Thursday, November 17, 2011

4 Reasons to Convert Your Genealogy Research Into Writing

Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a daunting task for some people.  But taking the time to turn your genealogy research into something more than facts in a database can be very rewarding and beneficial to your research endeavor.

Here are four reasons you should convert your genealogy research into writing:

  1. Organize & Analyze – Writing out your genealogy research provides a means to organize your research in order to perform a thorough analysis.  In doing so, you are able to find gaps in your research (from missing records or events, to having used only secondary sources) and recognize when something doesn’t fit (a child born after a mother died, or a melding of two people into one, for example).
  2. Prove It – Once you’re satisfied with your analysis and conclusions, you can document them as proof arguments/summaries to defend your research.  Proof arguments also help you keep track of your conclusions and why you reached them in the first place.
  3. Solve Another Problem – Sometimes when you write about the research process or records you used for one person, you may realize the same strategies can be applied to solve other mysteries in your family tree.
  4. Tell a Story – Let’s face it, our non-genealogy family and friends won’t get much from a database file, family group sheet, or pedigree chart.  But putting your research in written form, with some narrative and social context…now that they can sink their teeth into.  Plus, it helps you as the researcher see your family as more than just names and dates.


Nigel Greaves said...

It may just be me but I find it also allows me to get past some brickwalls. A little bit like just writing/typing anything on a blank piece of paper or screen helps to clear writer's block.

Kathy Reed said...

I completely agree with the four points you made. I can't tell you how many times I started to write up a family member, only to discover that I had a missing piece. Besides, it's the stories that I and my family members care about.

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