Amateurs in Genealogy
Those who are amateurs in the field of genealogy are driven by the need and desire to trace their own family history. By doing so, they use the general principles of genealogy but the records they use are those that are applicable to their search and are not interested in anything else. The kind of work done by an amateur varies from individual to individual. The work done by amateurs in genealogy has been on the rise since 1945. There are some rules, which have to be followed while tracing family history. But amateurs do not necessarily follow this. They tend to trace in the forward direction from a person with the same name but at the same time can be unrelated. No assumptions should be made about relationships without any evidence.
Professionals in Genealogy
The professional genealogist is not working for just one family and the principles of his research usually arise from a large study. A professional genealogist is required to have an in-depth knowledge of the history of the country and its neighbours. National genealogy is determined by national history. Genealogy can also throw light upon different aspects of national history, which may not be known otherwise. A genealogist should be able to understand the principles of land law, decipher Medieval script, understand heraldry, and intimately study surnames and names of places. Genealogists professionally undertake the task of tracing of pedigrees for their clients. This is their mainstream work. Genealogists are consulted when their clients have tried on their own to trace their family history and have hit a brick wall.
Records in Geneology
Public records started being made necessary in western countries in the 19th century. Census records are considered to be of importance. This started at various times in different parts of the world. In America there are many individuals who kept vigourous and careful records of their lives and their communities. In New England such records can be seen. Wills are a key source of information in genealogy. Also ship lists of passengers can give you information about ancestors who immigrated. These lists provide information about the port of departure. With the use of these records and more help from the Bible, tombstones and other artefacts in churches, it is possible to go back into 300 years of ancestry.