Genealogists are a strange bunch.
When gift-giving events roll around, they don’t want the “normal” things. Instead of an iPod, they want a subscription to an online research service. Rather than eating cake and ice cream, they’d rather be digging through that box of old photographs.
After thirty years of genealogical research, I’ve fully traced most of my immediate lines (Brown, Geer, Judd, Sisco, Webster, Kilborn, Thompson, Miner, Dyer, Wicks, Moulthrop, Abbott, Runnels, Hickok, Tuttle, Uran, Long, Ordway, Blakeslee, Allen, Plummer, Worthley, Corser, Blaisdell, Jackman, Hardy) — they are a veritable Who’s Who of early New England families.
Of course I have experienced my share of “dead ends” but they have become fewer over the years. All of this came to mind as I sat down to write an article as my submission for the 37th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, with the topic theme of “Wish Lists!” My personal Wish List is more like wishful thinking. It is on a greater scale than my simply wanting new computer software, or another history book.
–Cow Hampshire’s Genealogy (and History) Wish List–
1. History being taught in a meaningful way, so that more students actually enjoy it. (A dismally few do now). Let’s ditch the date memorization, and go to a time-line method, using local and family connections to make it more personal. Include genealogy in those lesson plans, focusing on the way REAL people LIVED and reacted to both local and world events.
2. A genealogical software program that does everything I want it to do, and doesn’t crash or freeze up when I enter that 100,000th relative. Right now much of the software is being created by database geeks (who I am sure are very nice, smart people). However, it is evident that most of them have never performed genealogy research, or need to find the elusive record of “that blind cousin who was from Kennebunkport.”
3. Finding more FREE vital records available online. [If you want to see a great example, here is what Keene NH Library is doing]
4. That today, every person would share one family history story with their children. Carter Hodding once said, “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.” It is the stories that survive, not the artifacts.
5. World Peace. Okay, so it really doesn’t relate to genealogy or history, but I had to sneak that in this wish list. After all, world peace might give people more worry-free time to research.