One of the first assignments was to create our own “Golden Rules of Genealogy.” Here’s my list:
* PICKHOLTZ’ RULES: “…to prevent jumping to conclusions, when you don’t have full documentation….
even when you are sure you know, don’t record it until you have one more piece of evidence.” – Israel Pickholtz
#3: Because I try to follow #8, I often revisit documents for verification purposes. After I get clarification on the information, I put the document back where it came from. (most of the time!)
#4: I was so good about this at the beginning! Then it seemed cumbersome. Now I’m suffering for my laziness because I have information scattered about and I have to check and recheck to be sure I have included all my findings in my current project.
#5: I’m doing it. It’s annoying. But crucial.
#6: I have only thing on my To-Do list right now: finish the final draft of my current project!!!
#7: Almost blew this one last week. I have been so focused on the details of the story I am writing, I overlooked a crucial piece of information. Only took me two years to realize it!!
#8: This could also be called ” How to Paralyze a Genealogist.” I haven’t been able to find birth and marriage records for the main subject of my current project. I don’t want to present inaccurate information. As a result, I allowed myself to stall the project. Luckily, I got great advice from Lisa Alzo during the Genealogy Writing Intensive I enrolled in. She helped me realize that, while having all the information is, of course, ideal, I might never find the vital records and in that case, the story might never be told! So – I included an explanation of what was missing and resumed writing!!
#9: I don’t get tired. Only kidding – no more working into the early morning hours for me. My eyes wear out and my fingers start type things that are completely unintelligible.
#10: Um – that’s why I’m posting every day this month!! In the event someone actually asks for my help or for some information, I’m thrilled to share. (Ask my friends and family – it’s hard to stop me right,?)
#11: I have gotten soooo much better at this. While it is thrilling to discover the information on your own, sometimes it’s just faster (and cost-efficient) to ask for help. Perhaps that will be a future post – helpful resources.
Writing about my current status regarding my “Golden Rules” has re-energized me. I’ll do better now. Really.