Genealogist vs. Family Historian

There is an ongoing discussion about genealogy and family history.

Family Historian seems to be a title for those who collect all sorts of things that a family member once touched or might have touched or probably would have touched had it been placed in their hand. In other cases it is the process of collecting family stories.

Everyone, I hope, had one or two or three cherished items from ancestors. But 300?

People collect family stories to preserve them. It turns out that collecting family stories is also perceived as a way to draw young people into genealogy.

There are plenty of family stories. But, and here’s the rub, how many of your family stories are true? Three brothers came to America… My ancestress was an Indian Princess… You get the idea.

Genealogists deal in facts. Ok, not a lot of those whose family trees bloat Ancestry.com, but serious genealogists are into facts and proof. They want evidence. Heck, they want you to prove you were born and didn’t just appear full grown. (Superman is in big trouble.)

Isn’t being a “Family Historian” contradictory to being a “Genealogist”? What do you think?

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