Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Characteristics of a Good Genealogist

Lorine McGinnis Schulze posted Top Ten Characteristics of a Good Genealogist on her Olive Tree Genealogy Blog last week, and it seemed like a good topic for someone (like me) with geneabloggers' block...so here are my ratings:

1.  Life-long learning - genealogy and family history requires continuous learning by the participants in order to be successful, in books, periodicals, websites, video, seminars, conferences.

2.  Organized information - has repository and online research skills, able to find information, save it in a logical location, and be able to find the items that were saved.  Uses charts and reports to stay organized.

3.  Knowledgeable - knows, or knows how to find out, the availability and limitations of home sources, repository sources, and online sources.

4.  Practices genealogical standards - knows Genealogical Proof Standard principles, cites sources, analyzes process and results, critically evaluates evidence, and reaches sound conclusions.

5.  Computer skills - able to work in genealogy software, navigate the Internet, use technology, and effectively search genealogy databases.

6.  Patience and persistence - understands record limitations and accessibility, follows projects to a logical conclusion

7.  Multi-tasking - can work on several projects in different stages of development at the same time.

8.  Willing to share - engages with other researchers in personal conversation, email or message board postings, social media, online family trees, and participates in society activities

9.  Passion for genealogy and family history - loves the challenge of the "hunt" and conveys that passion to family members, colleagues, readers, and clients

10.  Your turn - what have I missed?  Tell me in comments!

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/02/top-ten-characteristics-of-good.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Unknown said...

Two things - Memberships in Genealogical Organizations and though implied in #9 networking with like minded family researchers/genealogists
Thanks for a great concept.

Greta Koehl said...

Able to combine logical and intuitive thinking to the best effect. Plus one that is sort of a restatement of patient and persistent - not easily discouraged.

Linda Huesca Tully said...

A creative thinker - able to step back in time and see things in their historical context or through the eyes of an ancestor; able to "think outside the box" when up against a brick wall.

Margie said...

Being able to communicate, in person or via the written word, whether with people from whom you are trying to obtain information or being able to explain what you have found to someone unfamiliar with or new to genealogical research.

And, having good analytical skills. Being able to find and assemble data is one thing, being able to decipher what is good or how this data leads to more data or the answer to the research question is another skill entirely. (sort of a restatement of what Greta says...)

Bob Howey said...

The best genealogists I know have a strong sense of historical and local context - they understand the community and what daily life and work was like. They also solve the most difficult puzzles knowing they need to go beyond the individual ancestor being studied to look at the web of family and community relationships. This is a perspective I do not have, but those I regard most highly do. I suppose this is really an integration of many of the other 9 characteristics you've identified. That integration takes the skills to a higher level.

Anonymous said...

Randy, Can I publish these in our Genealogy newsletter? They are very good. Janice

Bonnie said...

Doing their OWN work (versus 'copying'), even if they've come across other, reputable research, still checking the sources. Everyone makes mistakes. Rechecking your own facts and data and admitting if/when you've erred and correcting it.

Anonymous said...

Addicted to being a detective, solving crosswords, jigsaws, etc - anything where there is a part missing to fill in the blanks........

doting grandad said...

To be a Lateral Thinker, not only approaching problems from a single viewpoint?

Anonymous said...

Attention to details is a very important trait as well. Sometimes there are telltale signs located in the tiny details of pictures and documents. One must be very attune to details to pick up on them.