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Puzzle Piece Happiness

By Daniel Hubbard | December 31, 2011

I was reading about the nature of happiness the other day and it got me thinking about what makes me happy as a family historian. What makes one happy has a lot to do with where effort gets placed so I think that it it an interesting question.

Stuff and gadgets might make me happy but only through what can be done with them. So I don’t really think of material things when I think of genealogical happiness.

Cracking a stubborn problem will make just about any genealogist happy. I wonder though, is it the cracking of the problem itself or all the research that is opened up afterward that leads to the most happiness?

Adding a new name to a family can lead to happiness as well. Personally unless it is the name of someone that I’veĀ  been really working on or that might be a key clue, a new name in a database is more along the lines of nice rather than something that makes me really happy. Quality makes me happy more than quantity, of course combining the two is even better.

Learning a new technique or a new fact about a type of record cane make me happy. It is something that can be used over and over.

What really makes me happy as a family historian starts when the puzzle pieces come together. When the data that I have all fits in a coherent way and even though it is incomplete (it is always incomplete) there are enough puzzle pieces to see how the whole puzzle probably looks. When that happens, when the whole becomes much more than the some of the parts, is when I’m happiest.

Whatever makes you happiest as a genealogist, I wish you a Happy New Year!

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