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    Are you a Genealogist or Family Historian?

    Are you a Genealogist or Family Historian or something completely different and does it really matter? Maybe yes if you are a professional researcher. Love to know your thoughts.


    https://chiddicksfamilytree.com/2021...ily-historian/
    My Family History Blog Site:

    https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

    #2
    I'm just curious about my lot, so suppose you could say I'm a family historian.


    Val

    Comment


      #3
      I tend to think that genealogists are professionals who do this for a living. Like Val, I consider myself a family historian too.

      For me, history comes into it too. Reading up on their occupations, wondering why they ended in another part of London or further afield, why they were in the workhouse etc.

      Finding my family helps give a more personal part of history and therefore more interesting and richer stories.

      bcbrit
      George, Uren, Toy - Cornwall. Barrows, Blair, Bowyer, Freeth, Green, Manie - London

      Comment


        #4
        I call also myself a family historian ....... I search out as many details as I can about how family members lived, what they did, how they moved about.

        When I first started back in 2003, my daughter who has an anthropology degree, told me she was "not at all interested in seeing any of my work if I just did one of those tree things with names and dates only".

        That told me, didn't it?

        As a result, I only have small conventional trees that go back 4 or 5 generations on ancestry and GR, all my work on my home computer is done as descriptive.
        My grandmother, on the beach, South Bay, Scarborough, undated photo (poss. 1929 or 1930)

        Researching Cadd, Schofield, Cottrell in Lancashire, Buckinghamshire; Taylor, Park in Westmorland; Hayhurst in Yorkshire, Westmorland, Lancashire; Hughes, Roberts in Wales.

        Comment


          #5
          I think I’m a mixture of both. I aim to get the BMD element of my tree as accurate as I can and I do tend to follow up descendants of the siblings of married ins as they often prove very useful. I add in residence and occupation info from censuses, military service, emigration and education etc. as well as newspaper articles where relevant. In fact anything at all that I find about a person gets recorded but I’m not one for delving into social history beyond how things actually touch upon people in my tree if it helps to explain major changes in their lives.
          Pet hates of mine are the tree harvesters followed closely by the cut and pasters. In the past I’ve been caught out by the former and found info then attached to the wrong people and been driven demented by the latter trying to figure out where / how the errors occurred for facts that I personally can’t find any proof of anywhere. If I can’t find said proof, where did others find it? Sometimes you need to disprove something just as much as you need to prove it. Hence why my online trees are now private.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bcbrit View Post
            I tend to think that genealogists are professionals who do this for a living. Like Val, I consider myself a family historian too.

            For me, history comes into it too. Reading up on their occupations, wondering why they ended in another part of London or further afield, why they were in the workhouse etc.

            Finding my family helps give a more personal part of history and therefore more interesting and richer stories.

            bcbrit
            I think in general here in the U.K. we tend to use the term Family Historian more and for me that gets to the crux of what we do. We analyse, record and tell the whole stories of our ancestors, rather than just build a tree. Family Historians draw on all aspects of social history as well to add context.

            but having said that it probably doesn’t matter too much unless you’re a professional
            My Family History Blog Site:

            https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by GallowayLass View Post
              I think I’m a mixture of both. I aim to get the BMD element of my tree as accurate as I can and I do tend to follow up descendants of the siblings of married ins as they often prove very useful. I add in residence and occupation info from censuses, military service, emigration and education etc. as well as newspaper articles where relevant. In fact anything at all that I find about a person gets recorded but I’m not one for delving into social history beyond how things actually touch upon people in my tree if it helps to explain major changes in their lives.
              Pet hates of mine are the tree harvesters followed closely by the cut and pasters. In the past I’ve been caught out by the former and found info then attached to the wrong people and been driven demented by the latter trying to figure out where / how the errors occurred for facts that I personally can’t find any proof of anywhere. If I can’t find said proof, where did others find it? Sometimes you need to disprove something just as much as you need to prove it. Hence why my online trees are now private.
              I think there is definitely a bit of both, Genealogist and Family Historian in all of us. Depth and context are important as well, to fully tell our ancestors stories and it’s good practice to use as many of the different resources that you have listed above to help us achieve that. It’s a fascinating subject to discuss as well all see ourselves differently.

              My original thought of calling myself an enthusiastic amateur has now changed to a story teller, but I guess it all doesn’t matter in the end, it’s the quality of your work rather than your name that counts.
              My Family History Blog Site:

              https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

              Comment


                #8
                I like researching my family, so I suppose that makes me a Family Historian, for me the word 'Genealogist' summons up a picture of an ancient gent (very sexist, I know!) with narrow rimmed specs pouring over dusty old tomes - not a bit like me, I'm an ancient female glaring into the depths of a laptop.
                Margaret

                Comment


                  #9
                  I see no real connection to being amateur/professional in the difference.

                  By definition, a true genealogist is primarily concerned with researching a pedigree (almost always on the male line) and is looking at proving the facts of ancestry and descent - the Who ? Where ? and When ? of the family. A good example would probably be the researchers at the College of Arms.

                  A family historian looks much wider and is just as interested in the way people lived and the social context - the What ? Why? and How ? type of questions.

                  Most researchers would do both as a matter of course - but some (and some clients who approach me) are only interested in the "how far back ?" question and ignore the really interesting stuff (in my opinion).

                  My business card says "Genealogy and Family History Research" but I would put myself firmly in the family historian category.....
                  I am a professional researcher, and ex- deputy registrar, based in Buckinghamshire - please contact me for any help/advice or research via PM or my website www.chalfontresearch.co.uk
                  Follow me on Twittter @ChalfontR

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My name is gloryer. I am an addict
                    was using the paper trail for 20 years but loving adding bits and pieces using DNA. My ancestry sub expired. Couldn't love without it

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                      I like researching my family, so I suppose that makes me a Family Historian, for me the word 'Genealogist' summons up a picture of an ancient gent (very sexist, I know!) with narrow rimmed specs pouring over dusty old tomes - not a bit like me, I'm an ancient female glaring into the depths of a laptop.

                      i do get that description and it does give you a stereotypical image, I have enough trouble pronouncing it, let along being one!
                      My Family History Blog Site:

                      https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by AntonyM View Post
                        I see no real connection to being amateur/professional in the difference.

                        By definition, a true genealogist is primarily concerned with researching a pedigree (almost always on the male line) and is looking at proving the facts of ancestry and descent - the Who ? Where ? and When ? of the family. A good example would probably be the researchers at the College of Arms.

                        A family historian looks much wider and is just as interested in the way people lived and the social context - the What ? Why? and How ? type of questions.

                        Most researchers would do both as a matter of course - but some (and some clients who approach me) are only interested in the "how far back ?" question and ignore the really interesting stuff (in my opinion).

                        My business card says "Genealogy and Family History Research" but I would put myself firmly in the family historian category.....


                        Thanks Antony that’s a pretty concise summary of the differences between the two both from a literal definition point of view and how I actually see the differences myself. In terms of professional or amateur, the two can possibly have the same skill set the only difference being a professional would charge for their services, whereas an amateur would t necessarily. The two are very much connected and we of course all look for something different with our own researches. I prefer the wider aspect of the family story, but that’s not for everyone. Interesting topic to debate to see how we all view ourselves and it’s always good to get the opinion of a professional.
                        My Family History Blog Site:

                        https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by gloryer View Post
                          My name is gloryer. I am an addict
                          was using the paper trail for 20 years but loving adding bits and pieces using DNA. My ancestry sub expired. Couldn't love without it
                          They don’t tell you how addictive this is when you start though, before you know it you’re hooked!
                          My Family History Blog Site:

                          https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I agree with Antony on the definitions. To most people today though a genealogist is a professional researcher, mostly thanks to WDYTYA and similar programs.
                            Like GallowayLass, I am a mixture of both. In more recent generations, I look at the wider picture, and delve into local histories, occupations, etc. The further you go back, you do tend to concentrate on the direct lines, perhaps recording siblings. Obviously information is more scant the further back you trace, but I still like to place the ancestors in their historical context.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks pinefamily, I think we start off in one direction and as our knowledge and experience grow we then feel more confident in adding more context and information to our trees. It's a great subject to discuss as we all see ourselves slightly different to each other.
                              My Family History Blog Site:

                              https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

                              Comment

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