11 February 2011

Where's Your Passion?

You can forget the genealogy of yesteryear! What?  Yes!  Dig down deep and find a passion and enthusiasm for your family and learn to tell THEIR story and share it with the world!


Curt Witcher, the Historical Genealogy Department Manager from the Allen County Library was the keynote speaker at this mornings opening session of RootsTech. He knows that we are living in the absolute best of times for genealogists! We have advanced from the "old days" of spending days to find one document to enter one date into a family pedigree. Now we have the technology to gather hundreds of records in a few minutes so we can spend the time to preserve and share our ancestor's story. Tell that story better and more often by sharing it with the world!


Technology has transformed our "hobby" into a PASSION! The genealogist of today is no longer focused on crossing the "t" or dotting the "i" ... let the technology take care of that. Rather, make genealogy fun and exciting


Truly, wouldn't you rather be playing a genealogy game (more on that later) or visualizing the life of your ancestors in some more fun and exciting way than filling out a pedigree chart, or just toiling over the abc's of bmds? 


According to Curt Whitcher that's the reason for the great synergy at the RootsTech conference! We mesh the tech with the action! The tech community has developed thousands of ways for us to speed up the process and allow the genealogists to focus on the fun.


Evaluation is key! Let's gather the data quickly and learn to evaluate what we find. We will likely find a story, a fascinating story of worth or excitement!  


I found one of those and I'm challenging myself to find the rest of the story. I had a great grand-uncle that died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound over 100 years ago. There were a lot of suicides in the family -- so why another one? I found a little of the story in the newspaper article about his death which related that his "intended bride-to-be, Lena" had died several months earlier of a very sudden "illness". He could not tolerate or live without her and found no reason to continue with life. No further explanation about Lena's death. 


I have so far found little to explain his sweetheart's life or any indication of what the illness may have been. However, I ran across several newspaper articles during those same weeks about a "gentleman" in the town who was being charged with murder in the poisoning deaths of a number of young ladies who had previously worked for him. Very suddenly these young ladies disappeared or became deathly ill and died.  Now I can't wait to see if Lena may have been one of those poison victims! So the fun begins in my quest to find more about Lena!


Don't be afraid to move to the next step of genealogy. So many of us came from the old school of genealogy. We now have the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and join the genealogists of today! Beyond the Boomers are the Gen-Xers, the Millenials, and the 21st-ers ready and willing to pull genealogy into the next century. 


Change can be painful, so let's change the focus to OPPORTUNITY! Engage yourself in the fun and excitement of the genealogy of today!