Some genealogists conduct their family history research in fits and spurts. They research intensely for a month or so, put their findings aside and then return in a year. Others decide to honor their ancestors only when a friend or neighbor's work inspires them.

Each time such genealogists return to their research, they spend an inordinate amount of time familiarizing themselves with what they accomplished before. It's difficult for them to pick up where they left off because they have forgotten where they were and must begin again.

This can happen three, four or many more times. Good family history research is nearly impossible if we are not consistent.

We are a time-crunched society, so, it's unrealistic to expect that most of us can work on our genealogy daily. On the other hand, these are not the days when doing genealogical research meant sitting before a microfilm reader in the corner of an archive or library. Allowing the passion associated with genealogy to take root often means working consistent-ly and being focused.

Whether composing e-mails or letters to request information or documents from family members or archives, or monitoring our in-boxes and mailboxes for responses, we should be focused. Some activity that has the potential to answer a question about our ancestors should always be going on.

One thing that makes it possible to be more focused is to write a little synopsis of a current genealogical problem on an index card and tuck it into our pocket or purse. When waiting to be served in a doctors' office or restaurant take the card out and give the problem some thought. Try to think of all the processes or sources that might yield the answer you are seeking.

Another good way to stoke the flames of your passion for genealogy is to refresh your knowledge of its standard practices and principles.

Perhaps that does not sound as sexy as learning something for the first time, but in fact, people who take time to refresh often learn a lot of new things.

That's most likely to happen when you approach your refresher with a dash of humility. Being open to those things you forgot or never learned will be far more productive than making mental notes of how much you already know.

A third great way to keep interest in researching your family history high is to acknowledge that genealogical research need not be conducted solo.

Spend some time working on your genealogy among like-minded individuals at the Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1519 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.

And find another genealogist for sharing tips, discoveries and frustrations.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705 or wminis@postandcourier.com.