Avoiding “Pinball Genealogy” | Bridging the Past

Haven’t we all been there?  Avoiding “Pinball Genealogy” | Bridging the Past & The Pinball Approach to Genealogical Reasearch| DearMYRTLE

Both DearMYRTLE and Bridging the Past both offer apt descriptions of that craziness we encounter when we become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of genealogical data available to us.  I’m there now with my family history – to the extent that I’ve taken a break from following the links to more information, and am just trying to settle in with the resources I already have available to me.

It’s that feeling of instant gratification of jumping from one resource to the next, without stopping to really live with each individual resource available to us.  For example, I’ve located a good portion of my father’s family in the different Federal Censuses.  But I haven’t really taken the time to properly transcribe and analyze each record.  I know that there is a wealth of information that is laying dormant, untouched, just waiting for me to look at it.  I’ve now got over 1000 people in my family history, but I couldn’t tell you hardly anything about any of them past about the 5th generation back, because I really haven’t taken the time to properly research each individual.

The volume of information became so overwhelming I felt fevered just sitting there attempting to work on my family history.  So I said “Enough!”  I’m taking a break from actual research.  Instead, I’m giving myself a refresher in best practices by revisiting some of the genealogy “how-to” books on my bookshelf.  By concentrating on the practice rather than the product of genealogical research for a little while, I’m hoping to go back to my own research refreshed and revitalized to properly tackle my family history one ancestor, one record at a time.

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