Monday, April 28, 2008

Blog post of the week

Either Randy and I think alot alike, or something. He mentioned my blog posts the last two weeks too. Thanks Randy.

I appreciate his timeline of genealogical research here and have two comments. My Great-grandfather sat in a rural town at the turn of the century and collected--according to his meticulous records--40,177 relatives by writing back and forth to the parishes in England. He certainly accomplished more than I ever hope to. I'm now working with the family to try to extract and digitize his work. We'll be lucky to get that done. I think the speed of Genealogy research has increased, but so has the pace of our lives in general, and thus we don't have as much time as we would like for personal interests and hobbies. At least my life seems to be flying by at this point.

Randy also sparked some ideas about online versus offline research. Being a librarian, who taught internet classes in the 90s, it has always concerned me that we go for the quick fix on the internet, instead of evaluating the information we find there--primary vs. secondary, timely, authority of the author, etc. I still find much more authoritative sources in a library or courthouse, and yet the pace of life has quickened so that I think many people don't bother if it isn't instantaneous on the net. As long as we evaluate our sources well, the internet can be a real boon, but sometimes speed makes for more sloppiness. Why don't we hold internet sources to a high enough scrutiny? Hmmm.

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