Some have commented that anything which stirs up interest in genealogy the way Roots did a few decades ago is a good thing. From my vantage point as a family history researcher, I'm not sure Faces of America does that. Most people who aren't already doing genealogy research think they wouldn't know how to do it, and this series does absolutely nothing to cause them to think they could learn. All the searching is done behind the scenes by the professionals, and then--hocus pocus!--by some unrevealed mystique, a celebrity has a fascinating ancestor! I would have much preferred, and I think I was expecting, an approach more like that of History Detectives, where the actual search for information is given every bit as much prominence as the results of the search. (I can see where the professionals might disagree with my position!)
I research my family history because it's fun. It's like a huge, complex, personalized jigsaw puzzle that doesn't come with a picture on top of the box. It doesn't even come with all the pieces. You get some for starters, and once you've got those together, you get to go scavenger-hunting for the rest. You don't have to know how to do it all before you start, any more than you need a college degree to start kindergarten. You figure it out as you go. That keeps it interesting. And the tidbits of information you find as a result of your figuring are the rewards that keep you coming back for more. I wish Faces of America had conveyed that aspect, the pleasure of the hunt.
The day it ceases to be a pleasure, I'm done. If that makes me a mere hobbyist or a genealogical dilettante, so be it. But, like anyone who does jigsaw puzzles, I am invested in getting each piece right so the picture will be revealed. (By the way, nothing pleases me more than to get a reader comment that helps me do that.)
Anyway, having spoken my piece, I will nevertheless be watching the last episode of Faces this week. The subject is genetic genealogy, an area I don't know too much about, so I expect I'll be able to learn something from it.
Early in the month, I set up a new binder for the Schulte line. I made more photos for my heirloom family tree, as well as a list of reference photos identifying all images and memorabilia associated with the tree. I participated in the 2010 GeneaBloggers Games, earning medals in five out of six categories for the Tasks I completed. As part of that process, I set up several additional new binders and rearranged material in some of the older binders. I started what will be a series of surname posts that will be linked to the names in my new Surnames list page.
And in the other column . . .
. . . sourcing! My bugaboo! Despite the lure of a Platinum Medal in the Games (50 source citations), I realized early on that I would happily settle for a Bronze (for a mere 10 citations) if I could manage to push myself that hard. Even at that, I managed to drag my feet almost to the deadline. [Having 'fessed up to that, I will also say I discovered two things: 1) that I actually have sourced quite a bit more of my data than I realized, and 2) that the plan I intended to follow, as per my New Year's resolution, in sourcing all my direct-line ancestors was not conducive to efficient sourcing, and I've found a better way of approaching the job.]
And my efforts in the Back-Up category were a total bust, as my DVD writer apparently doesn't work. I'll try again in March, next time with a 2GB thumb-drive that my Bloodhound Cousin Cheryl sent me. Thanks, Cheryl!