Genealogy has been an avocation for me most of my life. As I look toward retirement in the next ten years, I suspect I will segue into genealogy as a profession.
I was blessed with two grandmothers who loved genealogy. One of them copied family bible data belonging to a relative and kept that information in her own bible. I am still working to prove that line, which is an as yet unaccepted Mayflower line. Maybe this is the year, probably 80 or more years after my grandmother saved the data. (Update, 2019 was the year! My supplement to Richard Warren was accepted!)
One of my early memories is my parents writing to their mothers about family history. We had moved from Vermont, where the family had lived for many generations (like 9) to Pennsylvania, and living in a different culture (Pennsylvania Dutch) encouraged my parents to remember their own roots. Both of my grandmothers complied, and that became the beginning of what is now a fairly large database of about 12,000 ancestors.
Both my parents caught the bug, and I remember as a teenager driving long distances with them to repositories, to look at the census, and find original records. We'd go to the family history center too; this is before the internet, but LDS had the IGI. I learned the difference between primary sources and secondary sources, and why they are always preferred to compilations by amateurs like the IGI. Ancestry,com, with all its good points, is still fraught with error, and while I use it (at a local library as I won't pay for it), it is just a tool to find the real sources. Lookiing at other people's trees is a short cut to research; to get it right you have to do the research yourself.
Early in one's quest in family history, it is common just to try to flesh out that five generation chart. It is an important goal, but one learns after a few years (or decades) not to ignore the siblings and the uncles and aunts, the next door neighbors, and the community and times they lived in. Your family tree is a lot more than a bunch of names and dates. It is your own history.
Have moved back to Vermont, actually twice now, as it is such a part of who I am. i am active in a number of genealogical / heritage societies. Past Governor of the Vermont Society of Mayflower Descendants. Vice President, Genealogical Society of Vermont. More.
I am interested in Mayflower roots, Vermont and New England ancestry, Huguenot, Roger Williams & Rhode Island ancestry, Quaker, Plantagenet, Magna Charta barons and European nobility and royalty. Vermont may be my long suit.I strive to connect, source, and integrate. Always still learning.
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