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July 8, 2014

15 Genealogy Things That Amaze Me

15 Genealogy Things That Amaze Me
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I am bewildered and disheartened by those genealogists who

*  ask for help but never thank the person who spent their time to help

* can't copy my name correctly (it makes me wonder how good a job they're doing copying census data and other documents...)

*  asks a question in a forum or on a message board that could be easily answered by doing a 2 minute search online

*  doesn't look at the record he/she found and think about what it means and whether or not those facts fit their ancestor

* merges family trees without checking the sources to verify

*  writes to say they share one of your ancestors and you share all your information but they share nothing with you

*  want your help and send you a 10 page file of rambling sentences that would take you hours to figure out, instead of taking the time to summarize what they need and what they know

*  posts nasty comments, belittles and argues in online forums

*  jumps in with wild guesses instead of waiting to see if someone with actual knowledge will respond when another genealogist poses a question in a forum

* post a question in an online forum or a mailing list that starts with "I know I'm in the wrong forum but...." instead of finding a forum with the appropriate topic.

But it also amazes and delights me to see those genealogists who

*  go out of their way to share with others 

* give their time to help other genealogists

* carefully record their sources and verify "facts" they find online

* feel a sense of community and pitch in when needed

* encourage newcomers

Thanks to the genealogists who are in the Thumbs Up group! You make it all worthwhile.


Michael Harris said...

Can I add, argues that your sourced material is wrong because they remember word for word the story their great aunt told them 50 years ago about the story they heard from their dad when they were 5 about his grandfather. So obviously your source is wrong.

Carrie Smith said...

Wonderful post- thank you for sharing.

Melinda Brown Baker said...

Great post and it needed to be said! Totally agree with Michael Harris (been there).

John Brugliera said...

Fortunately, MOST people fall into those last five categories. But yes, the ignorance of some can be frustrating. That's why we have blogs!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

John I love your comment! I have been stewing over a couple of these in my thumbs down list for weeks now. Finally decided to vent on my blog :-)

Hubs is happy I'm not complaining to him anymore about it

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Michael - you are SO right!! Arrgh

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Carrie and Melinda I feel much better for having vented.

I hope some of those in the thumbs down group read my blog and think "Oh that's me! Better change my ways!"

T said...

Michael, I have one of those "cousins". Drives me crazy until I take a deep breath, say thank you and then file it in the "Impossible" folder. I file it because that information will show up again and again.

Geolover said...

Nice summary of the constant minuses and pluses on message boards and in mailing lists. The one about inability to do one's own internet searches particularly gave me a chuckle ;D Sometimes ya gotta wonder where the brain is.

Mountain Mama said...

I am a firm believer in genealogical karma. I have gotten so much help from others that I only hope I am giving back my share.

BTW, thank you for your article on the Palatine. It helped me greatly in understanding my Mennonite and Brethren ancestors.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Nice list. I should print it out and review it often, especially when I'm on Facebook or forums. Good advice.

Anonymous said...

As for this: "*asks a question in a forum or on a message board that could be easily answered by doing a 2 minute search online".

I confess I give this sort of person a little bit of slack the first couple times they post, along with some advice on how to really use the Internet. They learn everything they want to know by asking other people and never learned how to do their own research, so to them the Internet is just a bigger pool of potentially helpful new strangers. I've had to explain what the National Archives and the U.S. Census are far too many times not to realize that the idea of archives, resources, and databases is just something they've never had to deal with.

Kristina Rees said...

I'm glad you ended on the positive.

Garret Fractolin said...

Hey Lorinne! Wanted to add that I hate genealogists that get their facts wrong and spend hours looking in the wrong places for records - tada - I just updated County Clerks directory of all 3,200+ county clerks contact information and details for the USA. Might be useful?!

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

I am so in agreement with your lists! I kept nodding as I read, and Michael's addition is very true....that one does my head in!! thank you Lorine.

Jacquie Schattner said...

I like your ending. I think genealogists are the nicest, kindest, most willing to help people as a group. I'm glad I belong and hope I live up to the helpfulness that others have done for me.