19 April 2012

What has Family History research taught you that you didn't expect?

I guess I'm so persnickety that genealogy is a constantly teaching me more and more about patience that I hadn't learn prior to this endeavor. My current lesson involves trying to ask someone to help me retrace their steps in acquiring pieces of genealogical evidence.

Now, I have learned that not everyone records their research steps or documents their evidence following genealogical standards. So, trying to ask them where they obtained something might sound skeptical to that person. Or perhaps it takes the wind out of their sails regarding their historical finds. Perhaps the learning genealogist in me is too easily frustrated with knowing there is a piece of evidence that exists but I have no idea how to cite the source. Also, I have to figure out where this document came from; before I can retrace this person's steps to see if there is something they might have missed.

 I believe it possible that many people might not remember how they obtained their particular piece of evidence. So, asking them might be pointless. I should be grateful that I have a piece of existing evidence. I's up to me, who cares about the research trail, to search after it.

In any case, I guess it just goes to show the importance of a) documenting where a piece of evidence comes from and b) being patient with others who don't think the same way.

So, although this post might seem rude or naive for not knowing this before, I just thought I'd share another lesson in genealogy that I'm learning. I guess when I ventured into family history research, I didn't think it would teach me so many personal character lessons. So, since I've shared what I've learned, what lessons have you learned that you didn't expect while doing genealogical research?

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