As a Pro-Gen, I have been asked questions which sadly, but truly, reflect the Burger King attitude of most U.S. citizens.
Often, one of the first questions I am asked is, “Do you watch that TV show, [insert one of them here]?” This is usually rather quickly followed by, “It is so cool how they do that!”
Most people stare at me like monkeys working math problems when I reply that I do not watch [insert that program here].
I’m not trying to be a jerk. To be honest, I watch very little television that isn’t NFL, NHL, or NASCAR affiliated.
Those genealogical television shows dramatically reveal what a team of professional genealogists have unearthed. I don’t know that they show all the unsuccessful searches and negative results, but I have to believe they do not. Otherwise, every Tom, Dick, and Harry wouldn’t be so keen to become a member of this or that society by Friday next.
I have seven documented generations in one of my personal lines.
But I didn’t discover them during a commercial break.
It took me over 20 years to gather the documents which eventually led me back to Jane Hargo, a free person of color in 1810. Granted, I’ve not spent 20 solid years searching one line. Also granted, I’ve found more information on that particular line in the last five years than the fifteen plus prior.
What took me so long?
When I was new to the game, time constraints, travel constraints, and very little online information were great impediments to my progress for many years. Later, learning to distinguish a "reliable source" and how to cite findings slowed me down.
Genealogy is a rewarding, time consuming endeavor.
While it ain’t diggin’ ditches with a shovel, it’s certainly not a fast food order.