I drove two hours one way to get here to view census records:
Yep, genealogy was way different back then. It kinda reminds of me Tim McGraw’s song “Back When,” in which he reminisces about life in the good ‘ol days. In an era of immediate gratification, where we can download our favorite songs from iTunes and play them nearly anywhere, any time of the day, Tim laments:
I love my records
Black, shiny vinyl
Clicks and pops
And white noise
Man they sounded fine
I had my favorite stations
The ones that played them all
Country, soul and rock-and-roll
What happened to those times?
Like Tim, sometimes I miss the good ‘ol days too. Nothing like the smell of a musty old book to bring me back to my years when I first began my search for my ancestors. Yes, things were quite different in the world of genealogy then. So….do you remember when?
All genealogists knew how to use this:
One viewed the IGI like this:
Most genealogists sources looked like this:
We did this to instead see where our ancestors lived:
We visited this:
We went here to get vital records:
We viewed old newspapers like this:
While I must admit to relishing the instant gratification the internet and computers have provided to us as we research our family history, in many ways I do miss the “olden days” of genealogy. Those were the days when we actually took the time to write letter to collaborate with our cousins when researching family lines, when we studied the documents we copied off that day at the library, and actually read books on paper instead of in ebook format. While we’ve gained a lot over the last thirty years or so (hasn’t the internet helped all of us break down a brick wall or two?), in many ways I miss the slower days of research. Yup, taking time to really relish a find instead of fiendishly looking to solve the next big mystery, enjoying the anticipation of getting new documents in the daily mail, and just savoring the moment of getting to know an ancestor a bit better.
So, now’s your turn – what do you miss?