Monday, February 28, 2011

If You Have to Do it Yourself...

Let's face it--most genealogists have to do the bulk of their genealogical research themselves. They may occasionally pay someone to look up a record or make a copy of a document, but they simply cannot afford to hand someone the papers they have, and say "send me bills as you go" and tell me what you find out.

That's where Casefile Clues comes in. We try and give researchers the tools to find the answers to their own problems by showing problem-solving approaches and discussing records. Casefile Clues usually focuses on ancestors that have given us problems as well..

You won't be researching the same ancestors as we are here at Casefile Clues and your people probably didn't live in the same areas either. That's not the point. We try and discuss the process and the analysis that lead us to do what we did. We don't skirt over the details of how the research was done and hope that by clearly explaining our process you will see ways you can continue work on your own research as well. We are not an academic journal and we don't write in fancy schmancy prose, but we do try to explain the process clearly and adequately.

I've long believed that some of the genealogical journals do not explain the process as well as they could. Focus is on the finished product, and while that's fine, genealogy research is like the study of math--in my opinion. Students learn best not by only seeing the problem worked out the "right way," but by seeing how that "right way" was arrived at and what the process was. So in Casefile Clues we show you that "struggle" and process as well. Some writers and genealogists believe that it's not needed, but most conversations I have with genealogists indicate that it is.

I'm also working on a genealogical research "model" for an upcoming issue of the newsletter as well. We don't like to be overly theoretical at Casefile Clues, but sometimes just thinking about "how" we research helps us to see where to go when we really are stuck.

Genealogists without  unlimited professional advice have ancestors who "disappear out of nowhere," "appear to have been dropped by UFOs," and fail to be in census records. We have them here at Casefile Clues, too. And we'll continue to write about our attempts to find them--even when those attempts are not successful.

We're not looking for famous ancestors or relatives--the ones we have are a challenge enough!

Subscribe now and get in on the discovery

No comments:

Post a Comment