It’s Wild Card Weekend

The back of this library patron's shirt says it all!

The back of this library patron’s shirt says it all!

Warning: Participating in genealogy and family history football while watching an NFL game with your significant other may cause side effects including distraction, interference with relational bonding, and failure to fully enjoy chips, salsa, and guacamole. Research responsibly.

It’s the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend! Now that the playing field has been narrowed to twelve, the winner of the Lombardi trophy will soon be determined on the field. Although some teams are required to play more on their way to the Super Bowl, it’s anyone’s game. Since there is no NFL team in the land of genealogy and family history, the following of the locals here can change as fast as the wind. It’s a house divided. But in football, there is no place like home!

So, are you up for your game this Wild Card weekend? Do you have your goal defined for each of the games you will play? Have you narrowed the field so that you are prepared to finish the season on February 2, 2014? Each play moves you closer to a genealogical touchdown, to winning the game, and ultimately achieving the Lombardi trophy of your Family History Bowl.

Have you looked for information on your pivotal person and it’s just not where you hoped it would be? Is the record set impossible to access in the time frame of this season? Does the most obvious record set not exist? Check out this page on the FamilySearch wiki. Go to the bottom of the page to “Selecting Record Types.” There you will find a listing of objectives and a priority list of records to search. If you cannot find that record set online, check the FamilySearch catalog for available microfilm, then visit the Family History Library or order microfilm to view at your local Family History Center. If you need assistance contact me. I would be happy to provide coaching advice or execute a play or more on your behalf.

To the NFL players and coaches this season, the genealogist who struggles to find time to play the game, to our ancestors whose lives were rarely blessed more than ours, I close with a quote known as The Man in the Arena[1]:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Cheering you on in your game to win your Family History Bowl!

1.Roosevelt, Theodore. “Citizenship In A Republic.” Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. Accessed January 4, 2014. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html. [For a copy of the complete speech in PDF format click here.]

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

How Much Is It Going To Cost To Get Into the Game?

Referencing my last post, a few questions have come to my attention as we begin this season, one being the title of this post. In light of public exposure to genealogy, through shows like Who Do You Think You Are?, many have been discussing the realistic amount of time it takes to produce the outcomes illustrated on a network show.

Coins WPMost recently a blog post on Ancestry.com revealed the 1000 hours of research behind the pursuit of Cindy Crawford’s roots. In addition, much of the highlighted research was research completed long before the inception of the show. One point that I did not see mentioned was the financial cost of those 1000 hours. In the real world hiring a genealogist to complete 1000 hours of research may cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 and that is not including travel expenses associated with on-site research. For most of us, this is unrealistic. Besides, if you are going to send someone to research your roots I would hope that someone would be you!  Who wants to sit on the sidelines?

So this begs the question, how much is it going to cost to get into the game? The short answer is that it will cost both time and money. The amount it will cost will depend on you and your circumstances.

In my last post I mentioned scheduling your game. I hope that you have committed time to this pursuit. It just might be the most rewarding trophy you place on your shelf or the shelves of your descendants. It doesn’t have to be 1000 hours in a few months. Small gains can still make a first down. Consistent progress may not only help you find family history, but make memories that become your family’s history of the future.

As far as the financial cost, it all depends on your choices. Be forewarned: the pursuit of one’s genealogy and family history has become big business. Nevertheless, one can pursue genealogy and family history with little, if any, additional cost :-) Gathering records and photographs in your possession and interviewing family members and others who knew your family cost no more than your time. Access to a computer, the internet, scanners, and subscription sites may be as close as your nearest Family History Center. On the web, your favorite search engine may list interesting leads and some sources. Be aware that the search algorithm of the different providers may reveal different results. Sometimes great material is missed if you limit your query to one search database.

So, how much is it going to cost to get into the game? It all depends. There is no doubt that such a pursuit comes from discretionary funds and this amount varies from person to person. I would recommend that a set amount be put aside each month. It’s part of the discipline of the game.

Every game has limits. In football, there are four quarters, each lasting 15 minutes. With the exception of a possible tie at the end of a fourth quarter, the game is over when the clock runs out. Know the limits of your game, but don’t let these limits block you. Tackle your limits, whether in time or money, with innovations that provide new paths to success. As the quarterback of your team it is your responsibility to read the defense of the opposing team (limits) and make the necessary adjustments. The goal is to gain yardage for a first down and ultimately a touchdown!

My best to you this coming week…Cheering you on from the bleachers :-)

[After all these considerations, if you decide that you would like to handoff your research project to an assistant coach contact me. Together we can come up with a winning strategy to find your elusive ancestors.]

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The Genealogical Touchdown

The Single Leaf Touchdown WPI don’t know about you but I enjoy the game of football. In the upper elementary grades I was one of the neighborhood quarterbacks. Rules were modified to include the fact that the opposing team could not sack THIS quarterback, a definite advantage :-) Throughout my life I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with the game and its players at all levels. The game is exhilarating; their work for charity is inspiring!

But today I would like to comment on another type of touchdown, the genealogical touchdown! I define it as the reconstruction of families, neighborhoods, and/or events that tell a story of a people. As a genealogist and family historian, when I know that I have made a reasonably exhaustive search for records, identified the sources of the information through proper citations, analyzed and correlated the quality of the evidence, resolved any conflicts identified, and arrived at a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion I call it a “genealogical touchdown.” [Others call it the Genealogical Proof Standard or GPS.1] In the game of life, may we who pursue our family’s history experience many touchdowns :-) Happy Super Bowl!

1. Board for Certification of Genealogists. The BCG Genealogical Standards                Manual. Orem, Utah: Ancestry 2000.

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.