Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Genealogical Maturity

I came across a post yesterday at The Ancestry Insider, entitled, Rate Your Genealogical Maturity.  Since I’ve only been doing this for a few years, I thought I’d take the “test” and see how I rate.  Here are my results:

Sources – Right now I’d rate myself as Practicing: “ Uses a limited number of record types and repositories. Mostly relies on online and microfilmed sources.”  Although I am starting to branch out in to more record types and repositories.  Score = 3

Citations – For this, I’m Proficient:  “Gives complete and accurate source citations including provenance and quality assessment.”  Score = 4

Information – I’m between Practicing and Proficient.  Practicing:  “Judges information by source type, informant knowledge, and record timing. Applies "primary/secondary" to information instead of sources.”  Proficient:  “Additionally, learns history necessary to recognize and evaluate all explicit information in a source.”  Score =3.5

Evidence – For this I’d have to say Stellar, which is capturing both direct and indirect evidence whether in support or conflict.  Score = 5

Conclusions – Right now, I’d have to say Practicing (although I aspire to Stellar), which is:  “Learning to evaluate the quality of sources, information, and evidence. Emerging ability to resolve minor discrepancies.  Additionally, resolves conflicting evidence or uses it to disprove prevalent opinion. Usually applies correct identity to persons mentioned in sources.”  Score = 3

Conclusion Trees – This would be Practicing:  “Never merges entire compiled genealogies into own tree. Contributes or changes community trees only with evidence.”  Score = 3

Overall score = 21.5, placing my overall genealogical maturity at Practicing.  I think this is absolutely accurate. 

It’s also refreshing to know that even though I haven’t been doing genealogy all that long, I have moved beyond the “beginner” title.  I aspire to higher standards in my research, and am taking steps to make that happen.  I belong to NGS and NEHGS and learn so much from reading their publications.  I have purchased several reference books published by well-respected genealogists so I can learn more about research methodology and record types.  I also started taking courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.  I try to take all that I learn and implement it into my own research.



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