Friday, 8 July 2016

The genealogist's information world, where do you fit?

Crystal Fulton from University College, Dublin, has published an article The Genealogist's Information World: Creating Information in Pursuit of a Hobby in an issue of the Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (pdf) dedicated to genealogy and family history. One of the surveys that informed this study involves 29 amateur Ontario genealogists with an Irish interest.

This article won't tell you how to be a better genealogist, or lead you to new resources. However, if you're interested in stepping back from your pursuit of your own family history to look at where you and your genealogist colleagues fit, the article will put that activity in a broader context.

Fulton's article refers to a categorisation of genealogical activity mentioned in a short article Genealogy and family history (pdf) by Banville on behalf of the Fédération québécoise des sociétés de généalogie. That article adopts a categorisation: filiation genealogist, the genealogist researcher and the master genealogist. The categories imply a gradation of skills, needs and objectives.

Quoting the definitions from Banville:

The base level filiation genealogist is one who "operate(s) various search tools to find the information allowing them to establish a pedigree chart. They must be able to support this research with authentic documents, such as parish registers, civil status and wedding contracts, when available. In
the absence of primary sources, they may complete the research with secondary sources such as directories and dictionaries or genealogical research done by other genealogists." That would exclude those who rely solely on oral history and information derived from social networks.

"Genealogist researchers, in addition to working on pedigree charts, are dedicated to the settlement of cases or complex research problems. Their research often results in the writing of a family’s history. To this end, they will use various archival fonds including censuses, military records, immigration, judicial and notarial fonds, maps, photographs, directories, electoral rolls.. "

"Master genealogists have the ability to perform complex searches requiring extensive knowledge of available resources, archival or otherwise, the ability to read them (paleography) and analyze them. Their work results in publications, conferences, training sessions and major research projects (universities, private companies, government, media)."

In which categoty do you fit?

1 comment:

Teresa Eckford said...

Currently I'm a Genealogist Researcher...hope, eventually, to get to Master Genealogist...but currently don't have the budget to do the travelling I need for delving deep into sources etc.