11 Traits to Becoming a Genealogist

11 Skills For Family History Research & Genealogy Travel

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Are you looking for ways to enhance your family history research and genealogy travel experience? Have you ever considered how to use more than just online resources to uncover information about your ancestors’ lives?

Some skills and traits will help you with your genealogical research and family history. These 11 traits and skills include 1) investigation, 2) research, 3) love of history, 4) love of culture and people, 5) patience, 6) attention to detail, 7) math skills, 8) problem-solving, 9) being an adventurer, 10) keeper of secrets and 11) love of heritage and family.

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11 Skills and Traits To Help You With Your Family History Research and Genealogy Travel Plans

One top travel trend is traveling to learn more about your ancestors and family history. But to properly do this kind of travel, you need to also have some knowledge of your family history so that you what locations to travel to. This means you must make your family history and become an amateur genealogist.

We have outlined 11 skills and traits that can help you with your family history research and genealogy travel. By developing these 11 essential skills for genealogy research and travel-ready trips, unlocking the stories behind each ancestor from long ago will become much easier.

The Skill Of Genealogy Investigation

A genealogy investigation is an act of investigation of your family. Through your investigation, you may interview others and ask them questions or follow up on a lead you have been given by someone to find the answer to your ancestry; for example, for a genealogy investigation, you may interview or talk to an older relative to hear about their life and memories.

Doing a genealogy investigation is like being an investigator. but you are essentially investigating the lives of others. In your genealogy and family history investigation, you are investigating your family’s lives, stories, culture, and history.

Do Your Ancestry Research

Ancestry research is the systematic study of materials, documents, and other sources to try to find the answers to your family history. Research is about establishing the facts and then making the appropriate conclusions.

Ancestry research is about trying to find the answers to your family. Even if your DNA test tells you that you are related to this or that person, a good genealogist researcher will not take that for granted and will do the research needed to verify the information.

Develop A Love of History

History and the love of history are essential parts of any genealogical and family history research. So much of what happens to people and their lives are tied to their own family, country, or political history.

Did your ancestors move to another country as they had no choice? Were they forced out due to the political tides of the day, or was it because of economics? Through the study of history, there are many questions that can be answered about your ancestors and why they may have done some of the things they did.

The Love of Culture and People You Will Travel To

Many of us have ancestors who came from another country or culture. Even if you have not, culture and people have changed over time. Through your study of genealogy, you need to learn about the culture of your ancestors.

For example, I have a Great Grandfather that came from Germany to the United States in the mid-1800s. His family had an excellent middle-class life in Germany, but it was expected that the oldest son got everything, including the family farm, and the other children nothing. Because of this, he decided to move to America to get some land and find a better opportunity for himself and his family.

Learn Patience – Genealogy Research Can Take Time

It takes a lot of patience to do genealogy. There are some days you are doing the research and you find so much information. You get excited and begin to think, “Oh, this all seems very easy!”

On other days you can hardly find anything, and you are so frustrated. You may feel like – “Oh I cannot do this.”

That is why doing your genealogy research takes a lot of patience. You need to take the good days with the bad and keep going.

Develop The Skill To Pay Attention to Detail

There is a lot of detail in genealogical research. Everything from how a person’s name is spelled, to where they were born, to their ages for specific events. This can be hard to get right if you do not pay attention to detail. To be an outstanding genealogical researcher, you need to look at the details and ensure all the details match up.

Improve Your Math Skills

Genealogy will test your math skills. I know I constantly have to add and subtract dates and times and places. So if you are not good with math (as I am) you may want to consider having a calculator handy so that you understand if a Grandfather was born in 1742 and married in 1768, then he was 24 years old when he was married.

Become A Problem Solver

When you are doing genealogy research, problems will arise. You could not find some research or you may need to find some data but are not sure how or where to get it. No matter what the problem is, you need to be someone who can find a way to solve a problem.

Become A Family History Adventurer

There is a great sense of adventure in discovering your family and heritage. You start out on your genealogical research, and you are not always sure what you will find. But the more you join on this adventure, you begin to discover not only about your family but also a lot about yourself.

Become A Keeper of Family Secrets

Not everything you discover is going to be positive. You may discover that your great-grandparents were not married when they had most of their children or maybe never married. You may find a relative that was a criminal or some who died of suicide.

All families have secrets. Some families have worked hard to try to bury their secret past. Others you may find through your research things that are not pleasant. But this is all part of doing your genealogy research. It is not about evaluating the lives of your ancestors but more about discovering their lives no matter what secrets they may have.

Develop A Love of Heritage And Family

Genealogical research is about having a love of heritage and family. As you learn about your ancestors and their lives, they start to come alive to you. You begin to understand them and get to know them. And I have found as I have done that I have had a love and appreciation of my family and those who have gone before me. Genealogy helps you gain a love for your ancestors you never thought you had.

Discovering your ancestors is a beautiful journey. Taking the time to get to know them and their lives is an adventure. Understanding your ancestors and then discovering where they once lived will give you a new meaning to your travels.

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Should I Consider Getting a Genealogy DNA Test?

We inherit our DNA from our parents and all our ancestors. Genealogy genetic ancestry tests are beneficial in finding out more about our ethnic heritage, health traits, and our ancestors. Most tests given are for Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and autosomal DNA. There are now at least 5 major DNA companies performing genealogical DNA testing.

You can find out more about getting a genealogy DNA test by reading our blog about Genealogy DNA Tests and Testing – Read This Before You Buy by clicking here.

Why is Knowing Your Ancestor’s Homeland Important for Your Genealogy Travels?

Proper research about your ancestor’s homeland is essential to any genealogical travel. It is important you do your research on your ancestor’s hometown before you start your travels to that location. If you are unsure where to start looking, consider getting a DNA test.

You can find out more about your ancestor’s homeland by reading our blog Genealogy Travel: Why Knowing Your Ancestor’s Homeland Is Important by clicking here.

Anita L Hummel
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One response to “11 Skills For Family History Research & Genealogy Travel”

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    Kayit Ol

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