Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Genealogy Bias



Okay, so maybe I am using this post to have an excuse to share another cute photo, especially of kids on sleighs, but ah well.

To get back on topic, the title of this post is to explain a little of the rhyme and reason behind most of my posts.

It may at times seem that I tend to post with a bias. What I mean by bias is that I will tend to post about certain particular family members or sides of family. Generally there are a few reasons behind this:

1) Access - I may post more about certain people because I have more access to their artifacts, especially concrete information, which at times can come in droves and at other times, can be a complete dry spell for many months or years. For example, I have ample access to my grandmother's family history due to her countless photo collection (and I mean countless!!), letters, family heirlooms, and hearing stories directly from her in person. She's my last oldest living family member on her side of the family.

2) Records - Due to knowing certain members information due to having initial access to them, allows me to find better and more accurate info about them online. The less I know is when I tend to hit roadblocks in my research and sometimes have to look up other family members to even get names or birth dates - sort of going through the back door to get info. So, access is really related to getting good records. Without the two, it can become very difficult.

3) Interest - Part of bias can also be blamed on a level of interest you have on certain family members. I think part of this is based on the two above factors - Having a personal connection really helps this. I will write more proficiently about those who I feel more of a connection with than those I still know little to nothing about. I can make assumptions at best with my findings, but generally, that's all they'll ever be. It's an ongoing frustration of any genealogist who cannot get to know their ancestors a little better. But, records, even the very factoid filled census records, can offer us some kind of idea of who they were.

So, if it seems I am a little biased about what I blog about, it's really about all of the factors above. However, I do aim to blog more about some journeys/roadblocks I have, too, in case someone runs across this blog and can possibly help me solve my problems.