You’re WHAT Kind of Hoarder?

I teach in an Adult Education program. In my morning class today, we were talking about the importance of being life-long learners. I told my students I was a hoarder of information. “You’re WHAT?”, they asked. “What does that mean?”

I went on to explain that I really enjoy learning for learning’s sake. Especially related to my genealogy hobby. I attend webinars. I read lots of blogs and subscribe to numerous digests.  I attend workshops and the occasional conference. I belong to a genealogy society. Of course, I’m on Facebook as well. And – I save everything!!!! Here’s a snippet of what my “Genealogy Resources” folder looks like:

The folders at the top contain material related to some of the online courses I have taken as well as the “Finding Your Roots” course I developed years ago for a high school “mini-course” I taught. There are PDFs related to materials from webinars I have viewed. There a few spreadsheets; the most important are helpful tips and lists of resources I have used in the past. That’s just the stuff that fit in the screenshot! I won’t bore you with the minutia of everything I have “hoarded” in this folder.

I have learned SO MUCH from all the instruction I have received from “famous” genealogists (you might recognize a few names in my screenshot) and generous “geneabloggers.” (genealogy bloggers) Pretty much, up till recently, I have “hoarded” my knowledge, applying what I have learned to my own research.

It’s time to start sharing. I have many projects “in the hopper.” Knowing all these things about my family history does my family no good if I don’t share it.

Recently, I have begun helping a friend research her family. Sharing some of the strategies I have learned has re-energized me. Showing her “best practices” reminds me of the importance of citing my sources and making “reasonably exhaustive searches.” In short, helping others makes me a better genealogist.

What family stories are you hoarding? What knowledge and skills can you impart? Sharing helps make our genealogy community a better place!

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