Genealogists have superpowers. So what are yours?
All of these skills help you be a fantastic genealogist. Still, sometimes we have more natural tendencies that impact our research style.
I'm curious. Which of the following skills do you most identify with?
Your genealogy superpower is skepticism if you doubt the validity of everything you are told. You question every document you read or the facts you hear. You are hesitant to use terms like 'confirms' or 'proves' when there is even a remote possibility that a plausible alternative to a fact exists.
Your genealogy superpower is curiosity if you enjoy exploring mysteries and things you do not know. You have a desire to know more about your ancestors and the lives they lived. You are easily distracted by 'rabbit-trails' You usually pursue genealogy to fill this need to know.
You like to listen to people, rather than do your own talking. You can pick up on clues from the stories people tell from what they are saying and not saying. Stories may thrill you more than facts.
Each new discovery generates more questions. Are you unable to investigate each new item with as much relish and excitement as the first? You habitually and persistently seek to discover answers to your questions. Can you say, "My genealogy superpower of being methodically and following a research plan?"
You track down clues and follow where they lead, in a logical order. You develop research plans and stick to them. You write down new questions on a To-Do list but focus on the next task.
Your physical archive and digital resources are in an orderly state. You can easily lay hands on any record or fact in 30 seconds or less. You think metadata and label makers are a genealogist's best friend.
Books, manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, and diaries make your heart sing. You can spend many enjoyable hours reading a county history or browsing through newspapers. You don't mind finding no articles naming your ancestor because negative searches still have positive benefits. You wish there were more books about your ancestor and/or their place of origin.
You can look at different pieces of evidence and puzzle together the answers to challenging research questions. You can look at a peer's research and find the flaws in their conclusions in under 10 minutes. You think mind maps, timelines, and tree sketches are a genealogist's most excellent resource.
Once you start talking, you can't stop. Once you learn a story about your ancestor, you can find ways to make even the most boring details enjoyable. Folks want often say, "tell me that story about…"
You love technology and how it can solve problems. You try every gadget that can help analyze, preserve, and share your family history. You might even dabble in developing apps and platforms to assist in the genealogy cause.
For every fact you discover, you incorporate it into a story about an ancestor. You believe research to write and write to research about your ancestor. You believe charts aren't your family history. A published blog post or book is your preserved legacy.
You find value in the smallest scraps of an ancestor's life. Not only do you know the jargon of Mylar, Polypropylene, and Polyester, you know which is better. You know when to use a Short Top, Hinged Lid, or Drop-Front boxes. You border on hoarder, but folks are thankful because you remembered to salvage the clues to the past.
You can open people up to capture their meaningful memories while making them enjoy the process. You know when to ask for facts and when to ask for stories. Without you, the meat for the bones of our genealogy would not be available.
You know the angles that capture gravestones in their best light. You evoke nostalgia by capturing indoor settings to their best advantage. You can find the small details folks overlook at on the items they see every day. You create the pictures in the past.
Share Your SuperPower
Did I miss any genealogy superpower? Let me know, and I'll make a meme graphic for it. Happy Family History month!