Inclusive or Exclusive? How about just Accurate? — 11 Comments

  1. Good critique! You can do Genealogy as a hobby (try that with medicine!) and like any hobby there are varying levels of experience and professionalism.

    I have learned a LOT from those more professional’ than myself, but have not felt intimidated. I don’t feel pressured to get certified, but I like knowing it is out there – that there is a ‘discipline’ to genealogy.

    • Thanks for dropping by, James. I really think it will take all types of “elite” … people like you who are working at the grass-roots level, and those who are more visible online and at national conferences and institutes, etc. … to make sure the educational opportunities and varying venues for that education are there for those who WANT to take advantage of them.

  2. Thank you for this. I’d read the post you were responding to the other day, so your title caught my eye . I’m glad to have read it. I’m a very beginning hobbyist family historian who is starting to trace her family tree (and, due to the weekly questions as to who or what I’m up to now, have also very recently started a blog to keep my family & friends informed). It is good to know what constitutes quality standards in the field. I’ve no desire to be a professional genealogist (my day job in the law is sufficient, thanks) but I do want to do quality work on my new hobby, for my family and future generations who might use my work as a springboard for their own.

    • Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, Jo! All of us were beginners at some point, and I think it’s important to remember that we didn’t become “not beginners” in a vacuum. It benefits us all to pay it forward when it comes to providing opportunities for other researchers learn new skills and learn how to apply them properly. Good luck!

  3. Jenny, your well constructed post clarifies the definition of a responsible genealogist.

    Folks work together more effectively with a kind, positive approach.

    Thank you for calming the waters.

    • Thanks Myrt! You have always been one of the bright spots in my genealogy world. Your way of providing educational outlets for all skill levels was one of my main motivations in striving to be the best researcher I can be, and for that I thank you!

  4. Thank you for articulating this so well. There will always be genealogists who cobble together a tree from fog and fantasy, have fun doing it in bunny slippers and don’t want to be bothered with that pesky ‘quality’ word.

    And (thank goodness) there’ll always be those who want to do better, keep learning, and produce the best work we can.

    Most of us in the second group are more than willing to help others improve as far as they want to. Having a set of ‘best practice’ standards to aim for isn’t exclusionary (whether we call them professional standards or not — although I don’t like the ‘professional’ word because of the commercial/licencing baggage it brings with it in some quarters); some people will care about ‘best practice’ and some won’t and there’s room for everybody in this obsession of ours.

    • Well said! Unfortunately, there are those who don’t want to be bothered with quality in every profession/hobby/avocation. Having handled many malpractice and negligence cases in my real-life profession, I can attest that all the licensing/regulating in world doesn’t make you care.

  5. You have made some excellent points here. To my mind professionalism is as much about standards, accuracy and a learning attitude as letters after your name.

    I am more than happy to help others with their family history but give up when facts and history are ignored in favour of anecdotal “evidence” or just a more interesting yarn.

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