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Are You An Effective Genealogist?

Internet Genealogy article by Donna Potter Phillips, Internet Genealogy author November 9, 2015)

What I mean is that are you a successful genealogist or an unsuccessful genealogist? Do you usually achieve your research goals? If not, then you might want to take another look at your research strategies.

Dave Obee, who hails from Victoria, British Columbia, gives these tips to becoming a more effective genealogist:

(1) Be Proactive: develop and use a plan of action; seek out new information;
(2) Keep the End in Mind: your goal is likely an accurate family history so seek out primary sources, trustworthy sources and learn to evaluate sources;
(3) Put First Things First: Identify your priorities; have a research plan; keep organized; be methodical in stepping backwards through time;
(4) Think Win-Win: Winning strategies in genealogy include the old steps of talking to every family member and new cousin you can find, no matter how far removed;
(5) Seek To Understand: Learn the context of your ancestor’s life; put yourself in the perspective of the people you are researching;
(6) Synergize: Dave means here to “create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.” Try for more than one piece of documentation; acknowledge the source of all you find;
(7) Sharpen the Saw: Stay up to date; always work to improve your research skills and always watch for the new sources of information (like Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today provide!!).

Dave Obee acknowledged that his presentation came from Steven R. Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. These are tried and true principles; they do work!

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