Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
Barbara over at Life From the Roots, has done several posts about her Top Ten - Top Ten Sayings, Top Ten Hints, Top Ten - Brick Walls, etc. I have enjoyed her "series" a lot and told her so, and she immediately issued the challenge, "Do one of your own." I giggled and said, if I had ten tops, I would.
1.) Spelling don't count.
2.) Source, source, source. State your sources, in your notes, in your footnotes, source it baby!
3.) Do your census work.
4.) Don't skip generations. Work generation by generation. Ya, tedious sometimes, but skipping creates major trouble for most of us sometime down the line.
5.) Give credit where credit is due. Cousin Joe shares a photo with you, mention him, thank him somewhere, in your data base, in the caption of the photo in your printed work, on your web site. You owe him, give him credit. You would not have that photo without his generosity. It does not hurt to give credit to others. It does not diminish your volume of work, it only enhances it, shows community.
6.) Thank your volunteers. Did you get all this fabulous family stuff without the help of volunteers?? If you did, may I say, WOW. If you had help, thank them in email, or even better, send them a small donation, tell them to go have lunch on you. Oh, and if they had expenses on your account, pay them, and then add that lunch $$.
7.) Give back. Volunteer to help someone else. Feels great, pay it forward.
8.) Share your research. Keeping it to yourself?? May I ask, why?? Not saying you have to share everything about the 25,677 people in your data base with every 10th cousin 3 times removed you meet up with, but, sharing some about your connection, that far flung ggg, something or other, is the right thing to do.
9.) Have fun, laugh. OK, this is serious to you, you want exact dates, places, you do sourcing that would make Elizabeth (Shown Mills) proud. But, remember, all work and no play makes the family researcher a grouch. (Or something like that! LOL) Really, look for the silly, the ridiculous, the absurd. Smile!
10.) Start with yourself, be very sure you know WHO you are. Many many years ago an article was written about an English gentleman, we shall call George. George researched for something like 20 years, personally interviewed over 2000 of his closest kin. Finally got around to interviewing his aunt (no times removed, just his aunt) and, the very first thing out of her mouth was,
"But George, you were adopted!"
As far as I know this is a true story, but, even if it is not, I think you get the lesson.
Go forth and research, I'll get off my soap box for now.
*Graphic courtesy of freeclipartnow.com noting I stitched the numbers together to make one graphic to get the number 10!