There is no denying we have wreaked havoc, chaos and disaster throughout the world. In the last hundreds of years we travelled as illegal immigrants to other lands and caused millions upon millions to die through the diseases, religious wars and the capitalist ideals we brought with us.
No matter how long I have been working in genealogy and family history, every so often I find that I need a bit of a reminder, or a kick in the tush, to not fall into the trap of assumption. After all, I know full well what happens when I assume ... as they say, 'it makes an ass out of you and me'.
Working on one's genealogy and family history is often quite like the proverbial saying about the forest and its trees. If your focus is set on finding just one detail, you might miss many others. Likewise if your approach is too scattered you risk missing an important detail, or more.
The genealogy community is, by and large, a very sociable, caring, and sharing one. While we all enjoy the vast amounts of materials that are out there for us to access electronically (so free and some not-so-free) it is important to remember that we, as genealogists, each need to pay-it-forward every so often.
very one of us is free to undertake our family history work for what ever reason it is that motivates us. If you are a member of the LDS church and are doing it to further your religious beliefs that is just fine. If you are doing it purely for enjoyment, that is fine as well.
"Scott. You look like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Lighten up, kiddo!" I must have heard this phrase from my parents a million times. Now as I spend my career working in the field of genealogy at Onward To Our Past®, I think it is an apt phrase for many who pursue their ancestry, genealogy, and family history.
The more I read the more I see real connections between genealogy/working on our family history/ancestry and the psychological benefits of the nostalgia it might trigger!
Who was it that inspired YOU to really 'get into' genealogy and family history? Who was the person, or were the people, who were responsible for igniting your passion to delve into learning who you were, where your roots had been planted, and what that common word 'family' really means?
Rather than suggesting resolutions here, I am going to offer some commonsense suggestions that will, I believe, help make your family history and genealogy efforts more effective and successful
My biggest breakthroughs, most significant finds, and most amazing discoveries have all come from not who I already knew, but from new associates, allies, mentors, and researchers who I had never known before I employed my system of casting the widest net possible whenever I hit a bumpy patch in my work.
My geneatherapy has helped me, my family, my extended family, old friends, new friends and colleagues, and provided me with endless (and I do mean endless) hours, to which my wife will attest, of learning and losing myself in subjects I never dreamed I would find an interest in earlier in my life.
Even though our children and grandchildren are all over a thousand miles away, their special gifts went winging their way to them so they all could celebrate St. Nicholas Day in style...and I am happy to report that there was no need for us to buy any coal!
Now some years later as a genealogical historian, father, and grandfather, I really love family gatherings all the more. Not only for the family time and memories, but also for the exceptional opportunity they afford to enhance what I like to call 'the tapestry of our family history'.
The more inviting we make genealogy, the more we will entice others to join us in our family history, love of genealogy, and our ancestral journeys!
While I fully understand and appreciate their frustration, one of the factors I find that often influences this frustration is what I call the 'Rose-Colored Glasses Effect' and it needs to be avoided in everyone's family history and genealogy work.
Recently I started thinking more and more that I needed to expand my efforts to something even broader. I wasn't sure what it might be, but I knew I was developing an itch to take a step up and undertake a project something that would not only meet my interests, but also to make a difference to folks far beyond my direct reach.