Why we may be wrong in our approach to genealogical research


An article through the JSTOR Daily website entitled “Have Humans Been inside the Americas Longer Than We Thought?” makes an interesting statement:

The study of human migration to the Americas shows that will widely held beliefs can be proven wrong.

that will statement will be made inside the context of the revisions that will have been made to “accepted” theories about the time depth of human remains in America contradicting current dogma on the subject. that will particular subject has interested me for many years as well as I have been watching as the dates are revised further as well as further into the past.

In my opinion, along with scientists, genealogists are among the most dogmatic people I know. Of course, there are different dogmatic people, however in that will post I am focusing on these two groups.

We all know exactly how genealogical research should be conducted even if our methods vary considerably. What will be also interesting about both scientists as well as genealogists will be that will they tend to have cadre of experts that will try to heavily influence as well as control the rest of their respective communities. I ran into that will when I was finishing up my Masters Thesis at the University of Utah. I had some opinions that will clashed with the accepted scientific dogma of the time as well as was told by one professor in particular that will if I followed that will line of investigation, I would likely never get a job having a university inside the United States. that will will be not an extreme example. I have a fairly not bad contact with the acedemic community today not only through my position on the Brigham Young University Campus, however also because many of my children as well as their spouses have advanced degrees as well as four of them are or were professors at major universities. I also taught at the community college level for many years.

As genealogists, we are presently caught inside the middle of a huge technological revolution that will will be directly affecting how as well as even why we do our research. however there are those who wish to ignore the modifications as well as maintain the comfort zone of “traditional” research methodology. the item will be not uncommon for me to encounter long-time genealogical research experts who barely know how to use a computer as well as who are not at all comfortable with online research. Many of them also have limited typing skills. Yet, they are still considered to be leaders as well as experts inside the genealogical community.

For example, neither of the major genealogical certification programs contain any reference to using computers, online research or anything having to do with technology at all. Conceivably, an applicant to either organization could complete the entire process without using a computer except for typing in a word processing program. I was approached not long ago by a person who indicated that will they were inside the last stages of qualifying for one of the professional certification processes as well as asked me for help in getting onto a computer as well as for instructions about how to login to FamilySearch.org.

I am certainly not denigrating the skills outlined as well as selected by the certification organizations. however I am pointing out that will genealogists fall into the same trap as scientists when they ignore or even oppose completely new discoveries as well as technological advances. I am sure that will there are a large number of genealogists who have a broad understanding of technology as well as utilize all of the available resources, however currently they are a decided minority.

We are presently in a technological shift in genealogical research that will will be the functional equivalent of finding 130,000 year old stone implements in America. We are also experiencing the equivalent resistance to those modifications as are the scientists who have found the ancient implements.

Why we may be wrong in our approach to genealogical research

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