I am the new kid on the block when it comes to the blogging world and I am trying to figure out this new tool. Having said that I am not new to the genealogy world, which doesn’t mean I know everything and I don’t expect to every know everything!
I spent 10 yrs hosting and chatting with other genealogists in the Golden Gates Genealogy Forum on AOL. I hosted in General Chat and in the Beginners Chat. When Ancestry first hit the bandwidths there was so much excitement! Prior to that time there was a lot of information found in such places as Rootsweb, USGenweb and personal home pages of folks doing and posting their genealogy work. Yet one still had to work hard at even researching on the internet to find much of anything. It’s amazing how much there is now compared to then, but I digress. When Ancestry opened its doors, we had to battle with those who would send beginners to Ancestry and tell them that they would find their whole tree there! YIKES! I was even told before getting my computer and internet … the Internet had all of my family! NOT!
A colleague of mine that hosted with me, came across this yet again just the other day while she was hosting another chat, a new person came in asking how to start their genealogy and another person piped in, get an account with Ancestry and you will find your whole family! Now granted Ancestry has a prolific amount of information, it still does not have all of your family and to tell you the truth neither does the internet.
There will still be ancestors the either refuse being found or that you will have to do your work the old-fashioned way and visit cemeteries, libraries, court houses etc.
I suspect I may never prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that John McCartney was the father of Isaiah (Isaih) McCartney, I do know that I am most likely going to have to take a trip to Columbia Co. PA and area to get them attached or dispatched
The folks that are collaborating to find out who Robert Jackson’s ancestors where may never find that out either. There are just somethings that have not passed the test of time and are lost and will not be found, no matter how abundant the information is on the internet.
So to the beginners out there, Ancestry and all the other resources out there are wonderful and have tons of information, your family will not all be found by following the little green leaves and it will all not be found on the internet. One more bit of information, if you find your family online especially in sites that host sharing trees, or on personal websites make sure you document and research for yourself. There is still a lot of miss information out there and wrong connections. One still needs to do their home work.
For those of you seasoned genealogist, don’t just send the newbies packing for Ancesty please honestly answer their question and find out what they mean by how do I begin? Show them the ropes befriend them and guide them along. I believe doing this will set the beginner in right stead to understand what they are really facing.
My hats off to all those out there that do strive to make a difference in the world of genealogy.