07 May 2011

Don't Be Your Own Worst Enemy

     The other day I was talking to a co-worker about Osama bin Laden (don't worry, this isn't a political post). We were discussing some of the information that had been released and I was surprised that he didn't know certain details. He replied that it was "hard to find any information." I was kind of confused over this, as I couldn't turn on the tv or view a news website without seeing overwhelming coverage of bin Laden. Turns out, he was entirely dependent upon his iPhone for news coverage. In fact, he was relying on only one app for coverage (the others weren't good enough and the web browser wasn't optimal). I was really shocked to realize that he was purposefully preventing himself from accessing news because of his techno elitism.

     This sort of self-imposed ignorance can easily happen within the world of genealogy as well. Ever come across someone who is so upset that Ancestry.com charges for access that they won't even use their free records? Or some who is convinced that Ancestry.com is so awesome that they don't need to go anywhere else? Maybe a researcher who won't visit local libraries - only the large archives? Or someone who refuses to consider the merits of a well documented online tree because of the bad ones? Perhaps a genealogist who won't attend conferences because they are for socializing and newbies?

     It very important to consider all possible avenues of research and not limit yourself to one or two because you think they are superior, or simply that you know everything there is to know. There is value in each and every available research avenue and a well rounded research approach will result in the best results.

Are you using these resources? (have something to add? Comment!)
  • Libraries and Archives
    • Your local library
    • Local library's in ancestral areas
    • Regional/State libraries
    • Local archives
    • Regional/State/National archives
    • Church records
  • Newspapers
    • Local/Regional/State and possibly National
    • Microfilmed, book excerpts, clippings
    • Database websites
    • Specific newspaper websites
  • Other Published Works
    • Magazines
    • Books
    • Biographies
    • Local Histories
    • Event Histories
  • Original Documents
    • Via Vital Records offices
    • at Courthouses
    • Via records requests from state/national agencies
    • Church records
  • Web
    • Free or Paid, any website available 
      • find them at Cyndislist.com
    • Use Multiple search engines
    • Use "free trial" offers for paid sites
  • Cemeteries
    • Visit yourself, take photos
    • Pay attention to unfamiliar names inside the family plot
    • Walk the entire cemetery for family names (if small)
    • FindAGrave.com - make a request
    • USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project
  • Community
    • Message boards
    • Online Trees (use as a template)
    • Genealogy Societies
    • Conferences
    • Blogs
    • RAOGK.com
  • Family
    • close/distant family - everyone you can find
    • friends of the family
  • Technology
    • cameras and mobile scanners
    • flash drives and backup hardrives
    • audio recorders
    • phones with internet access
  • Education
    • classes from libraries and society
    • Webinars
    • Video tutorials
    • Press releases 
    • Conferences
  • DNA
    • yDNA
    • mtDNA
    • Autosomal DNA
    • sharing websites such as Ysearch and Gedmatch
    • surname studies


Jennifer said...

Great post! I particularly second newspapers. And online trees, well, I'm always on the pro side of that debate. Why shy away from potentially good information?

Mavis said...

Great post! I use to try to connect with potential other relatives with the online trees but.... Maybe eventually I'll get back there but right now, no.


Related Posts with Thumbnails