogy Burnout! In preparation for my trip to Ireland last August, I was hot on the trail of my ancestral Curley relatives. But having found all that I could in the Valuation Office in Dublin, cemeteries in Galway and in ancestry.com for the time being, I fell back into my couch with a heavy sigh, strained eyes and cramped fingers and pronounced, “Enough!” At least for a couple of months… Of course there were the holidays to contend with, a formidable knitting project to complete and a job to find, all of which competed with any energy to play with my dead relatives. I bet some of you have suffered this same condition when other parts of your life start to impinge upon your time.

Burnout of any kind is painful. Something that you previously loved doing and could spend hours lost in, now becomes daunting and the brick walls you have encountered feel insurmountable. My ‘real’ job is as a therapist and so I am familiar with the problem. So, how does one, once again, feel the thrill? Well, I think taking some time off is important. Look up from the computer, step out of the City Clerk’s office, walk away from the library and look at the living, breathing humans around you. It’s alright, they won’t bite you. Well, during the holidays, there is that small chance! And by all means go outside into the sunshine! Even in the Polar Vortex, the sun does shine and you can enjoy it before the thirty minutes are up when every news person has said your feet will freeze to the ground and your skin will petrify.

I suggest reading non-historical novels (I am in the Shadow of Night myself – it has history in it, but it is not set in Ireland and the witches and vampires save me from taking it all too seriously). I suggest playing with the very grandchildren you hope to acquaint with their ancestors. I suggest taking a trip to someplace where your family never lived. I know, Reader…it is a risk, but one you must take to recover and return to what you love.

In the coming months I will work on a different branch of my tree. Although I have dabbled in it before, I will now endeavor to fill out my understanding of my grandmother’s family. You will hear more about the Ryans in Northampton. I have already made trips to Forbes Library and have made my acquaintance with the archivist there. Soon, I hope to meet the City Clerk and begin the adventure anew. I have lots of leaves in Ancestry to review as I have been long away, but now I look forward to seeing what is revealed.

Happy New Year!

13 thoughts on “Genealogy Burnout

  1. I am glad you got a chance to rest and renew yourself. I hope you will soon be caught up in the fun and the thrill of the hunt that genealogy can give us. I am looking forward to your new postings.

  2. Glad you stepped away for a bit, I miss you tons. I have hit a wall with my Dads side as well, and I don’t know if I have the energy to start our Mom’s sides… oh lordy!! of course you know my Dads side and Moms side cross twice as Auntie Claire married my Fathers brother Phil, so I might as well try to untangle that mess:)
    Love ya.
    Danielle

  3. To anyone who hasn’t suffered burnout: Beware—it’s coming!! Glad you’re “back at it”! Let me know if you need anything. And I hope you can make it Wednesday night!

  4. Hi Janet, I am happy to find your post as I am very “addicted” to ancestry.com and the hunt to knock down brick walls! I see chmjr, Moore’s Gennalogy above, another of my favorite bloggers! I’d like to get to know you , so I will “follow” for awhile. I used to be a theapist as well-here in North Carolina! I am retired, disabled with heart disease, but I still have family to attend to–and bills—LOL, somedays all I want to do is research! I started a group on facebook about 3 months ago with some cousins I met through having my DNA done at ancestry. We are all part of a Scottish family with a huge brick wall! I found myself so engaged with this work, I just wanted to jump in! The holiday , and pneumonia helped me refocus. Like you suggested, I’m hoping to focus on the grandchildren, red hatting, and let genealogy stay a passion, but not an obsession! LOL Always wishing you the best, Helen

    • Hi Helen! Welcome to my blog! I just took a look at your latest post. I think you should keep your title. I like how you came to it and it reflects everything you described about yourself. As for focus…I am of two minds…on the one hand, it is good to have an identifiable focus for your readers sake. But if you are doing it for you, keep the focus broader. I like my blog, but sometimes I feel constricted by the subject. I have to say, the blog keeps me on track for my genealogy as well. So whatever you choose to write about will benefit from the attention. Whatever it is, pick what you love. Your blogger name will allow you to keep it a bit vague. Good luck!

  5. Hi Janet! I’ve been enjoying reading your posts so much, that I am awarding you the Liebster Award! The Liebster Award is given to people with GREAT blogs who have less than 200 followers and need to be discovered! You’ll have to download the badge and add it as media if you choose to accept it. You can find out more at my page about this award that I was recently given myself! Congratualtions on such a great blog! Helen

    http://heartofasouthernwoman.wordpress.com/liebster-award/

    • Thanks Helen! I had to research the Liebster Award to figure out you had bestowed upon me! Looks like fun! I will work on it a bit and pay it forward. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s