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3 Side Benefits of Being a Genealogist

Being a genealogist is great fun but we benefit from it beyond the realm of genealogy. There are at least three ways that genealogy improves our non-genealogy life.

1) Patience

Being a genealogist makes me more patient.Nearly everything I have researched has happened in the past. There is no urgent need for immediacy (though sometimes we would like it). The two things that taught me patience in genealogy were surname boards and requesting information.

I can post a query to a surname board and then walk away. It may be answered in a week or in five years. I'm in no rush. My main goal is that somebody, someday will see it and answer it. Likewise for information requests. Genealogy has taught me not to get my hopes up when writing to a cemetery for information about my ancestors. They may get back to me in a month or in a year. I simply mail the letter and forget about it (with a note in the log, of course). When it arrives it's a pleasant surprise that I had probably forgotten about.

2) Friends of All Ages

The funny thing about being a genealogist is that you are more interested in what people know and can share than you are about how old they are. In a kind of funny way being a genealogist has made me oblivious to age. My friends range in ages from the 20s to the 80s. And these are genuine friends. Most of them I can't tell you how old they are. I've just stopped bothering to even wonder. One of my friends in 86. We try to meet for coffee several times a month. She makes me appreciate life, her example teaches me how to grow older with grace and she makes me laugh. I feel the tension from the normal work day slip away during that one hour. 

3) We Can Find Anything

Our fine-tuned research skills are good for much more than historical research. Need to find that long lost high school friend that you haven't spoken to in 25 years? Ask a genealogist! They'll likely find him quicker than anyone.

At Christmas-time when I'm stuck with a friend or family member without a current address - no problem! I check the local registry of deeds for where they are supposed to live and get the address there. How many regular people know to do that?!!

Most non-genealogists are unaware of how much information is freely and publicly available on the internet. Having the skills to find the information we need for everyday life makes the daily grind so much easier.

I'm sure you must have some other side benefits of your own. What's on your list?

Marian Pierre-Louis

Roots & Rambles
Marian's Biography
Marian Pierre-Louis is a historical researcher, speaker & writer. She has a number of popular blogs including Marian's Roots & Rambles, The New England House Historian and The Symbolic Past. You can read posts from all of her blogs here and you can ask her genealogy and history-related questions.
Thank you for contributing~Friday, June 17, 2011 5:45 PM

Dear Ancestry Member,
Thank you for taking time to submit alternate data to Your data has been added to our indexes so other Ancestry members can easily find the information you shared.

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900
William Pickins
We appreciate your efforts to help us improve the quality of our genealogical records.
Ancestry Member Services
Subject: daniel, ema, & roy scott census info 
Sent: Tue, Jun 26, 2012 1:28:51 PM 


what else are you guys looking for?  in order to prove lineage for Indian benefits it must be thru documents.

~Birth, tribe name, marriage, death
what you would do is get separate file folder for each generation starting with who ever is the the 1st generation~you, b, m,~ then your parents, grandparents, great grandmother, great great grandparents, so on & so forth. for proving lineage census can be used to prove all of these if there is no actual document. also books can be used, cover page, print date, then pg. #

let me know if this helps,

On Jun 26, 2012, at 10:17 AM, Kasady wrote:

You are amazing!!! I'm not exactly sure if she was just stuck on her search or if she actually wants benefits. I think she was just stuck though. Thank you so, so much!

Thank you so, so much!