One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one’s perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.     –Tom Robbins

In my course to become a professional genealogist, I am learning a lot about my perception of history. I took about six pro-bono cases to hone my research and report writing skills.

I was so excited because the cases included African-American research in Texas, I have little experience in Texas and no experience in African-American research. A case of researching for a Cherokee ancestor following family lore. Bringing life to a great-grandmother who was a character to start.

When I was taking the Boston University Genealogical Research class, we were told to exercise caution and not bring our prejudice and perception of events into it. We are to analyze the evidence. As I delve into each case, I am learning what we are taught is woefully inadequate to the practice. Our prejudices have a way of sneaking in, it is integral to let them go and to let the evidence speak for itself.

I know with each case I will become a better researcher and am extremely grateful to get my feet wet with some friends before hanging my shingle on the door.




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