Friday, July 26, 2013

Instead of Going to GRIP I....

I have to admit that during the week I became a little more than envious of the GRIP attendees. They seemed to be having a great time and of course learning a lot. Instead I spent my week chauffeuring my kids around and holding down the fort with my husband out of town. I also crafted my own educational experience.

This past spring Tom Jones released Mastering Genealogical Proof. Currently I'm participating in a study group for this book, and we are on chapter 4. This week I read ahead through chapter 7 and did the exercises for each chapter. I've attended enough of Tom Jones' lectures, classes, etc. that I always hear his voice when I read the book. So in a small way I felt like I was in his class. I also read Genealogical Proof Standard by Christine Rose. It is a short book, and can be read in about an hour. It seemed like a good time to finally read it and that it would be a good compliment to Tom's book. Like Tom's book it discusses the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and how to apply it to your research. I was pleased to realize that while reading Christine's book the concepts seemed elementary to me, and that I fully understood them. This was a relief. It is these types of realizations that clue me in to where I am at in my level understanding, education, and learning.

I also completed an application for recognition of one of my Civil War Missouri ancestors. An element of the application is to include a brief biography of the ancestor. Of course I included citations. The great thing about applying for lineage groups is that you really need to pay attention to how each generation links to the next, and the connection of the relationships in between. This is good practice for a kinship determination project.

Some other activities this week included working on an indexing project for the DAR, clearing my desk in the office (amazing!), working on some items for my business, reading up a little on DNA since I got some results back, and making some great discoveries in my own family research. The last two are independent of each other and will have their own blog posts.

Overall, a busy week. I do miss the camaraderie of being with like minded folks, i.e. other genealogists. However, I suppose that is what Facebook is for, and it makes me really appreciate those times I get to spend with my genea-friends.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Pressure of Finding a Specialty

For the past month I've either been asked what my genealogy specialty is, or had conversations with people about trying to find a specialty. At this time I call myself a generalist. Not a very exciting title is it? It just doesn't have that punch that giving a specialty does. I feel slightly panicked and pressured about this.

How does one figure out their specialty or niche? Part of the problem is that I find everything interesting. There are a few topics that I seem drawn to, but I can name a specialist or two immediately off the top of my head for those topics. Shouldn't I find something more unique and not so already done? As you can imagine becoming a specialist in any area takes time and a lot of study. I feel the clock ticking.

So I'm curious... for those reading, do you have a specialty/niche? How did you figure it out? What advice do you have? I would love to hear your thoughts.