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I wish I knew this when I started!

January Reflections!

One of the prompts I received for Live Casting my Genealogy Tips in January was this: ‘I wish I knew this when I started.’

I produced Live Cast # 6 with a tip for Genealogists around that topic and spoke about my recent discoveries of the additional functions within Evernote for my genealogy notes recording. You can view that one, along with the other Live Casts for Week 1 January 2022, in this new FREE course Essential Genealogist Tips 2022.

However, the phrase had a broader impact on me as a Genealogist/Family Historian and I realized that there were several things that I wished I had known when I started my genealogy journey. This post will highlight a few of these.

  1. Genealogy is addictive: the more you delve into the ancestral archives, the more you want to know. Each piece of evidence from your ancestors’ lives leads to another, and another; and before you know it, hours have passed by. If you then add to that the time it takes to write up their stories, then weeks and months go by and the floors can remain unswept and the dusting undone!
  • Genealogy is expensive: be prepared for the cost of subscriptions to your favourite family tree resources. Ancestry.com and FindMyPast.com are just two of those; add to these the Forces War Records, British Newspaper Archives, and the cost of downloading images or transcripts from the newly released 1921 England and Wales Census. Be cautious in joining a popular genealogy research site on a 14-day trial; you’ll need to remember to cancel your subscription in time to avoid unexpected costs. These expenses are just the tip of the iceberg to add to your monthly budget; just wait till you start buying the books!
  • Genealogy is engaging: the pursuit of family history records, stories, and artifacts can become a lifetime obsession. My list of friends, colleagues, and connections in the Genealogy network is growing as I find even more social media groups to join. There are millions of Geneabloggers who share their stories and research journeys in blog posts, and there are a few skilled authors who write fictional mysteries from the point of view of forensic genealogists.
  • Genealogy is big business: Google tells me that ‘Genealogy is the second most popular hobby next to gardening and pornography! The global genealogy products and services market was valued at USD 3 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach USD 8 billion by 2026.’
  • Genealogy is captivating: a number of spin-offs from this industry have grown rapidly in popularity; including Television Series; Fiction Books and eBooks, instructional books, international conferences, online webinars, online courses, and higher education diplomas and degrees. Not to mention the plethora of Zoom sessions shared across the world.
  • Genealogy is rewarding: finding out about your ancestors’ lives; discovering the answers to family puzzles; revealing the truth hidden from view, or finally understanding where you come from; is the reason genealogy is so popular.

If I had realized the enormity of this industry when I began to write my courseware and ebooks in the field of genealogy; I might never have begun. However, I know that I can help others succeed in their genealogy journey and I will continue to provide tips, free courses, webinars, and ebooks.

Take a look at what is on offer at my Preserving Family History Academy. New courses appear from time to time throughout the year and new ebooks become available as I continue to record my family’s history with a pinch of possibility; a spoonful of fiction; and a bucket load of research.

What are your reflections on this first week in January 2022? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and/or subscribe to my blog.

Alternatively, you are invited to join a growing group of Genealogy Storytellers in the Genealogy Story Conversations in Zoom on the second Saturday of each month. Details are here.

I would love to hear your feedback on this post and what you are looking for in your Genealogy.

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