Saturday, October 23, 2010

Genealogy Lesson 12 - Get a Genealogy Friend

I am in a rut at the moment but that happens from time to time.  I get lazy and genealogy becomes the last thing on my mind.  Real life takes priority and I have to walk away from the dead people.  It is hard for me to take a long break, knowing that I have a lot of people "following" my lessons.
 
Lately I have been on a mental vacation and it has given me time to think.  You see, I do not write blog posts or these lessons for the money or the fame...good luck with those!  I do these things because I like them and I tend to step back when they become too much like a job.  Once the fun is gone, I quit for awhile.
 
One of my biggest, general problems is that I do not have a real genealogy "buddy" - someone who keeps me motivated.  My wife has little interest in family history and my kids are too young.  It is just me and I only answer to myself in a lot of ways.  I have lots of genealogy "friends" but no one to do genealogy with. 
 
If I go to the archives, I go alone and no one gets excited when I make a big find.  It is somewhat of a lonely existence but that is reality for me.  Maybe that is why I do these lessons...to communicate with others of a like mindset.  I have lots of knowledge, especially about Virginia genealogy, and it would be a shame to keep it all inside.
 
You might be wondering, "where is the lesson here?" so here you go...get out there and mingle with others who are interested in genealogy.  Join a local historical society or start a blog.  Share what you know and take in what others are offering.  Genealogy is not the study of your family but the study of all families.  Treat it like a hobby to be shared and not something you do behind closed doors.
 
You do not have to spend a lot of time or invest a lot of money.  The point is to get involved with someone or something that will bring you back to genealogy when you get pulled away.  If it were not for my blogs and lessons, I might put genealogy down for months or even years at a time.  Instead, I feel some responsibility to my readers so they bring me back.
 
Humans are social creatures and need the encouragement of others to survive.  That is an extreme statement...but you get the idea.  For the health of your research, you need to be social about it.  Join the DAR or SCV...anything!  Find yourself some genealogy motivation, someone or something to depend on you.  You will quickly find that it is good to feel wanted, needed and relevant!
 
There are literally hundreds of groups that you can join.  Go to Google and search "genealogy society" or "genealogy group."  You should have no problem finding people who are interested in the same families and geographic areas that you are.  We all win when information is shared, as long as it is well-documented information!  The point is to just get out there, meet some new people and share your hard work with others.

1 comment:

D. Kay Strickland said...

Amen! I opted to "join" an blogging community, geneabloggers.com, and have attracted more readers and encouragement from these strangers than I ever expected!! I also feel strongly that I want to give back to the strangers who posted before me; their sharing gave me so many leads and keystone details. I would like to think that at least some of my blog posts offer the same support and encouragement to others. Keeps me coming--and going!