Yes! All genealogists can and should write about their work. Writing is part of everyday life. All of us make lists of things to remember and to do. Some keep journals about experiences and emotions. We communicate with others in emails, letters, cards, tweets, and posts on social media, and we complete forms and surveys. During our research we take notes as we examine historical records. Writing about genealogical conclusions is an important but sometimes intimidating step in the research process.
Many researchers feel that looking at records is the fun part of genealogy. After all, that’s when they’re most likely to make new discoveries. In complicated cases, however, the “a-ha” moments won’t necessarily come while looking at one particular record. In those situations, conclusions are a result of extensive research, meticulous analysis, and careful assembly of evidence—and it is in those cases that writing about one’s work is most valuable. Writing will help the researcher grapple with details. The written work product will serve as a record for the future to remind the researcher and explain to others about the way the conclusion was reached.
Only NGS members have access to full articles of NGS Monthly. Please log in or click here to learn more about joining the National Genealogical Society.
If you have trouble logging on or accessing the articles, please contact [email protected]