It’s that time again! Here at The Hipster Historian, I love interviewing anyone who loves history, genealogy, and death positivity — my trifecta of passions. I’ve interviewed DNA experts, yoga genealogists, and others; and today, we have yet another amazing genealogist, Melanie from The Shamrock Genealogist. Keep scrolling to hear about what genealogy means to her and her tips to new genealogists.
What is the Shamrock Genealogist?
The Shamrock Genealogist is the name of my genealogy blog and also how I identify myself to others in the genealogy community. I officially started the blog a little over a year ago as I wanted to start documenting my family history and my genealogy journey.
How did you get started in genealogy?
I was assigned a project in my college genetics class to interview members of my family and create a family tree. I asked mostly medical questions to help identify potential issues to keep in mind. I started digging into my paternal grandparents and asked my parents, aunt and uncle additional questions about where they lived, where they worked, etc.
What advice would you give to other genealogists?
I would give the following tips:
- Slow down and review each document. It’s not a race to get to the earliest generation. There are so many goodies you find along the way by analyzing each document.
- Create a research log. I suffer from genealogy ADD and I always felt like I was jumping from ancestor to ancestor without really accomplishing much. I’m starting to write research questions and focus on those questions without getting distracted by BSO’s (bright shiny objects), such as Ancestry hints, etc.
Why is genealogy important to you?
Genealogy is important to me because it’s a way to document our ancestors’ lives and remember them. I think there is a part of us that wants to be remembered and not be forgotten.
Tell us a story about your families (or clients) research!
I recently discovered through a DNA match that my great-grandfather had a son in Ireland before he married my great-grandmother in America. My father and his siblings did not know this. The DNA match (who is the daughter of the son born in Ireland) tells the story that he was not allowed to marry her because his parents would not allow it. He was sent to America about 2 years after his son was born to live with a cousin. I’m pursuing possible leads to see if I can help identify the mother of my new half great-uncle.
What is your favorite thing about genealogy?
My favorite thing about genealogy is that you are never done. There is always some new collection, a new database that’s uncovered. Our ancestors’ lives are so rich and we’re finding out so much about how they lived.
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