The results were quite revealing. The two most common replies were indeed ‘Family Historian’ and Genealogist and there was a noticeable difference between the replies from UK ‘Genies’ compared to my American friends. It does appear that there is a divide of opinion across the pond. It might well be a cultural difference in language? I would love to hear your views on the subject.
In my view, a ‘Family Historian’ is someone that researches people, places, cultures, heritage and the context of where and when our ancestors lived. Whereas a Genealogist implies somebody who just researches pedigree’s (family tree’s), of course, I am sure that some of you will disagree with this.
Genealogy Geek, Collector of Stories, Family Researcher, Historical Researcher, Story Teller, Armchair Genealogist, Story Keeper, Family History Keeper, to name but a few.
So, has my own opinion changed from my original thoughts? Whilst I am still very much ‘enthusiastic’ and I am still not a ‘professional’, I have opted to change my title to ‘Story Teller’, which best describes what I am trying to achieve, but Family Historian also ‘fits’ rather nicely. Does any of this really matter and is it really that important? Yes, if you hope to make a living at Genealogy or Family History, but less so if you are a hobbyist, such as myself.
If you have your own thoughts, I would really love to hear from you and maybe you call yourself something entirely different. Over the years, I have also affectionately referred to myself as ‘The Happy Reaper’ because of my obsession with trying to find the final resting places of as many of my Ancestors as I can, but that’s an entirely different story.
Just for fun, I have created a few new titles for you all to enjoy. Maybe you fit into one of these categories instead?
- Tree Harvester – Someone who collects and ‘hoovers up’ trees and people from anyone’s tree they find on our favourite Genealogy website, probably has a tree that contains over 50, 000 names on it.
- Cut and Paste King – Someone who thinks in Genealogical terms that GPS means Global Positioning System. Somebody that is quite happy to cut and paste any relative facts from someone else’s tree and thinks that as far as verifying the details are concerned, they are happy that “it must be a fact, because I saw it online”.
- The Magpie – Who hasn’t been attracted by that ‘Bright Shiny Genealogical Object’? We all have to a certain degree, but it takes strong willpower and discipline not to spend all day, every day, chasing ‘Fools Gold’.
- The Ethnicity Expert – Takes a DNA test purely for the Ethnicity Estimate and frustratingly for you and me, has no interest in Family History or building a family tree. Never replies to a DNA message.
- The Surfer – Spends many days aimlessly flitting around our favourite websites with no structure or method and repeats the same searches again and again and again……
- The Archiphobe – Someone that thinks that all records are online and has never left the comfort of their armchair, very dismissive of others who suggest that there are ‘other records available’.
- The Finisher – Someone who has obviously ‘finished’ their family tree and cannot understand why the rest of us are lagging behind.