Quick reminder: you are going to die.
I forget that fact myself sometimes, thinking I have all the time in the world to do what I want to do. But I don’t. That bleak reminder has a follow-up truth for every genealogist: if we don’t record our work in some presentable format that can be distributed to others, all of our research is moot, nothing more than a temporary pastime.
Some of us depend entirely on websites like Ancestry to record our family trees, sometimes accompanied by a few vital records and censuses. Posting online is surely a form of publication, but the data presented there is more abstract than meaningful family history.
NGS members are generally a bit more sophisticated. We recognize that family trees are a far cry from family history. We recognize the value of adding details, context, and color to give us a sense of who our ancestors actually were. We recognize the need to coalesce disjointed points of data into a cohesive narrative. We recognize the need to actually write.
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