Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow Friday - 27 May 2011

Follow Friday
27 May 2011

I always appreciate (and learn from, and enjoy) writings by Michael Hait, where ever they appear. This week, writing a post at  his "Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession" he asks: "Shouldn't we all be 'Primary Care Genealogist?' Be sure to read the comments and replies, as well, of course.

This discussion, of course, related to the issue of 'what is a professional?' - that has been cussed and discussed at length in the Geneablogs, lately. But, it is a little more pointed, at least the way I read it. I spent 15-20 years in 'academe' - coming in late, and exiting after a perhaps 'fairly short' exposure; though I did achieve a reasonable degree of success while I was there.

I am fascinated to see the same type of 'inside' cussing and discussing about what a 'professional' genealogist should be as I did regarding being a 'professional' academic. There, the big issue was, to oversimplify a bit, whether 'a teacher' or 'a researcher' was the true 'professional.' Michael here speaks about the 'generalist' versus the 'specialist' - and the first comment really takes off on it.

I believe I prefer what I believe Michael is saying: If you have good (genealogical) research skills, it really doesn't matter. The research methods are at the heart of any good genealogy work. Good research skills are at the heart of any academic work, as well. Whether you become a specialist is a separate issue. But, you still need good research skills, first, to be a competent genealogist. I also believe this is the basis for valid certifications, general or specific.

What do you think? If you care to comment, I invite you to do so.  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. Dr. Bill thanks so much for stopping by my site last weekend; I truly appreciate this online connection with you!

    I have not been involved with genealogy blogging very long, but as a former classroom teacher, adjunct instructor, and school librarian, I find the debates about what is a 'professional genealogist' online very interesting indeed. I do believe whether you're a generalist or a specialist in the field of genealogy -- good research skills are a necessity for success at any of those levels. Yet, finding facts and information is just one aspect of the process. Being able to synthesize, evaluate, and organize all the information found requires a set of skills that goes beyond having good research skills a lot of the time.

    So as the debate continues . . . I will remain the "genealogy enthusiast" that I am through it all - LOL!

    Great post!

  2. Liv,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment, and add to the discussion! That is what makes blogging worthwhile! Best wishes! ;-)

  3. Dr. Bill,
    Thanks for bringing Michael's discussion to our attention. I chose not to add a comment there, but I too agree that research methodologies and analysis is essential. I have found in the last year, I have been called upon mostly to do Brick Wall Consultant work with my larger clients. I then give Next Steps directions to the genealogists in the field. Many of these genealogists are certified or accredited genealogists who have dedicated their efforts to a specialty, but not to research methodologies.
    Of course specializing in a field of research is of great value also.

  4. I always appreciate your comments, Kathleen. Thank you for stopping by! ;-)