The lessons afforded while mining for gold and distinguishing false gold from the real thing can be applied to many applications of life.
This blog is to liken "AHA" moments to finding GOLD. I lived in Northern California nearly my entire life. I actually would uproot my children each summer and live in the Sierra Mountains following the gold as it flowed down the rivers of California.
That is another wonderful blog waiting to be written.
When a genealogist uncovers a new family, location or published event directly involving a member of a direct family line, we often experience what they like to refer to as "an AHA Moment". When the event or information involves an indirect relative they experience an urge to share. This urge to share is a desire to experience the resonant of a fellow genealogist's "AHA moment".
Finding GOLD is an AHA moment. It is thrilling. But there is lots of very convincing Fool's Gold in deem der hills. One of the first test of authenticity is where the gold was found. There are elements about gold that explains the location of gold as it flows down the river. The side of the river, the configuration of the river as it winds down the hillside are all clues to locations of gold. If someone claims to have found gold on the unlikely side of the river or incorrect location of a winding river bed. You would be correct in questioning the authenticity of the find.
So like genealogy "finds". First question often is where did you find that bit of information? There are unlikely resources to finding real gold versus false gold.
To the inexperienced miner the discovery maybe exciting. As experience teaches these false finds lose their luster very quickly.
Many long hours, efforts and hard work has been wasted chasing false gold. False gold in the California hills and in genealogical research. This is why I guess I reject so hardly against irresponsible sharing of genealogical research. If a Serious Genealogist states they have never been lured by false gold, believe me, they are not an experienced genealogist or there is false gold yet to be discovered within that very same genealogist data.
In my opinion; many websites, books, articles are purposely or mistakenly planting false gold for enthusiastic research miners. One such case is the origins of Surnames. I take exception to people spouting off the or gins of any one's surname. Especially here in America, where names often are less than 300-400 years old.
Anyone wanting to share information about their own or someone else's surname origin needs to back up their data with more information than a "name's book". I agree good assumptions, grouping exact and similar names can capture a good percentage of the name origins. If someone was to claim to know the origin of my surnames; I would ask for the resource of the information.
To actually research a surname I would follow the following first steps:
1--My first inclination to discovering the "Gold origin of an individual surname" would be to ask the researcher if they know where the surname originated.
2--Also to follow the name back several generations for variations in the name.
My own lineage surnames do not lend themselves to easy verification and validation of surname origin. These following surnames found in my lineage would be very difficult to decipher as to origin without a significant bit of background information.
There are so many more examples I have of, Genealogy Gold Mining, that will be shared in this blogsite. It is always interesting read when the author can compare one experience lessons-learned to enhance and facilitate with another life experience.
The lessons learnt while mining for gold and distinguishing false gold from the real think can be applied to many applications of life.