Are genealogists wired differently? I have asked myself that many times in the past. It isn’t our remarkable ability to flesh out the dead. Though, that is a remarkable skill. No, I am talking about our love of making lists and organizing data into different forms and fashions.
It isn’t enough for a genealogist to collect data. It isn’t enough to input it into our databases and to file it into folders. No, we must play with it.
For instance, I’ve been over the moon with two new projects I started. Project number 1 involves using Google maps to create a map of my Portuguese relatives who left Kauai, Hawaii for E. 25th Street in Oakland, California. Oh, I’ve got all that data on a handwritten map and on lists. But, I needed to see it on a map.
I spent a week pinpointing the houses where my grandfather’s 30 or so first cousins and his great aunts and great uncles lived. Next, I will probably add the “marry ins” because they also lived on the same street and came from Kauai (many of them also from Kilauea)
This project gives me joy. I consider in fun. Once it is done I will be able to share with my extended family and everyone will be able to see where their grandparents and great grandparents lived in connection to all the other relatives. Isn’t that exciting?
My second project involves putting photos into RootsMagic for all my relatives. I plan to create descendant wall charts, then post them to my private family Facebook group. I think this will make it easier for cousins to figure out where they fit in. I’m having fun finding the photographs and adding them to the media gallery.
The neat thing about this project is that the last time I added photos to Rootsmagic I didn’t have many. This time when I did three generations of my de Braga tree, there were only three blank spots on my chart. One is my great great grandmother. I probably will never have that spot filled. The other are two of my grandfather’s cousins. I hope to some day fill in those faces.
Both of these projects have been challenging, interesting, and fun. Only genealogist would say cropping photos, pinning addresses on a map, and researching when houses were built is fun.
Yes, I do believe we are wired differently.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com