While I was creating a new account with a genealogy group the other day, I was asked the simple question regarding if I am a beginner, intermediate, advanced, or professional genealogist. Sounds like a simple question… but is it?
I have been “doing” genealogy since 1987 when I was pregnant with my oldest child. I have obviously been doing this for quite some time, but have my skills really progressed beyond what other advanced genealogists would consider a beginner status?
Yes, I have compiled and discovered some amazing finds, but what about all of the nitty-gritty details… like official sources and proof? While I have also compiled an extensive collection of those official sources, I also have quite a few holes in this respect. Correcting this is my main focus at this time.
I was taught by enthusiast beginner genealogists who were honestly more concerned with filling in the blanks and “how far can I go back”. While this is extremely exciting and it seems that you have accomplished a lot, is it truly accurate? Maybe… Maybe not…
Even though I have a pretty impressive collection of family data collected on Ancestry.com, I have basically started over with writing everything the “old-fashioned-way”… on paper… and in pencil. That was the main lesson I am taking with me as I restart my files. I have recently downloaded a genealogy program which I am using to start over from the beginning. I am doing double the work, I know… but I feel that it will definitely be worth the effort.
I am using my extensive Ancestry.com information and binders full of papers as if I am discovering them for the first time and I need to scrutinize, prove, disprove, and recompile for “myself” before I “believe” and include them.
* I now have a post full of free printable genealogy forms and charts. Check it out here!
Original background image for this particular post’s title was courtesy of Nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.