Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hardest Part of Genealogy...or How to be a Dyslectic Genealogist...

What is the hardest part of genealogy for you?

For most people it would be the brickwalls or researching in another language. For me it is the way my brain works.  You would think someone with a form of dyslexia would never attempt something like Genealogy that deals with numbers and fact organizations.  If I didn't love it so much I probably would have given up by now.

When typing a date or even a name I check it 5 or more times to make sure it is right and sometimes it still comes out wrong.

I have gotten snippy notes tell me to correct a name or date and I just fix it all the while wondering why people just cant be nicer.  I rarely ever tell anyone I am dyslexic.  Why? One because it is none of their business and two its hard to explain.  I was not even diagnosis until I was in my early 20's.  I was tested for my eye site, my psychological  abilities, you name it and I was tested for it.  I was send to "special classes" where I played cribbage and poker with the teacher because they didn't know what to do with me. It was the 70's and things were allot different from the way they are now.  It is not just reading, numbers, adding or subtracting can be a nightmare too.   I was told I was lazy because I have a high I.Q. and was just not living up to my potential.

I work by memorization.  I had memorized 15 books as a small child and amazed everyone by age 3 or 4 that I could read them.  I couldn't, I was just storing it and repeating it back.  Reading was hard enough, reading out-loud was next to impossible.

I have found I have two 1st cousins, my son and a niece that all have the same thing at different levels.

I forced myself to learn to read, not the way I was taught in school, but my way.  I started with small romance novels, because, who cares if you cant read a few paragraphs it all turns out the same in the end.  I took a speed reading class.  You think that wouldn't help but it did.  It taught me how to skip unnecessary words and focus on the words I need to know what was going on.

Surprisingly, I can read old documents, maybe its because they look so scrambled to begin with.  I am now an avid reader.  I can finish a 400 page book in a couple of hours.  Does it always make sense?  No but I go back and re-read things several times and it will sink in at some point.

I try to be very careful when inputting data and pull reports all the time to be sure there are no errors showing in my database.  If I have something incorrect I want to hear from people, I love getting new info, and contacts with other researchers.  It is when I am hurried or trying to send an e-mail that I make biggest mistakes.  Again I try to catch things but my brain sees it as correct so I think it is. (make sense?).  So now that I have re-read this post for the 45th time (lol) I will finish up.

Please just remember when you are sending a note to a fellow researcher for a correction be nice.  Even if they are not dyslexic, everyone makes mistakes,  I have always told my kids the day I am perfect is the day I am dead ;-}

Digging our way out of the Blizzard of '13 in Maine,

On a side note:  Rootsweb is finally fix (!!!) and I uploaded a big update of the O'Donnell's of NB and some more on the Hovey's and their lines of descendants.


  1. I cannot imagine how hard doing genealogy for you must be! You go girl! You rock!
    LeAnn Knifer Atkin
    Lander, WY