For the most part genealogy research is not a race and rushing around to research as fast as possible increases the chance that mistakes are made. Often those mistakes end up wasting time and money, but more importantly they increase the chance that incorrect conclusions are made and shared. Sometimes it can be difficult to “undo” those incorrect conclusions as once something is shared, it tends to be repeated by others over and over.

There are times in research when time is crucial:

  • interviewing relatives whose memories may be fading and who may be nearing the end of their life;
  • preserving records that are already deteriorating;
  • preserving records that are in danger of being destroyed.

Even if you “want to get it done before you pass on,” it’s still important to prioritize and it may be better to leave something that’s incomplete but accurate in what has been done. That will give others after you something solid to work from instead of having to redo what was done hastily.





4 Responses

  1. This is a bit off subject, but knowing what questions to ask is so helpful when seeking information. When I asked elderly relatives about their family memories, I also asked if they had any unanswered questions. Those questions steered me to information I’d not have known to look for and the answers occasionally triggered more useful memories.

  2. Genealogy is more like digging a hole. How deep you get depends on how much time you spend and the quality of your shovel (.

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