Every Saturday night, Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings sets out a fun task to get us thinking. This week, the question is "What kind of genealogist are you?" First, a little history:
I have always been interested in family history, even as a child. I remembered things both of my grandmothers told me, and it's a good thing, too, because nothing was written down. But even those little clues (remembering that my great-grandmother's name was Matilda Hug) have been very helpful to me as I've gotten into genealogy much later in life.
I remember sitting with a pile of old photographs, my Uncle Eric telling me who the people were and me writing that on the back. Again, those little clues have been so helpful. And then my Uncle Eric dictated family history to his wife, Hilda, who wrote it down, and gave everyone concerned a copy. I'm very grateful for that history now.
I kept the stories in my head for many, many years -- my father's father disowned, my great-grandfather's career as a chimney sweep -- until about five years ago, when I started thinking about family history in earnest. At that point, all I knew were my parents, grandparents, and the names of two great-grandparents. Small pickings. Now I have so much more -- several lines going back to the 1600's, and one all the way back to 1470!
I've also traveled to Burbank for Jamboree twice, to Salt Lake, and will be on the FGS cruise to Alaska at the end of August.
Genealogy has enriched my life in so many ways -- bringing me closer to my family, including some members that I haven't been in communication with for many years. I get a great deal of personal satisfaction when I solve a puzzle or put together a story; I love the stories best, being able to tell them and to honor those ancestors.
So on to the fun part:
Which of Thomas MacEntee's "genealogy career" categories do I fit into?
1) Researcher. I am a researcher, definitely. I was trained as a social scientist, I know my way around a library, and I know how to evaluate the information I dig up. I am dogged -- I'll sit and look at every entry on one of those darned microfilms for hours, until my neck is killing me! I greatly enjoy this part of being a genealogist.
2) Author. Having taught writing at the university level for most of my adult life, I have no trouble identifying myself as an author. I write this blog (though not as regularly as I would like!), and I'm currently writing an e-book on doing research in Germany, for beginners.
3) Educator. Once an educator, always an educator, I guess. I consider the book I'm writing to be teaching, and I'm thinking of proposing a genealogy class to the local Park & Rec center.
4) Curator. Not really -- or not yet.
5) Librarian. No, though I'm very good in libraries!
6) Analyst. I haven't gotten into analysis of software and so on.
7) Marketer. Well, I've studied it a bit, but I find self-promotion to be difficult, and it also takes a great deal of time. I will, though, be putting effort into marketing my book.
8) Retailer. No, though I guess I'll be doing a bit of retailing when my book comes out.
So there you have it. I definitely fit into the first three categories. Where do you fit in? What's your history as a genealogist?