The Good Genealogist

I am pleased to announce that print copies of my book – The Good Genealogist, How to Improve the Quality of Your Family History Research – are now available for purchase from the Society of Australian Genealogists.

An ebook is also in preparation and will be available soon.

One of the really great things about family history is that anyone can get involved. Of course, like any pursuit, to do it well you need to develop your skills and learn some techniques.

My first university degree was in prehistory and historical archaeology. When I decided to become a professional genealogist I returned to university to study history and family history, to update my skills and knowledge. For most people, however, family history is a hobby, and they do not want or need to study history at university. When I worked for the Society of Australian Genealogists as their education officer, I started developing lectures and courses to share the knowledge that I had picked up from years of study and research. My book is based on those lectures and courses.

The title of the book, The Good Genealogist, is intended to provide motivation for all genealogists to apply themselves to a continual process of improvement, whether they are a professional genealogists, a hobbyist or someone just starting to research their family history. The tips and techniques in the book provide practical guidance to achieve this aim.

Each chapter focuses on a group of related skills, under the headings Plan, Research, Analyse, Document, Organise and Maintain.

The qualities of being a ‘good genealogist’ outlined in this guide mirror those of being a ‘good historian’ of any kind – including high-level skills in historical research, critical analysis and the use of evidence. The guide sets out, clearly and methodically, a range of useful ideas and techniques to enable us to develop and implement these essential qualities in our own family history work.

Kate Bagnall, Senior Lecturer in Humanities Coordinator, Family History University of Tasmania, Foreword to The Good Genealogist