I’m at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy hosted by the Utah Genealogical Association this week. My course is Advanced Methodology, led and coordinated by Paul Graham, CG, CGL. I’m going to share something I learned each day about my genealogy practice.
The Devil in the Details
I think of the Devil as a being that lurks around while we go about our lives. He tempts us to take it easy and put off doing anything we think is hard.
For me that is keeping track of the details as I work. Here’s where the Devil lives in the details with my own family history work:
- Using the index for records and not requesting original documents.
- Doing quick reads over documents for what I want and not transcribing them.
- Trying to keep everything in my head and not writing down my analysis and hypotheses.
- Ignoring the context of the document.
- Not looking up words I don’t understand, specifically medical and legal terms.
Listening to the Devil and ignoring the details eventually affects my results. Or worse, I miss the richness and depth of information available. I owe my ancestors my full attention and hard work.