There is something inside everyone that pushes them to do what they love for a living, and for me, that is being a genealogist. Let me tell you a story about the eight year old who was bit by the genealogy bug.
Way back when during the mid-2000s, my mom was a volunteer for a group called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, where you would go and look for relatives who had past away in your area for random people across the US. So one day, my mom has a stack of requests of people who wanted family members' obituaries from the Charlotte area and tells me, "Elizabeth, come on! We are going to the library to do some research for fun!" and of course as an eight year old, I complained about not wanting to go to the library. Finally, we got into the car and started on our way to the Charlotte Public Library. Once in downtown, my mom parked the car and paid for the spot for the day and we started walking to the library. We would go up to the third floor of the library where the research was done.
My mom asked the researcher at the desk where the microfilm machines were and they took us to the back corner to these huge machines that had very large screens to view the microfilm on. At first was I was a little nervous to use a big machine like this, as I had never even seen a microfilm reader. The researcher asked, "Do you know how to use one of these?" to my mom and she responded, "Yes. I'll be fine." My mom then started to explain how to use the fiche machine to me, and that I needed to pay close attention to the obituaries, and make sure that I find the right relatives that we were looking for. She then explained to me where I needed to go to get the fiche and that I needed to write down the box number, the person's name, and the page number of the newspaper. This was my first experience with sourcing!
After my mom explained the basic information about microfilm to my eight year old brain about two-three times, I was given a roll of dimes to print out the obituaries that I found. She assisted me with finding the first few obituaries on the list of names that we had brought in with us. After the first few that we worked on together, my mom sent me on my way to finding the requests on my own. If I had a questions about how to do something or if I found the right person, my mom would help me out in any way she could. A few hours would pass, and I was getting hungry, as any eight year old would. So we would go get something to eat real quick and come back to finish the stack of requests.
When we finished finding everyone that we could from the large stack of requests, I thought that we done for the day, but little did I know that I barely scratched the surface of the genealogical world as an eight year old.
I am an amateur/novice genealogist, that is just going through life while doing family research. I was "bit" by the genealogy bug at young age by my mom. Once I was bit, there was no turning back.