Monday, November 16, 2009

Madness Monday - November 16, 2009

Today is Madness Monday. And while today, all is well in my little corner of the world, there is a "madness" to it as well. [Actually it is more of a pet peeve!]

I tell my family, "Tis the season!"

My little pet peeve this morning are clients who contact me this time of year, and want me to perform a miracle in time for the Christmas gift-giving season!

"I have always wanted to give my Dad our family's genealogy in a printed book. We don't know anything about our family, except my Dad's parents names, but you can do that in time for me to give it to him for Christmas, can't you?"

If I tell them no, that we'll need more time, I am invariably met with, "Well, I thought you could do it all on the computer these days!"

For some reason, there is the insane idea that genealogy is performed strictly on the computer [Internet], and we don't need to dig through smelly, dusty archives or records any more! [Which is half the fun of the search to me!!!]

Most people today are amazed when they realize just how much we still rely on the old leg work to get this thing we call genealogy done! They are under the false impression that because such sites as advertise their vast storehouse of digital records online, that we should be able to see everything online! When in fact, those digital records [for which we are eternally grateful for!] are only the very tip of the research iceberg.

For new clients, I usually recommend that we start with a research project of about 40-hours. This does not mean a 40-hour work week. But 40-hours of actual research time. So, there is no way under the sun this 40-hours is completed within one work week! That 40-hours is probably going to take the better part of 4-6 weeks to complete. Why? Because I will drive to the nearest Family History Library Center [for me that's 2-hours away.] and research there. I will go to my local library. I will go to the courthouse. I will go to the state archives. I will visit countless cemeteries. I will go to funeral homes and mortuaries. And I will make endless numbers of phone calls and interview family members. I may even interview neighbors!

Once I have completed all of that, then I must put all of the information I have obtained into some kind of, and some semblance of, a legible report! Prepare my personal thoughts on the research, as well as my professional.

No... there's no way that a client phoning me today, November 16th, can possibly expect me to have a decent start on performing a genealogy report, from scratch [no previous knowledge of ancestry] by Christmas.

And that, just drives me m-a-a-a-a-a-a-d!!!!

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