January 20, 2012
Last year, a potential client approached me to perform research in a nearby county on an ancestral family. This client had never performed research before, instead relying on the work of others, but was interested in moving this particular family back in time a generation. After consulting with me and the others who had performed previous research, the client decided not to hire me because all the records had already been searched. The belief was, amongst that group, that there was no further information to be found pertinent to that family or the research problem because they had already gathered all documents created by or for the ancestor in question.
I strongly disagreed and explained why, but still lost a client over a common misconception, that all there is to research is extracting information from records about a particular ancestor.
January 15, 2012
Lots of new web sites and articles to share today.
Genealogist unearths contribution made by local militia in the War of 1812 from thestar.com discusses the work of genealogist Janice Nickerson documenting contributions made by Toronto militiamen to the War of 1812, and her upcoming book York’s Sacrifice.
Harold Henderson wrote a great article, Climbing the Spiral Staircase, about the learning curve all genealogists experience. I recommend this one to every genealogist, regardless of skill level or interest.
The Boston Channel published an article, Murder Suspect’s DNA Linked to Mayflower Kin, detailing how investigators hope to use DNA to eventually find the person who killed a teenaged girl near Seattle in 1991. Forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick is contributing to the investigation.
If Helen F. M. Leary is the Grand Old Dame of genealogy, then Elizabeth Shown Mills is certainly its First Lady. Mills recently debuted her web site, Historic Pathways, which features a collection of her writings over her several decades as a historian and genealogist.
January 14, 2012
After one last push to finalize and polish the manuscript for Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899 (now with an editor), I took a few well-deserved days off. During that time I worked on some long-term projects I’ve kept on the backburner but which I’d like to finish this year. I spent two days in Morrow at the Georgia Department of Archives and History working on a compilation of records related to slaves, something that should be completed by the end of this year.
By the way, if you’re a Georgia researcher and haven’t written your local legislator about keeping the Archives open, it’s not too late to do so. Every voice counts!
January 1, 2012
It’s that time of year again, time to dust off the previous year’s resolutions and revise them to reflect one’s goals for the coming year. This year, instead of making a to-do list I’m making a five-year plan incorporating long-term goals in a way that, I hope, will help me become a better and more productive researcher.