Family History alphabet series: Attributes of family historians

When Alona Tester from Gould Genealogy first raised this Family History through the Alphabet series, I thought it was a great idea but had run out of puff a bit after the April daily A to Z challenge. Now that I’ve regrouped I thought I’d take up this weekly series. After some “R for reflection”, I decided that my theme would be the Attributes we need as family historians. So without further ado, here are my “A” entries.

A is for Application: family history is about 5% luck and 95% application. Or as a fellow researcher in Darwin says “the harder I work, the luckier I get”.

A is for Accuracy: our goal as researchers is to be accurate in documenting the information we find, and amend or add if new information comes to hand.

A is for Acknowledgements: we need to formally recognise the work of those who go before us, those random acts of genealogical kindness, or the assistance others give us along the way, with data, photographs, writing etc.

What “A” attributes do you think we need? 

Thanks to Alona and Gould Genealogy for the inspiration of this series.

12 thoughts on “Family History alphabet series: Attributes of family historians

  1. I wondered if you would be able to resist……

    Great set of attributes. Achievement. We need to learn from the achievements we accomplish. After all the hard work & hopefully eventual success we need to remember those steps & thought processes to help us along the way with the next genealogical mystery.

    A great theme Pauline, I have not decided on my specific theme yet, but perhaps I don’t need to? Maybe I should be genealogically random, decisions, decisions……


    1. you know me Julie -I’m a sucker. Achievement is a great addition -we’re always so busy chasing the next lead we don’t always bask in the glow of achievement. Hey hang loose, be free, jump from A to Zee. Aaagh…can’t believe I just said that! My grandson gazumped me yesterday when I said “in Australia we say Zed”…”well Miss X (his teacher) says zee”. I fear I’m fighting a losing battle.


  2. Great theme Pauline! … Agree wholeheartedly with the 3 A’s you’ve posted and also your “Achievement” attribute Julie… I believe that “Acceptance” is useful simply because I find that sometimes accepting that I can’t find the link/info right now helps me to relax, calm down and, in no time at all, can often see another way to approach the prob which sometimes leads to success 🙂 ~~~


    1. I agree Catherine. Sometimes, we must accept that questions we would like answers to will remain unanswered because data or human knowledge isn’t available.

      We must also be able to accept the good & bad information we discover & remain non judgemental to what we discover.


      1. Agreed Catherine and Julie…it’s the whole “do unto others” thing. Some day someone might put our lives under the microscope. Yikes! The historical and social context is so important…says she reflecting on a comment on my “about me” page this morning. Mind you there are some things I’d have trouble dealing with, if they came up in my family, but overall I have a very boring, law-abiding lot.


      1. Oh yes Julie! … accepting the good and the bad and being non-judgmental is crucial! … After all you and Julie put into the previous challenge Pauline, what a good idea to keep this one brief!!!


  3. You’ve come up with a wonderful collection of attributes for family historians. The only other A attribute that springs to mind is ASK. Ask for advice from your local genealogy groups, libraries, archives, or from the wonderful people online on mailing lists, forums, genealogy Facebook pages and the rest of the social media world. What a wonderful start to the Challenge, and I’m looking forward to see what B is for now :).


    1. Thanks Alona, Ask is a good addition, as are Achievement (from Julie) and Acceptance (Catherine). I can see we family historians are going to have to be wonder (wo)men by the time we’ve covered through to Z!


      1. Asking is something I’ve never been good at Alona… have a High School Report saying “Catherine must ask for help” ha ha ha… but a very good point indeed.


      2. As Alona said, asking for help is important but like you Catherine I’ve had to learn how to do it, and I’m still not good at it much of the time. Thanks Alona for reminding us of the attributes we “ignore” because we’re not comfortable with them.


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