Old Job – New Job Similarities

If you’ve seen my About page, you know I have a math degree from Longwood College (now University) and a meteorology degree from Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University – Lyndon). My skills as a meteorologist come in handy just about every day as my husband and I travel I95. I look at the weather from a different perspective than a hobbyist knowing what to pay attention to and what it means. We have taken shelter at rest areas and truck stops waiting for nasty weather to pass so we don’t have to drive through it.

photo of a rain shower and bolt of lightning.
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

When I worked as a television meteorologist I had to extract data from computer models and make sense of it. Analysis and correlation of that data were vital in getting the forecast right. I took that information and made computer graphics in order to tell a weather story for the viewers at home. Telling a cohesive and concise story was important in television as time was precious.

Now, compare meteorology and genealogy and you’ll see many similarities…

When I work in genealogy, I have to extract data from records and documents and make sense of it. Analysis and correlation of that data are key to being accurate, whether I’m finding an ancestor’s parents or a DNA match. I take that information and craft paragraphs and visuals to tell a story for clients, my family, or just myself. Telling a cohesive and concise story is important in genealogy as time is precious.

To be the best I can be and the most effective, I must adhere to the Genealogical Proof Standard or the GPS, standards set by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (https://bcgcertification.org/). These standards can be found here:

photo of booklet Genealogy Standards Second Edition

In simple terms, to follow the GPS is to…

  1. Conduct reasonably exhaustive research
  2. Construct complete and accurate source citations
  3. Analyze and correlate all information
  4. Resolve conflicts
  5. Write up your findings

I’m not sure why I was drawn to meteorology as a profession. I guess I liked the science and the process. Plus being on television was pretty cool! I think it’s that same process that also makes me love genealogy. There is considerable satisfaction in putting a puzzle together and finding the answer to your research question. What a great feeling!

Genealogy tip: Whether you are a hobby genealogist or a professional, you can not go wrong following the GPS.

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