Thought For The Day: 21st Century Record Searching

Thanks again to James Tanner of Genealogy’s Star blog. He’s a deep thinker who can get me (Deason Hunt, your editor ) thinking.

In his latest post on Genealogy’s Star

( titled Primary and Secondary Sources — Looking beyond the Census, he makes the following comment about finding records.

“What, you say, actually go somewhere to search for records? How Twentieth Century! Yes, I suppose, since genealogist(s) dwell in the past that we are still retro and searching paper records. But until I find local records being digitized wholesale online, I will still get in my car and drive to the libraries and other repositories.”

The thought I had was this: If we are truly non-profit or non-profit-spirited service organizations, shouldn’t we be working diligently to get as many of our local records available and online for free searching for those who can’t come to our physical collections because of distance, cost, or other inability to travel?

If such a spirit were to become common among local societies, then we would all be busy serving each other. Except for those genealogy businesses who have to turn a profit to stay in business, this is not out of reach. Charging for information and thus keeping it harder to come by is also so Twentieth Century.

Note: The above is a personal opinion of the editor of the Wood County Genealogical Society Bulletin.


Keeping Up-to-date Keeps Us From Falling Behind

Keeping up with the world of online genealogy sometimes pays off with gems of common sense such as this by Genealogy and technology blogger James Tanner:

What I am saying is that genealogy, as it is today, is a technologically sophisticated pursuit that requires some pretty technological tools. If you are going to survive in the genealogy world today, you need a set of computer skills and part of that set of skills is the ability to keep your tools (computers and software) up-to-date.

Writing on his blog, Genealogy’s Star, Tanner was talking in general about when to upgrade and buy new computer hardware, but his observation on the skills and tools has certainly become more and more true. You can read his entire blog article at this link:

Indeed, as he suggests, we have to be prudent in spending on this hobby (avocation, addiction?), but it costs little or nothing to bring our computer skills up to date.

What is a Genealogical Community?

James Tanner of Genealogy’s Star blog makes me think. A recent blog entry asks what makes a genealogical community. One of the criteria he suggests is “shared values and interest.”

That leads to this question: what are the shared values and interest of the Wood County Genealogical Society both from local members and those who live a distance away in Texas or in other states?

Please share your ideas in the comments below (and be sure to sign up for emails when new comments are posted or comeback here often to see and respond to comments).

Research Rule #2

James Tanner‘s Rule No. 2 (Focus on more recent sources and documents before you try to jump back in time) for genealogical research is pretty powerful but his rules one and three are absolutely key to getting started (or restarted) on your family research.

You can take all three in (and perhaps put them on the wall to look at over and over again) at his blog Genealogy’s Star at this link: