New Age Genealogy is the term I use to describe the hybrid research we do nowadays. You know, the part online and part offline research that we perform.
Many start researching online. And that's not wrong. It's just different than how it used to be done. What it does mean, though, is that we have quite a few folks who start off with a bang online then quickly get stumped because not all the answers are online. In fact, only a small percentage can be found online.
However, we can use our online tools to narrow down where the records we need are offline, and that's important.
New Age Genealogy doesn't mean we do all our research online. It certainly doesn't mean we do it all offline.
What it means is that we use the available tools online that are readily at our disposal in order to be organized with our research, to find the information that can be found online, and to find where additional information might be located offline.
Then we go offline.
It also means we take advantage of educational opportunities both online and offline.
It means after locating online where an ancestor's tombstone is, we hop in our car, give [I say give because mine is voice activated] the address to our GPS, and use our smartphone to take photos and upload them to the internet while we're still at the cemetery. [And perhaps we tweet about it too just because we can.]
It means we talk to people online who we've never met IRL [in real life] and ask questions. We learn from each other.
It means we talk to the folks in our local genealogical society because we realize they know the local history like the back of their hand.
It means we don't only do things a certain way because that's the way they've always been done.
It means we learn from those who have come before us and the standards they've set, and we add all that to our skills set and the technology we have now.
We're results-oriented. We have questions, and we're not afraid to ask them. In fact, we're pretty bold about getting those answers.
And really? If New Age crystals could help us to find our ancestors, you can bet we'd buy some of those too.
However, I haven't heard of New Age crystals helping anyone out with the research process, but I do have a General Record Reminder list that helps me to remember what I should be looking for both online and offline.
Does it have everything listed? No. In fact, feel free to comment below if you think I have forgotten something vital. [*snort* Get it? Vital?]
Does it advocate only online resources? No, don't be silly. Only offline? No, of course not. It's just a general reminder list that I use. It has a few links to online resources where I thought appropriate, but that's it. Links of resources can be tricky as stuff is getting digitized all the time.
And while I think there is nothing wrong with starting online with your research, it's important to realize there are many, many offline resources that need to be searched for in order to answer our burning genealogy and family history questions.
Basically, if we can't find something online, then it's time to look offline for it.
It's time for our research to be whole.
It's time for us to be whole ~ complete.
It's time to be a full-fledged New Age Genealogist.
And if that means turning on some Yanni and purchasing some crystals, then so be it.
Or you can download my General Reminder List. You can even customize it to your heart's content. For free.