DEARMYRTLE-L ArchivesArchiver > DEARMYRTLE > 2003-05 > 1052397582
Subject: [DearMYRTLE] ARCHIVES: Take, Take, Take
Date: 8 May 2003 06:39:42 -0600
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You've got a FRIEND in genealogy!
DearMYRTLE's Daily Genealogy Column
Take, Take, Take
>From Myrt's Archives - originally published 12 Nov 1998
with comments posted on soc.genealogy.methods
gatewayed through mail list
"I've just about reached my wits end with inconsiderate overbearing people that seem to think the Web is their answer to free information. TAKE, TAKE, TAKE - but never give!!!!! The bottom line is, as a volunteer, I won't take much more abuse before everything disappears off of the site."
"I truly hope Darrell doesn't give up. I wonder whether volunteers should be putting it in peoples' heads, gently but constantly, that it's a two-way street. I decided to transcribe the 1850 Morrow County census as a give-back to the online community. If you suggest (kindly) to everybody who asks you for help (maybe in a .sig file) that they, too, could be helping, it will at best get more information available online and, at worst, perhaps make the passive and grasping think twice about greedily asking for so much and giving nothing.
"I am just getting started but I have had some wonderful help from people on the Internet. I have used the USGenWeb and WorldGenWeb and have gotten answers to several of my queries -- answers which have helped me a GREAT deal! I don't always have something I can offer to the person in return for the help they have given me. I do, however, make sure to write each person a thank you note to show my appreciation for the help they have given me. One person who helped me was researching what happened to emigrants of a specific ethnic group once they arrived in America and I shared with him what I knew of my great-grandfather.
I do plan to volunteer time to help out. I may not be able to repay the individuals have helped me along the way directly, but maybe what needs to happen is that each person who uses the Internet to get help via the GenWebs should volunteer to transcribe some data or do lookups, etc."
Let's have a heart-to-heart about the attitudes great researchers have and compare them with our own. Great researchers respect the time of the archivist, the courthouse clerk, the reference librarian, the writer, the web site volunteer, the Family History Center volunteer and others they encounter by:
-- assuming the responsibility for educating himself on the principles of sound genealogy research by studying such basic references works as:
Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy
The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy
-- assuming the responsibility for educating himself on the principles of sound genealogy research by joining local genealogy societies, attending regional and national genealogy seminars, subscribing to genealogy magazines, studying the "how-to" information available on the Web.
-- assuming the responsibility for educating himself on the principles of navigating the web & his online service by joining local computer users groups (online and off line), attending online genealogy chats, and reading such basic reference works as:
The Everything Online Genealogy Book
Virtual Roots: A Guide to Genealogy and Local History on the World Wide Web
-- preparing for the visit by reading up on how to do research at the facility or reading the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) posted at a Web site.
-- keeping necessary questions and queries brief and to the point.
-- making notes so answers do not need to be repeated.
-- being careful not to monopolize the librarian's time.
-- speaking in soft, kind voices to maintain the decorum of the research facility. This is easily translated into Web terms by watching the tone of our postings to message boards and mail lists. In other words, no "flaming."
-- organizing the documents and articles discovered during the research "trip" to avoid duplication of effort in the future.
-- being willing to share what they've found with other researchers. Discussions only serve to strengthen our research techniques and theories of lineage. Maybe our fellow researcher has found clues we haven't yet unearthed?
Even ol' Myrt here gets frustrated when folks write saying "I hear you're into genealogy. Send me all the information on my Smith family." I call them the SPB (Silver Platter Bunch), because they want their family history immediately served up on a silver platter. It is truly amazing how some people want their family tree through no effort on their part! They're missing out on the joy of genealogy!
To poorly paraphrase an old adage, this is not a fish market here, I'd rather teach the joys of fishing.
For Further Reading:
Greenwood, Val. Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 2nd edition. 1990 Baltimore: Genealogical Pub Co; ISBN: 080631267X.
Kemp, Thomas Jay. Virtual Roots: A Guide to Genealogy and Local History on the World Wide Web. Scholarly Resources. 1997. ISBN: 0842027203
National Genealogical Society. Standards For Sound Genealogical Research. 1997. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/
Richley, Pat. The Everything Online Genealogy Book. 2001. http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/ . ISBN: 1580624022.
Szucs, Loretto Dennis, (editor), Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Editor). The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Revised edition. Salt Lake: Ancestry, Incorporated. 1997. ISBN: 0916489671.
Happy Family Tree Climbing!
Daily Genealogy Columnist
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