Genealogy Wise

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Today - for the first time since I've been reading and posting messages on various sites - I was able to offer someone some clarifying information. Doing so was just a tiny repayment to all those who've helped me. Actually, I find myself being intimidated by the level of knowledge some researchers possess. "Do they have a household full of LDS" tapes or reference books?" I ask myself. Or have they simply become vast repositories of what they've intellectually digested over the years? Actually, I'm not just intimidated. I'm jealous. I want to be them.

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Comment by Kathleen Fox Allen on September 1, 2009 at 9:19pm
You can't. Literature, art, music, dance - they're all forms of artistic expression. And without history, we might not understand the importance of those expressions.
Comment by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on September 1, 2009 at 8:35pm
Kathleen, (that's my given name also), I'm flattered. I taught a whole range of literature, writing, and humanities courses, reaching all the way from middle school to the community college level. The humanities allowed me to indulge my love of history, literature, and the arts. How can you separate them?
Comment by Kathleen Fox Allen on September 1, 2009 at 7:44pm
Thank you for the kind words, Katie.

I should say that I've visited your page as well (and your blog) and you express yourself beautifully. What did you teach?
Comment by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 31, 2009 at 6:35pm
Kathleen - it seems that a group of us share this feeling. When I was working in public education, I grew into and was used to being one of the best in my area. The keys words, I suppose, are "grew into." Don't know about you, but I've been searching for my family history for about two years, and I'm not especially patient with myself. Perhaps someday I'll evolve into a truly capable researcher, one who feels comfortable offering help that's based on knowledge and experience.

On the other hand, I think you underestimate yourself. I visited your page and read most of the comments currently on your wall. Your explanations are concise and articulate. And don't forget --- you were brave enough to start a discussion group. That fact that you would take the time to encourage me and commiserate with me says much about you.

Thanks so much,

Comment by Kathleen Fox Allen on August 31, 2009 at 5:31pm
I know what you mean... I've received so much help since I've started with GenealogyWise, and I feel like I've helped relatively little by comparison. Part of that is that I don't really think that I have an area of speciality. Mostly, I know just enough about many different areas to get myself into trouble!
Comment by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 24, 2009 at 12:12pm
Sarah - That is some specialty. Archeologist - WOW. Do you know that when I was a child, I wanted to be an archeologist. My grandmother was a housekeeper for a very wealthy family in St. Louis years ago, and she - who hated to see anything thrown away - brought home stacks of out-of-date archeology magazines that were published in the UK (as well as copies of Vogue for some balance). As young as I was, I read them from cover to cover.

I'm sorry about the spate of unemployment. It seems to be going around doesn't it? Alas - I have no English ancestors of which I know - at least at the moment. Suppose that could change at any time.
Comment by Sarah MacLean on August 24, 2009 at 10:04am
LOL not silly at all, although I did feel like I sounded like I was some sort of superhero with a special power. Even funnier when I tell you if you took the first letter of each word of my last job title it spelled out HERO :) It amused many of my colleagues for years!

Anyway, I'm an out of work archaeologist at the moment here in the UK but I specifically worked with archaeological records and the databases that collated information about historic sites. I'm sometimes able to help family history researchers with ancestors in England with background information about specific churches or villages or at least where you can get some of that information. Recently I managed to pull up a record for a paper mill in a village where a friend's ancestors worked in a paper mill. No definite proof they worked there but I can't see them travelling to work at a different paper mill when there was one on the doorstep!
Comment by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 24, 2009 at 8:07am
Hi, Sarah - It's good to know I have company out there. Do you ever wonder how many people experience this weird combination of intimidation and awe and never express what they're thinking and feeling? Like you, I think I'm a helper by nature and not being able to help is frustrating. I don't know that I have a specialty area. What's yours? If you tell me, perhaps we'll find it's something for which I'm desperate. Then --- you can say you helped me. Hurray! Sorry - I'm getting silly here. Glad you're a soul sister.

Comment by Sarah MacLean on August 24, 2009 at 6:09am
I know how you feel! I'm one of those people who likes to help other people and I really feel as if I can't really help anyone much when it comes to family history. I guess what we have to do is work out what specialties we have. I think I've worked out mine but no one has called on my special ability yet! Don't worry though, we'll get there eh?!


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