Friday, January 23, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over - Week Three - What I learned from the "Real" Genealogists

I have played with everyone's research logs. Some I like, some I find difficult, and some have great features I wish were all incorporated into one. In the many (many, many) years I have worked with my family history, I have never tracked anything. The Do-Over is forcing my hand.

I am aware of the "Real" genealogists who complain about us "Family History" researchers. It seems to be us against them when it comes to research procedures. I have always just smiled at the attitudes and continued on my merry way, finding sources but not citing them. All of a sudden, it changed.

I can honestly say I have known all along that my research was sloppy. I know there are holes in my research because I couldn't afford to purchase the records I needed. The Do-Over has made it really clear that my careless research has hindered my research and I have already found two proof points I missed. I will be ordering documents as I can afford them.

Then, I actually had to cite a source. What a drag! If you are like me, you have lots of original documents, letters, photos, and certificates. I look at the sheer amount of work I need to do to catch up and want to quit.

Citing sources is a chore and a new process for me. However, I will adjust because I just learned has satisfying it is to have the information verified and documented.

Does that make me a "Real" genealogist? No way. I am still a "Family Historian" who will now use the research processes used by the genealogists while continuing to go my merry way, finding out about my family.

1 comment:

  1. Ann,
    I decided years ago, that I was going to CITE SOMETHING and not worry if I cited it perfectly. I decided that if I had all the information about a source recorded, it didn't matter if I had a period or a semi colon out of place. As long as my reader could find my source, that was all I cared. It was very freeing. Evidence and Evidence Explained were written to help us write better sources, not to beat us over the head with. Most of us only need a few basic templates. Book, Deed, Will, Marriage, Birth, Tombstone.... Find templates for those that you like and work from there. It gets easier as you proceed. Once you get a good template you need for a birth certificate, you can use it over and over again.