What is the aim of doing your family history and what is the best way to do it. Lets start from the beginning. To establish the main differences I suppose between genealogy and family history research. From meeting lots of different types of researchers I would believe the main difference is that genealogists deal mainly in facts, dates and places and putting the details together in a logical format.
Whereas a family historian tends to find the dates, names, and places then writes a story to bring the person to life, some family historian researchers don't have an overly strong bearing towards verfying facts.. who wants to let facts get in the way of a good story.
Both genealogists and serious family historians will try and back up any information they have and if given a story they will try and work out whether it is true or just a family folklore..
I am I believe a genealogist first based on I love gathering facts, then verifying stories to work out whether there is any way they are true and how the story fits in the timeline. I often find I get lots of interesting stories and then have to try and turn it into facts. I also use lots and lots of sources for research and a huge part of doing family history is using local resources, and sites that are run by reputable departments etc. User inputted sites have so much allowance for incorrect facts or a slip of the old keyboard.
Yet there are so many things I have read recently on the family historians that use only Ancestry or the others now call themselves DNA Genealogists... all I can say is "What on earth are you talking about" in the most polite way....... how can you document something that may be the only source of information on your heritage in say 100 years time and only rely on what information somebody may have found or on contacting the 420 6th cousins that may just may have a connection to you. Do you do any of the relevant checks to ensure your on the right track.
Only today I was doing research for a friend and 2 brothers and their families emigrated to Australia in 1872 and I out of curious notions dipped into Ancestry and low and behold a person has the two families but has all the children mixed up.. wow..... and I am in facebook groups where people are randomly contacting maybe cousins to find a match..
To DNA or not to DNA... I must admit some of the wierd stuff I have read leaves me to wonder, I have sent away my heritage sample to discover my roots ( which I already know fairly confidently) but am going to compare it with a relative of mine who has had her done ( and we found out we are related the old fashioned way) to see how it all works.. but will I put y results on to the sites that are available.. I am pretty sure that I will not be advertising the fact... although I might make some new friends in the wierdest way.
Once upon a time everybody saw the little green leaves jiggling and thought it was that easy... so they joined and got their first taste of family history.. then the green leaves stopped wiggling and the site had to find a new way to keep people entertained so they bought DNA to the forefront of everybodies attention.. but is it the only way... I know I will still be digging through old papers and cemeteries till my stories are done.. and along the way might be able to find somebody that can explain how this DNA gig really works.. If you have any answers then please I would love to hear about it.
Side note ** the books on DNA don't have cool pictures in them.. they are just totally confusing**
Till next time