Genealogists vs Family History Researchers vs Family Historians
What’s the difference between a Genealogist, a Family History Researcher, and a Family Historian? Some would argue there isn’t any difference, but then others would say there is a huge difference.
Sounds fancy doesn’t it? Well, the reality is that no matter how much we’d like there to be one, there is no recognised formal qualification that qualifies someone to call themselves a Genealogist. Communities of Genealogists recognise their members via their Societies and Associations based on years of experience and specialisation in researching family history and family trees.
Family History Researchers
A Family History Researcher is the common name for those who researches family history (aka family tree and social history) for both themselves and as a service to others. Family History Researchers may be paid for their work researching family trees (pedigrees) and narrative style family history work. The conclusion here is that a Family History Researcher is often as qualified as someone who calls themselves a Genealogist!
A Family Historian however can be different. In the 19th century many families designated a literate member of the family to keep note of family history related events (births, christenings, deaths, burials, marriages and more) and this person was referred to as the Family Historian. The Family Historian recorded family history in a ‘family bible’ – a gem to find as a modern day family history researcher! These documents are detailed records family history information, often unlocking family history stories that official records omit, but also document farcical family myths – family history as the family ‘preferred’ to remember it. Modern family historians are rarely formally designated, but it is more likely that an individual family member interest triggers their research.
You: Are you a Genealogist? Family History Researcher? Family Historian? Or just interested in Your Ancestral Story?
We like to call ourselves Family History Researchers (although we too are Genealogists!). We love to discover family history but we don’t want to make it sound more expensive than it is! Just as long as YOU do something about YOUR interest in Your Family History, then we are happy! Let us know if we can help in your discovery of your family tree!