Was thinking the other day on what some of the challenges are that I face when conducting my research on my own family. Thought I would share some of these thoughts.
The biggest one is time. Sure I can do a lot of it online at night, but I find that a lot of the clues to my brick walls are offline. This means travel. So more and more I depend on the Internet. It is a wonderful thing this Internet and the constant upgrade of new sources. It amazes me that sites like Family Search and Ancestry add millions of records every week. The ability to access new records that I may never found the old way are now so much easier. Take for example the Catholic church records that I am able to access for Toledo. Just amazes me. I don't know about you, but when you can limit the human factor sometimes it makes the process of doing research much easier. One of these days I will make the travel to do the offline.
Another challenge is how to go about doing online research correctly. With all the information online if you don't come up with a research plan first it is very easy to wander. Forcing myself to make a research plan first is very difficult. It must be done. Knowing what records you have looked at previously helps you identify new ones to research. Old databases are even being updated. Important to know the date you last used the database.
Software for me can also be a challenge. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable on this element of my research, but I still struggle with it. Constantly having to update programs I find confusing. Knowing the ins and outs of the programs are so important. Dealing with some of the bells and whistles in the programs also can be confusing. Some programs are set up to search the internet to provide clues in your research. I have yet to find one that comes back with solid information. Software and technology related to genealogy is changing on a daily basis.
Finally the shear volume of the data and information related to genealogy on the Internet can be overwhelming. You have blogs, message boards, groups, etc etc. Which ones really bring you the information you need? I am a big believer in keeping it simple, but with the Internet this can be a challenge.
Would love to hear some of your thoughts on the challenges. As always don't forget to click. Have a great weekend.