Writing your results
After the hard work of collecting, organising and analysing the data is done, you will finally be able to write up your results. While it is true that at this point the bulk of the work is done, the task that now lies before you is no less important. A well-written document detailing the results of your study can spell the difference between an often-consulted genealogical research source and a document that is not of much use to people and will therefore remain unread.
Before you begin writing up the results of your research, it is important to remember that while the field of genealogy can be a fascinating pursuit for you and a source of much enjoyment, it is not likely that everyone will find it as interesting as you do. Therefore you have to plan out a way to write your report that will make it easy to understand, informative and most of all somewhat enjoyable for your intended audience. After all, a document that is of interest only to people who have a passion for genealogy is pretty much limited to that audience.
A good way to ensure that as many people read your work as possible is to donate a few copies of it to appropriate agencies such as local and national genealogical libraries, archivists and historical societies. The LDS Family History Library also accepts donated manuscripts and with its wide readership base, many people are sure to come across your work in their own genealogical research. Donating the fruits of your hard work to such organisations will go a long way in piecing together the puzzle of familial history and benefit a lot of people in more ways than one.
It has been said often enough that genealogical research is almost an addictive pursuit and many people are drawn to this type of work almost obsessively. As a consequence many genealogists are very hesitant to put the finishing touches on their report so to speak and instead hold out for more and more information in the hopes of producing the perfect comprehensive family tree.
While being as thorough and meticulous as possible is a definite trait to have in this field of research, there comes a time when you have to realise that you have already produced a substantial body of work that can be of tremendous use to someone else right now. Realistically, chances are slim to none that a family tree or family history will ever be completed and holding out for too long may prevent other people from drawing the benefits of your months and perhaps even years of painstaking research.
When you feel that you have arrived at a significant milestone in your genealogical research it would be a good idea to produce an account or at least a summary of your findings thus far and make it available to other members of your family. Input and feedback from your family members may lead you to discover a few important points that you may have inadvertently missed.
Original Authors: Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 20/06/2008