The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What Sort of Genealogist Am I?

Okay, so it is Wednesday and I'm finally participating in last week's Genea-Musings Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Three years ago Thomas MacEntee wrote Careers in Genealogy - A 2012 Update where he shared 9 current genealogy careers. Using Thomas' categories, an additional category by Randy Seaver and some of my own, I'm going to share how I believe I fit or don't fit these categories.

To start, I have never been paid to do any of these "careers" when it comes to genealogy or family history.

These are Thomas' 9 categories:

  • Researcher: I am a researcher and have been since I was a young teen. Mostly doing research on my own family lines, but often helping others dig in the trenches for documents when they are frustrated in their own efforts. In the early 1990s, when I was in my early 20s I found a couple other women who had my same name "Amy Ohms". One was in Wisconsin and the other in Colorado. I helped them research their "Ohms" family; finding no connection to mine but lots of great documents for them.
  • Author: I am an author ... of this blog and a few other blogs that are still in development.
  • Educator: I believe this category fits me the best. I am an educator. I have been teaching others how to do family history for more than 20 years. I have served for numerous years as a LDS ward and stake consultant. I taught the pilot course for the LDS Religion course 261: Introduction to Family History in 1995 at the Cedar City LDS Institute. I believe my blog serves as a teaching tool and in the past year I have been speaking (teaching) at regional and national conferences. Someday I hope to learn how to offer webinars or other online courses.
  • Curator: I believe I am a curator of LDS quotes regarding family history and temple work.
  • Archivist: I need to be an archivist. I have some family documents, photos, etc that need to be preserved. I need to learn more about proper preservation. When it comes to collections of articles, documents, etc, I believe my brother Seth is a great archivist; at least for one of our ancestors.
  • Librarian: I am not a librarian. I have worked in trade and textbook stores as a retailer and was often mistaken for being a librarian in a library. I know how to use a library, but I am not a librarian.
  • Analyst: I am an analyst. I love data. I analyze how certain software or websites function and when I find errors I submit feedback or enhancement suggestions. I beta test websites. In a non-genealogy career I analyzed data to identify sales trends, product placement, product life cycle and depreciation. In genealogy I also analyze what data may be missing when researching an individual or family.
  • Marketer: I love marketing and believe I am a marketer for all things family history related. I am learning more about social media and am hoping in the near future to get a certificate in Social Media Marketing. For me, marketing is all about the message, the brand, and how to get it to the people and analyzing the response.
  • Retailer: Currently not a retailer for anything genealogy related, but that could change. I have been a retailer for more than 20 years in my career. I have some product ideas that I may develop for the genealogy market. 
Randy's addition:
  • Evangelist: I think this is sort of like "Marketer" - one who promotes genealogy and family history; except without the technical aspects. This also encompasses, spreading the "good word" about genealogy and family history and encouraging others in the process. I believe I am an evangelist.
My additions:
  • Cheerleader / Encourager: This sort of goes along with "Evangelist". Not only spreading the good word about genealogy but cheering each other along. When someone is down or frustrated by a brick wall I try to cheer them up and help them see all the good things through the frustration. I also help them try to figure other ways around their road block.
  • Private Investigator: I am really good at quickly finding the living; often much to their surprise and the surprise of those looking for the living. I believe this is a gift that I possess.
  • Gatherer / Organizer / Planner: So, not only can I find the living, I then organize them into huge reunions. I am really good at gathering cousins and planning and organizing and carrying out family reunions and events.
  • Developer: I don't know how to write software code; maybe someday I'll learn. What I did learn my first year at the RootsTech Innovator Summit is that often software "developers" don't write code either. They develop the concept for the software and others program in code what the developer planned. I have some software concept ideas that I still need to make time to develop and then build a team of programmers to create. Not yet a developer, but maybe someday.
  • Geneticist: I am not a geneticist. I haven't even had my DNA analyzed. I hope to participate in a DNA test sometime soon. There are many people that understand DNA and genetics and I believe this is a growing field for genealogy.
  • Travel Guide: I am not a travel guide ... I just dream of being one someday. I would love to put together groups to travel to ancestral homelands to have grand adventures in walking where their ancestors walked.
What about you? What sort of genealogist are you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Hello, Amy!

    Thanks for a great post. You write: "I am really good at quickly finding the living". I am also very good at finding them. But getting them to respond is so much harder. I wonder, how you do it? I wrote countless email messages, facebook messages, even messages on ancestry and myheritage. And the response rate is like 5% (no, I did not count the exact rate, it's just an estimate). What would you suggest to get more responses?


    1. Sometimes I too don't get responses or quick responses. Sometimes the responses from ancestry users have taken a year plus.

      My best responses are when I state in the beginning of my message how I'm related to the person I'm contacting (if I know), how we are connected to the common ancestor, my contact information and that I would like them to contact me and then I give the specific reason.

      Most recently I created a new Facebook group for a common ancestor and like wildfire the people I've tried to reach out to are joining it on their own. I have shared a descendancy chart that is severely out dated and amazing they are excited to correct it for me. It hasn't been one week yet and I've updated the chart everyday with needed corrections. For the people on this group, I thought that Facebook would be the last place they'd be. To my surprise, this is where they are.