Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sharing Information Is The Most Basic of Research Tools

Just the other night I had the opportunity to speak to a group of historians, genealogists, and family historians in a meeting of a local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. It was a fine meeting. We had the opportunity to talk about different resources for research in North Georgia and share “war stories” about our research time.

After the meeting, as I driving home, it occurred to me that I had participated in one of the most essential of all aspects of family history research. Sharing our information and trading details and research techniques provides an opportunity for camaraderie. In addition it provides specifics about our own research challenges and that way enhance our skills and capabilities. Exchanging ideas makes us all better researchers.

Talking about my own research is one of the most difficult challenges I personally face. I was raised in a family that emphasized modesty, “you never blow your own horn.” People who know me may doubt this, but because of my upbringing, talking about myself and my work is something I have had to consciously struggle to become comfortable with. But, this is something we all need to do to become better researchers and genealogists. We need to share our information and become willing to talk about our research, our achievements, and our failures. Striving for this will make us all better family historians.

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