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The Craft of Genealogy

I am a crafter. Many people see a scrapbook layout and determine its worth based on the paper that it is made out of. It’s JUST paper, right?

They do not take into consideration what they would have to spend in order to replicate that $16 two page layout. Each color/design of paper averages $.89 a sheet. For the layout in the photo, at least three pages were used. ($2.67). To cut the letters so neatly, a machine is required. The Silhouette Cameo is what I use, ~$200. Are there stickers? Most packs are around $5 (and yes, you have to but the whole sheet of sticker, you generally cannot get JUST the one you want to use. Ribbon, not much…just ~$5 per roll (and again you have to buy the whole roll.) Then there is the time, the opportunity cost of spending the hour crafting rather than doing something that may generate more wealth or health. How does this apply to genealogy? $60! It’s JUST web searching, right? Why would I pay that much to have someone sit on a computer? I can do that any time I’d like. It is what I bring to the table that makes it valuable.

I possess: 18 years of analysis, a penchant for following the logic to the next clue…this enables me to triangulate to the next fact when pure data does not readily disclose the hidden link. Systems, Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com, Genealogybank.com, Obitsonline.com, Familysearch.com, Georgia Historical Society, National Genealogical Society, We’reRelated.com, Georgia Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, Fold3.com, National Genealogical Society, etc. All of the tools for the job of properly researching your family tree and connecting as many dots as possible. All have yearly fees and dues amounting to ~$500.

The desire to dig and identify your roots. Preserving history, mine, yours, all of it, is important to me. In the years to come when you are no longer here to share the stories, would it not be nice for the great, great, great, great, grandkids to be able to see a little bit of what you were about? I can do that for you. Are you the great, great, great, great, grandchild who wants to know what cultures culminated in your birth? I can do that for you as well.

Genealogy IS a craft of sorts. Subject to the same curse of being misunderstood…but how much do you pay to go to a museum to see ancient paint on ancient canvas? It’s JUST paint, right?

 

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