What is the difference between a family historian and a genealogist? Family hstory requires tracing members of a family, showing the relationships among them, recording their family stories, collecting their treasured photos and documents, and sharing all that with other family members.
Genealogy, on the other hand, is often considered to be a more rigid, even scientific, activity that incorporates standard ways of recording information, rigorous methods for assessing evidence, an academic component providing formal learning, and professional accreditation. Genealogists plan and attend conferences; publish books and articles; contribute to other disciplines such as medicine, genetics and history; and promote and lead efforts to preserve and make accessible records of the past.
I believe it safe to assume that the majority on here are family historians. The rule of thumb I was taught denoted that you researched the 4 generations above yours. Having said that, you do so in great detail. In effect you may not own that data set, but it does render you the expert. And as the expert, you ought to be able to know your stuff inside and out so that you can best help people. So if you are the expert in your line, how can someone else be who is not even in your line??? Those folks with 30K plus names can't be relied upon to provide any kind of solid assistance!
If you so decide, the next step involves researching your ancestral line. And again digging up as much as possible to get a well-rounded view of their lives.
Research takes a great deal effort and time. I am speaking of time-frames in the decades. Again, while one does not own the data set, do you not believe a researcher should be compensated for a decade's worth of hard work? Would you not want to be? There are people on here that don't even say thank-you!
I do agree we all have needed GUIDANCE at the begining. But taking the easy route out serves no purpose. You ought to
be looking for the TOOLS and hints regarding METHODOLOGY to find people for yourself. Where is the satisfaction in cutting and pasting?
Now yes I have benefitted from the trees of others, but usually it is one person who has become a brick wall. If I am lucky enough to get additional info, I don't put it on my tree until I have researched it myself and determined its validity.
There are so many mistakes on here because people are lazy. I have seen everything from spelling mistakes, the reversal of ancestral order ie the person researching puts themselves as the first generation, individuals that have no place in the line, placenames that don't exist, and no citations.
How many times have you accredited the people whose trees helped you out?
It would be good form to ask them how much information they are comfortable with you putting in your tree and on-line.
Yes, I guess I get mean-spirited when I have spent years on my research and I don't even get a thank-you. (I gave someone the names of our entire ancestral line - saved her month,years,of work and did not get so much as a thank-you!) What could I be thinking??
To the person who commented on "if I cared what goes into other people's trees..." You must be kidding! Misinformation can lead people to researching the wrong line, because they have taken information to be legitimate. The goal of genealogy is pride in accuracy and certainly not to purposefully create red-herrings for fellow-researcher. That's mean-spirited....