I've said this before - genealogy is pretty simple, but not easy. There are certain core concepts and skills that are useful to understand and necessary to develop. Lots of people have written about these concepts, so we won't dwell on them here.
Let's look at the inverse - why do some people just plain suck at genealogy. Or why is their success hampered by some degree of suckiness? Here are a few reasons:
- The majority of records that you may need to verify and "prove" your ancestors and their relationships are most likely not available online. Even if you are somewhat home bound, but can get to an archive or Family History Center, or a nearby library or better yet a college/university library - there may be records available on microfilm that you can access or borrow, or heaven forbid PAPER to review. You might suck if you think everything is online and you refuse to research "offline" records.
- People have gotten mesmerized by the "ancestry advertisement syndrome" - that is that all you need to do is subscribe to ancestry.com and enter a few names and voila - your family tree is done! And you build your tree by copying someone else's tree. You might suck if you base your family tree on someone else's that you copy and do not verify all their details and sources.
- Genealogy costs too much. Are you kidding me? There are so many free resources available to us that don't cost a dime. Just look at FamilySearch for example. Millions of records - All free. Heck, I specialize in newspaper research and just on this website alone there are over 15,000 free newspaper links to research. Furthermore, almost every online site has a free trial or a short term subscription. And researching offline at archives and libraries is typically free, with the exception of gas money and copying fees. You might suck if you think you have to invest tons of your hard earned dollars.
- Education, education, education. There are thousands of free learning websites and blogs, and Facebook and Google groups where you can learn and ask questions. There are low cost e-Books and podcasts and webinars available to you. I am amazed at the number of dumb questions that people ask, because they are too lazy to do a bit of reading on their own. You might suck if you refuse to educate yourself.
These are just a few of the reasons. Don't fall into these traps and please exert some effort to avoid them.
Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the Comments section.