26 April 2012

Waiting for Genealogy

We live in a world where we get impatient when we have to wait.   We don’t want to wait in line at the store, the drive-through or in traffic.  The same can be said for genealogy.  We want it now!  A popular genealogy business perpetuates this with its’ latest commercial and its’ shaking leaves.

In order to grow as a genealogist you, and I, must learn to wait.  Waiting for genealogy will give us our best research.   It will give us an accurate direction to go in.  If we rush ahead without using solid research principles we will make mistakes, some of which we may regret.
Don’t be impatient to gather names, facts or sources.  Take your time, be patient, and keep researching.  You will be thankful you did.  When I first started my research, I made a few mistakes.  If I had waited and taken the time to thoroughly evaluate the information, I wouldn’t have had to re-do some of my research, or go back to find what source I used.   
There are consequences for not waiting: 
·    You will be disappointed.   No matter how great you think the information is-if you don’t thoroughly evaluate it, later on it will lead to disappointment.
·    You will have lost the best information.  It’s like settling for second best, and I use that term 'best' loosely.
·    You will bring upon yourself extra work.  You will have to go back over your research, correct mistakes and source it.  This takes away from time that could be used for new discoveries.
·    Other people get hurt.  They will use your information, put it on an online tree for all to see, forever!, and that affects all genealogists.
A minister once said, “Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we are waiting for.”   Do you value your family history enough to wait?  Waiting will give you what you really want, not what you think you want. Waiting will give you the best and that is what you are waiting for.   You and other genealogists will benefit from waiting.


  1. Your post reminds me of genealogy in the "old days" before the internet. Everything was done by snail mail, or telephone, or by making lists and saving gas money to drive several hours to an archive or repository. Of course, once home and going through the notes you'd immediately start another list for all the additional information needed from the first visit. The second visit might not happen for another several months... I don't know how I did it back then, but I survived!

  2. Heather, I haven't been researching long enough to have had to do it all offline. I imagine starting in those days teaches one patience. I do enjoy the times I get to go somewhere to do research. It is so much more fun than sitting at home and researching online.