Frequently Asked Questions
In this series, I answer all sorts of questions, and give my views and knowledge on many topics. I do not necessarily have the best or only answer, but it results from a combination of formal study, research and forty years of experience.
Topics to follow will include tips and things I have discovered, my favourite web sites, examples of good practice, and guides to help people who are just starting out in this exciting quest. You are welcome to Email me questions.
Genealogy - What is it?
What does it mean to be a genealogist? I have been different types of genealogist at different times in my life; collecting, hoarding, asking questions, looking, researching and documenting. It is useful to understand that anyone can be a genealogist, and that we can all aspire to be called by others 'a professional genealogist'.
I believe it is critical that everyone protects and collects key family heirlooms and knowledge to pass on to future generations. That is the role called genealogy. An expert genealogist will know how to protect delicate objects, and how to search for and arrange information so that it makes sense, is accurate, and can be understood by others. A professional genealogist will know how to properly catalogue, conserve and present artefacts, and how to efficiently gather evidence, construct proofs, and to report on information and family trees.
It does not matter what sort of genealogist we are, if we are the best we can be, and if we are guardians of the family knowledge and treasures. However, I do encourage each of us to spend more time to learn and experience higher skill levels where-ever possible.
Future short articles will explore many elements of genealogy, offering ideas, tips and examples of good practice.
(written June 2012)