August 25, 2012
What Type of Genealogist Are You?
Hubs however dislikes research. He finds it tedious and a lot of work. He loves finding an ancestor, or better yet, having someone else find that ancestor for him. He's passionate about his ancestry, but avoids the actual research whenever possible. Family lore is enough for him, he has no need to find sources to verify it. If it's important enough to him, he'll force himself to push through the research but he'd rather I did it for him. As he says, if he were rich, he'd hire someone to do all the research for him.
I'd hate that, and in fact I often feel bad that I'm doing so much that I'm not leaving my grandchildren the fun of the hunt!
It seems to me that there are several types of genealogists -
The Hunter or Detective: This genealogists loves the research. While they want to find their own ancestors, they'll research anyone's ancestry just for the thrill of the hunt. They are easily sidetracked from their own ancestral research by the challenge of solving a stranger's brick wall
The Gatherer or Ancestor Collector: This genealogist loves to know about their ancestors but doesn't really enjoy the hunt. Is happy to have their family tree handed to them
The Ancestor Finder: This genealogist loves it all - doing the actual research and finding that elusive ancestor but they only enjoy researching their own family tree, not the ancestry of strangers.
The Hoarder: This genealogist does lots of research, finds new things about their ancestors but refuses to share any of the information
The Junkyard Collector: This genealogist gets excited over online Family Trees and merges them with his/her own. He/she never verifies anything or checks their facts. Before long they have a mess of unsourced information, conflicting data and facts that don't make sense. They'll have female ancestors having children at the age of 100, or men born 50 years after their spouse or children born before their parents.
The Scholar: This genealogist lives and breathes source citations. Accuracy is everything to this research. You'll often find this person submitting articles to scholarly journals as the NYGBR. Page after page of red edit marks don't intimidate them, they'll plow through their article drafts, refining and revising and making each more accurate than the last.
The Analyzer: This genealogist finds a new fact, then studies it and analyzes it carefully before moving on to the next bit of research. They use each fact as a stepping stone to more research. They verify every piece of information they find and they view it critically, thinking about what it actually means and what other clues might be gleaned from it.
The Planner: This genealogist is a faithful keeper of research logs. He/she creates research plans and follows them. They are extremely organized in their research and meticulous about planning before they go on a research trip
I'm not judging any specific type as the best or the worst except the junkyard collectors who make me shudder and shake my head in bewilderment.
Some of us may fit more than one category. I am definitely a Hunter-Detective but I'm also a little bit of a Scholar. I don't live and breathe source citations but I have submitted articles to scholarly journals and I've faced the red editing pen with determination. I'm also an Analyzer. Hubs on the other hand is a Gatherer. He doesn't seem to fit any other categories.
Where do you fit in?
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