Thursday, August 6, 2009

When I feel most like a genealogist

Over at Olive Tree Genealogy is a well-deserved rant about genealogists who only will look for records in the comfort of their own home on the Internet. Some of these people have been looking for years, nearly a decade even, without ever stepping out into the world to search other records.

In my own research, I have to say I feel most like a genealogist when I am sifting through papers at the library, searching through huge index books at the court house and flipping through microfilm at the FamilyHistory Center. Finding information online through a search tool is always a nice addition to my work, but to feel truly accomplished I need to do more than type in a name, some dates and a location and hit "search."

If you are new (or not so new) to genealogy, remember that your family history is not online, ready for you print out back to Adam and Eve. If it were, this would not be a fun hobby, or even any hobby at all, since you wouldn't have to do any work. Go out into the world, head to those libraries, courthouses, churches and search. Drive around your ancestors hometown if you can, take pictures of their houses and their tombstones. I guarantee it will give you a much greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment than anything you have found online.

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