February 20, 2013

Top Ten Characteristics of a Good Genealogist

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Top 10 Characteristics of a Good Genealogist
What do you think are the top ten characteristics that make for a good genealogist? Here's my list:

1. Attention to detail
2. Accuracy - transcribes records exactly as found
3. Perseverance - doesn't give up when the research gets tough
4. Loves a challenge
5. Methodical
6. Organized
7. Thinks outside the box
8. Good Analytical skills
9. Passionate about family history and knowledge of ancestors
10. Provides sources for all information

There are many other qualities I can think of that make for a top-notch genealogist but I decided to limit my list to ten. Feel free to add your own in the comments section of this blog post!

Image by koratmember on freedigitalphotos


  1. Able to read cursive writing.

  2. These provide a good list for self evaluation. Afraid I fail on 5 and 6.

  3. Does not get terminally frustrated.

    Endures taunts of relatives well.

    Loves all details.

    Seeks out other genealogist with whom to collaborate.

  4. Good one, Claudia! Very important

  5. Jill - I certainly fail on a couple, one being organized - not so much!

  6. Mariann I love the one about enduring taunts of relatives! I'd have to say my relatives don't taunt me, but they are indifferent!

  7. Lorine
    So does that mean being certified makes a difference?

    Unless that goes with your number #9?

    I happen to agree with your list.

    All I know is that I have been told I get more excited than my clients do.

    Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life.

  8. At first glance I sped read certified as caffienated...which is a good idea too ! Love the comment about the relatives..especially as I am a Southern Gal married to a Northern guy, with Danish and Norwegian roots.

  9. Renee6:45 PM

    This is a great list. It describes me really well. No wonder I love doing genealogy!!

  10. I would have to say patience is very helpful.

  11. One more: give credit where credit is due. Whether a mentor or writer who enabled you to find an insight, a wonderful researcher hired to find part of the evidence, or the Archives staff who suggested something to look at! Not to mention the careful citation of whatever is found.

  12. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Relative Taunts. You betcha!! I just try to remember - I didn't write the family history, just found it.

  13. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Loves a mystery/challenge. When I found out that my great grandparents had nine children, and only eight were known, I set out to find out about the mysterious ninth child. I eventually found her birth record, and now I'm trying to find out when she died.