If it's Saturday Night here in the West it must be time for Randy Seaver's Saturday night fun.
I don't always participate, but this questionnaire looked interesting as lately I've been thinking quite a bit about why people do genealogy and what they might be looking for, so why not 'begin with myself'. Tonight it's True Confessions, Genealogy Style.
1. When did you start genealogy research? -actively - 1988 - same as Randy apparently.
2. Why did you start doing research? I had already been doing Canadian historical research. Researching my own family seemed a natural progression for me (and beginning about that time, I had a more settled job situation. Could be I thought to do something useful with my free time?)
3. What was your first big success in research? Convincing my mum she didn't know all about her family! She didn't take it too hard - even the part that upset her. And she did tell me pretty quick about the d-i-v-o-r-c-e, saying "you're going to find out about that anyway".
4. What is your biggest genealogy regret? Mmm... I suppose it's not asking my mum more specific questions about her childhood and the town she grew up in. How did they celebrate Christmas, for goodness sake? And why didn't I ask her to draw me a map showing 'who lived where' (and where each room was in the first house we lived in)?
5. What are you best known for in the genealogy world? Locally probably a. talking about researching women and also family photographs b. wanting to buy/read/borrow ALL the genealogy books possible and check out ALL the websites possible c. stressing Canadian (and international) genealogical research and d. to some - for asking when, oh when, can we see those agreements.
6. What is your professional status in genealogy? I want my work to be to professional standards. (*I know, I know - let's have coffee & discuss this all night.) I do take a few paying clients, but mostly I do local talks/workshops. I'm not certified; I am a member of several professional/researcher groups.
7. What is your biggest genealogy achievement? Personal? I think 'finding' Diana Gilchrist, my gg aunt.
8. What is the most FUN you've had doing genealogy? I have a lot of fun giving talks, I must say, and volunteering with other genealogists at genealogical/heritage events. If I had to say one activity that's been consistently fun, I'd have to say 'genea-blogging'. I've been blogging quite a while, but have met a lot of great people since genea-bloggers started. Between the posts, the comments and the facebook (and now the twitter) updates, there's a smile every morning!
9. What is your favorite genealogy how-to book? The book I recommend (and give away) the most is - Ask Lots of Questions, Get Lots of Answers... by Louise St. Denis (Toronto: Heritage Productions, 2002) For people who are just starting out, and have the opportunity to collect information by interviewing relatives but aren't sure what kinds of questions to begin with, this is a good source book. Good also if someone wants to start writing their own life story. Clear format/portable.
10. What notable genealogist would you like to meet someday? Well, I just met Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak...so that's one, but I'd say next...Elizabeth Shown Mills. (And I'd like to meet her at Samford!)