I am continually amazed at the changes that have taken place in the world of genealogy over the past 20 to 25 years. And, I am pleasantly surprised by the progress I have made as a genealogist over the years as well.
Recently, I dug out some old files that I hadn’t worked on for at least 12 years. Oh my goodness, what a mess! It was good to see that I have definitely improved in my file organization over the years. Old census copies (from microfilm, of course), e-mails from distant cousins, forum queries and responses – few of which had citations even noted. As I cleaned up the mess and added more to my research on the family, I couldn’t help but think about how much things have changed. I was able to get citations for the census records I had, and do a complete census survey of the family (including the children) within a matter of days. Geez, years before that would have taken me months to accomplish, and I probably wouldn’t have been able to find all of them!
Those old microfilm machines still bring backfond memories, though. When my daughters were young, Sunday afternoons were my “Me Time”. I would spend the afternoon at the library digging through printed census indices (if they existed), cranking through microfilms, and straining my eyes. It was fun, believe it or not. I was a baby genealogist and was just learning, but I have to say there was no better way to learn. Present day technology has made it a new ballgame. Even though I have those fond memories, I much prefer the new way we play the genealogy game. Bottom line: I can accomplish so much more is a whole lot less time!