Every April people from around the globe commemorate “Golden Rule Week.” It’s a chance to celebrate the idea to treat others the way you’d like to be treated. It’s a rule that has been shared in different ways in diverse cultures for thousands of years.
The Golden Rule and genealogy
There are lots of chances to give back to others through your family history research. You just need to know a few of the basic rules and then make sure the information you’re offering to others is done to the level you would want to include in your own family tree.
Sherri’s Golden Rule
Genealogy best practices start with what Genealogy Librarian Sherri Camp calls the “Golden Rule of Genealogy” – start with yourself and work backwards adding one generation at a time. This is what Family Search calls “Work from the known to the unknown.” By starting with yourself and those family members closest to you, you’re building a family history foundation on correct information. Then you can share with others to strengthen their research.
Have you ever looked at a shared family tree in Ancestry.com or Family Search and thought “that is totally wrong!”? What may seem obvious to you – a misspelling of your uncle or grandpa’s name, or the wrong birth date – may have been a stretch for a distant relative to make. When you correct the information you’re strengthening your whole family story.
Did you know Family Search has online volunteer opportunities? Even taking just a few minutes to help them improve accuracy will benefit you and everyone else on the platform. One current volunteer activity is helping to improve place names, and there are many chances to help!
Start putting the Golden Rule into practice in your own family history work and you never know what good can come of it!