Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

An earlier tip was about determining how your relative fit into a larger path of migration and how the group they were a part of could have moved repeatedly over time. It’s important to determine that group as there may be other clues discovered during that process.

James Beidler, author of Family Tree Historical Atlas of Germany,made a light-hearted comment that his family all migrated from Germany in the 1700s and stayed put in one Pennsylvania County–so he didn’t need to worry about such things. He was kidding, but his comment reminded me that we often need to get outside our research comfort zone and learn skills and become aware of behaviors that we think might not help our research.

Working on a totally different family or helping someone else with their research are good ways to do that. Ideally you pick up a new skill, approach, or knowledge about a new source. Worse case scenario is that you’ve spent some time away from your search and come back with a new perspective.

When was the last time you got outside your research comfort zone?