10 Top Misconceptions About Genealogy

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  1. Genealogy is only for people with royal or noble ancestry: This is one of the top misconceptions about genealogy. It can be pursued by anyone, regardless of background or social status. People find it fascinating to learn about their family history and heritage, even if their ancestors were not famous or wealthy.
  2. Genealogy is easy: Genealogy can be a time-consuming and complex process that requires a lot of research and patience. It often involves piecing together information from various sources and overcoming obstacles like missing records or conflicting information.  It can be the good old “working a puzzle with some key pieces missing” (and not knowing what the complete picture is supposed to look like) “fun.”
  3. Genealogy can be done solely online: While the Internet has made genealogy research much more accessible, it is not the only source of information. Many desired ancestry records, such as census forms and birth certificates, are only sometimes available online.
  4. Genealogy is only about names and dates: Genealogy is about much more than just names and dates. It is about discovering and understanding your ancestors’ stories, experiences, and cultural traditions. It’s also a great way to finding photos to fill out your family album.
  5. Genealogy is only for “old people”: People of all ages enjoy genealogy. It can be especially meaningful for younger generations to learn about their family history and connect with their roots. It helps fill in gaps created when older generations have passed and can no longer answer your questions.
  6. Genealogy is only about finding famous ancestors: Genealogy is not about finding famous ancestors but about discovering the unique stories and experiences of all of your ancestors, well known or not.
  7. All genealogy records are accurate: Genealogy records are not always correct or complete. It is extremely important to verify information from multiple sources, being mindful of potential errors or discrepancies.
  8. Genealogy is limited to a single country or region: Genealogy encompasses a wide range of countries and regions, as many people have ancestors from multiple places.
  9. You have to be a professional genealogist to do genealogy research: While professional genealogists can be helpful in some cases, anyone can pursue genealogy research as a hobby or personal interest. Many resources are available to help you get started. Websites such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Wikitree.com, MyHeritage.com, Newspapers.com, and more are great places to start your hunt.
  10. Genealogy is a solitary pursuit: Genealogy can be a solo adventure, but it can also be a social one. Many genealogy enthusiasts enjoy sharing their findings and collaborating with others in the field.  You never know who might hold the key to your current roadblock!

Feel free to check out my own online family tree, created using TNG – The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding.


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