Going From Beginner Genealogist To Intermediate

Going From Beginner Genealogist To IntermediateWhile 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!

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Original background image for this particular post’s title was courtesy of Nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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About nvlynnae

I am a 49 year old mom of a 28 yr old daughter and a 16 yr old son. I'm happily married and I homeschool our youngest who has been diagnosed as having Asperger's and I have Parkinsonism, BPPV, and AGHD. My family means everything to me! I am a northern Nevadan Christian homeschooling stay-at-home-mom who also blogs and loves some of the social media communities. I'm a self-proclaimed advocate for Asperger's Syndrome, all of the Autism Spectrum Disorders, and special needs in general. I am usually found blogging, tweeting, and posting about homeschooling, genealogy, Parkinsonism, being Gluten-Free, books, recipes, and anything else on our family's Christian Journey...
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13 Responses to Going From Beginner Genealogist To Intermediate

  1. Su Leslie says:

    Thanks; you’ve made me think about where I’m at with my family history research. Great post.

    • nvlynnae says:

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment! I’m hoping that I won’t find TOO many major errors that have led me into the wrong directions…lol

  2. Matthew says:

    My tree is private on Ancestry for that very reason – I know there are some errors in it, and since then I’ve started over and have proper proof stories for every single person in my tree now. It took forever. 🙂 My big “cringe” now is that I published a book for my grandmother, with 90 pages of charts and trees and stories in it, and I am now fairly certain that at least 1/3 of it is incorrect. I was just so excited, and so was she, and now I want to sneak into her house and take it back, but she’d never forgive me. I’ve decided just to publish a new book and see if I can convince her to let me have the old one back, hah. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who worries and wonders about such things.

    • nvlynnae says:

      I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one, too! 🙂 Before I posted this, I thought that many would either think that it was crazy for me to do all of this extra work and/or that some may ask me why I have a genealogy blog if mine is not just so… Thanks for your kind words!

  3. Chuck S. says:

    What is the best genealogy site? I’m just gettibg started and want to know the best place to start. Thank you for your time.
    Chuck S.

    • nvlynnae says:

      I honestly like Ancestry.com the best, but you DO really have to watch out for just following what others “say” blindly. I think that if you can afford it, a good combination of some of the better equipped sites/resources would be the ideal. I also believe that old fashion copies of everything written out on the papers that we all used before the internet is one of the best (and cheapest) tools/resources you can have! You can even find the forms free to print online. In fact, I now have a post with a great list of free printable forms and charts here.

  4. ldsniowa says:

    So guilty of listening to well meaning relatives and downloading gedcom files that had tons of incorrect/unproven information. Drug my feet switching from PAF, but now liking RootsMagic 6. Spending many hours now adding every proven source I can find! Thanks for your inspiration! Families ARE Forever!

  5. I too am working on getting all my sources recorded properly.

  6. Like you and the other posters here, I feel I too need to “start over”. I am pretty confident the individuals I have in my tree, are the right ones, but their data may be off, so like you, I’m going to look at each piece of documentation like it is the first time I’ve seen in. I haven’t decided if I am going the paper route, or the computer (my handwriting is terrible). I’m using Legacy, so I decided to start a new family tree from scratch. Thanks for your post. I’m glad I’m not alone.

  7. Alie Vermeer says:

    Thank you soooo much, I was already thinking about starting again and record EVERYTHING like you I was trained by an enthousiastic person to get family names to the temple asap… I forever am grateful to him but now to you, you pulled me to really start doing what I have been thinking about some time now…so no better day to start all over then today 🌷 🌷
    Alie from the Netherlands

  8. Debbie says:

    Just like Matthew, I also have a private tree on Ancestry. For the same reason of having errors and not wanting anyone to just copy what I have and spread the errors. I just recently up-graded my FTM program (YaY) and started over. Completely over, from scratch! Pics, sources, documents, everything!!! Yes, it will take “forever” to get everything down, but the end results will be worth it!!

  9. I love doing family history. I am Retired, and help those in my ward. i started doing family history back in 1977. Being adopted, I was fortunate to have known whom my natural parents were.
    However I loved and knew when I first laid eyes upon my new parents, that these were my parents, not the ones whom I had lived with. I was the oldest of 5 and was 7 years old.
    I feel they are so close to me, all of my family, then found out my natural and foster were distantly related. I am a Family History Consultant for my ward, and I see many of the members striving to do theirs. I hope that the BUG! stays with us, never get discouraged, pray, then start researching, Never let yourself forget you are a valuable person to those you are finding. They need their families to connect them back to ancestors, and to Our Eternal Father.
    Dianne

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