Family History Alphabet: D is for dedication, determination and discernment

Family History AlphabetAlona Tester from Gould Genealogy has proposed a Family History through the Alphabet series over the coming 26 weeks. I decided that my theme would be the Attributes we need as family historians: the skills, experience and talents you bring to your research. We’ve reached the letter D already and here are my nominations:

D is for dedication: the marriage of devotion or love, belief and commitment to this adventure that you’re on.

D is for determination: the need to push beyond the first (or umpteenth) stumbling block and keep researching, coming back for more.

D is for discernment (aka blarney detector): the ability to weed out facts from fantasy, to weigh up the merits of a story and determine how it might be proven/invalidated, and to know it needs to be. The ability and/or skill to weigh up data from different sources and determine their consistency and validity, and to know it needs to be.

What attributes starting with the letter D would you add?

Most achievers I know are people who have made a strong and deep dedication to pursuing a particular goal. That dedication took a tremendous amount of effort. Donald Johanson, an archaeologist.[i]

Family History Alphabet: C is for….

Alona Tester from Gould Genealogy has proposed a Family History through the Alphabet series over the coming 26 weeks. I decided that my theme would be the Attributes we need as family historians: the skills, experience and talents you bring to your research.  Let me suggest some Characteristics I think we need.

C is for COMMITMENT: think of this as a long voyage not a quick dash to the shop. We won’t finish our family history quickly and we need commitment every step along the way to explore options and learn new information and skills.

It’s a climb to work through our family history but we can learn from, and share with, others on our journey. Cartoon from Microsoft Office online.

C is for COURTESY: we’re all in the same boat trying to learn more about our families. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that not everyone is as obsessive dedicated as we are, and we need to recognise they may need more time to engage with us and our research wish list.

C is for CITE: another important way to show courtesy for fellow researchers is by always acknowledging their work when using their photos, writing or findings.

C is for CONTRIBUTE: we can help out our research mates by cheering them on, supporting their endeavours, helping them with tips and skills or brainstorming.

When a language creates as it does a community within the present, it does so only by courtesy of a community between the present and the past. Christopher Ricks[i]

Family History alphabet series: Attributes of family historians

When Alona Tester from Gould Genealogy first raised this Family History through the Alphabet series, I thought it was a great idea but had run out of puff a bit after the April daily A to Z challenge. Now that I’ve regrouped I thought I’d take up this weekly series. After some “R for reflection”, I decided that my theme would be the Attributes we need as family historians. So without further ado, here are my “A” entries.

A is for Application: family history is about 5% luck and 95% application. Or as a fellow researcher in Darwin says “the harder I work, the luckier I get”.

A is for Accuracy: our goal as researchers is to be accurate in documenting the information we find, and amend or add if new information comes to hand.

A is for Acknowledgements: we need to formally recognise the work of those who go before us, those random acts of genealogical kindness, or the assistance others give us along the way, with data, photographs, writing etc.

What “A” attributes do you think we need? 

Thanks to Alona and Gould Genealogy for the inspiration of this series.