Are you a genealogist or a family historian?


People often don't realise that there is a difference between genealogists and family historians.

In the simplest terms, genealogists collect names and dates for a family tree and family historians flesh out the family trees, adding leaves and flowers by researching information about individuals on the family tree.

Like most people I started out as a genealogist, collecting names and dates until I started to hit brickwalls. Once the adrenalin rush, of discovering new ancestors started to calm down a bit - I started to become curious about them.

What did they do for a living? Alot of occupations don't exist today. Improvements in technology has meant that seventy per cent of jobs that existed 50 years ago no longer exist today.

Gorgeous books like Mastercrafts and The River Hobbler's Apprentice: Memories of Working the Severn and Wye, can give you an excellent insight into what your ancestors did for a living.

Books like the "Tracing Your" series can give you clues to finding more information out about your RailwayPauperLabour Movement,Criminal and Air Force Ancestors.

Those researching ancestors around the 1830s period could look for their ancestors in the Machine Breakers series of books. Machine Breakers were "Luddites", who's protests about the mechanisation of their jobs in the textile industry culminated in their breaking up of machines during the 1830s riots.

These "Machine Breakers" are well documented in books by county, with names and often family details, of those that were arrested, tried and often transported. Newly arrived we have:
What was life like for them? Invaluable books that can tell you about historical events like the newly arrived On the Home Front: Melbourne in Wartime: 1939-1945 and The Great War Handbook.From East End to Land's End will tell you about the evacuation of Jews' Free School, London, to Mousehole, Cornwall during World War Two. There is even a list of the children's names in the book.
The Auckland Research Centre has many such books purchased specifically to assist you in putting the leaves on the trees. Online indexes and databases, CD-Roms, microfiche and microfilms are excellent resources for dates and names - they provide the branches and twigs.
But don't forget the books . . . they are your leaves and flowers.

Hope to see some of you at the Family History fair in Hamilton this weekend: http://nzfhf2010.dnserver.net.nz

This entry was posted on Wednesday, 14 July 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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