Working on your family history is not an exact science with only one method to research your ancestors. For as many different ancestors you may have there are that many varied ways to be a researcher. You want to be the type that your are most comfort with and brings you the greatest satisfaction.
So what are these types of researcher? See if you view yourself as any one of these types?
First there is the ‘detective’, one who sees a mystery and wants to solve it. They are looking to put the puzzle together – the puzzle being who were their grandparents, great grandparents, etc. They enjoy locating a great aunt and information about her that was previously unknown in the family.
Another type is ‘collector’, one who wants to see how many names they can add to the family tree or pedigree chart. The more the better! Adding 2nd and 3rd cousins is common and taking their lineage back to 10th and 12th generation make them very happy.
Family heirlooms are precious to most family members, but there is usually one in a generation who attempts to ‘gather’ every piece (photos, furniture, books, jewelry, dishes, etc) that belonged to any ancestor.
If you like stories, you might be a ‘storyteller’, a researcher who assembles the family tales, myths, legends and stories. You might make sure they are written or recorded in some fashion for future generations.
Another type of researcher is an ‘organizer’ who loves to have all the printed documents, vital records, journals, diaries, records they can amass. Then each piece is organized into folders or cabinets labeled with family surnames. They might also organize all the birth certificates together, all the military documents in one file, etc.
The ‘visitor’ enjoys actually going to the hometowns, courthouses and former homes of their ancestors. They would be visiting the family cemeteries or seeking to find the school building an ancestor attended, the store building for a business, anything physical that their ancestor once was a part of.
None of the few examples types listed above are totally better than another, it is all preference and what your intentions are for being a genealogical researcher. Many people combine aspects from a couple different types. The key is to realize what you want to achieve and work towards that goal. Plus have fun along the way!
Remember your Ancestors are waiting to be Memorialized.
Photo: 1889-The Walters Family in Iowa.< Return To Blog