Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back to Basics

A friend told me that she isn't sure she knows the basics of family history research, so she's now looking forward to her first national conference in the hope of expanding her knowledge.

I forget sometimes that so much of my research knowledge comes from a combination of great mentors, local seminars, national genealogy conferences and training institutes. The volunteers at the local Family History Centers in the greater Phoenix area were wonderful at getting me started and advising me. Consider dropping into your local FHC to see what resources they have and if they can help you advance your research.

I also want to be a mentor to others. So what would you like me to blog about? Where do I lose you? It's hard to follow other peoples families through convoluted research and records. I try to make it simple. Maybe you have an American-focused problem you can't work through. Consider sending it to me and I can try to work it and share the process on this blog. I can't promise a solution.

Maybe you have a question about scanning or digital-scrapbooking. I can try to answer or to suggest resources.

Here are some things percolating in my head.
  • What's a Greta Green and why do you care?
  • The six W's of each fact: who, when, where, what, why and how.
  • Managing sources.
  • Creating a problem statement and work plan.
  • Day-by-day planning of a visit to a courthouse (I'm heading out soon and planning now).
  • Land records: using the grantor and grantee indexes.
  • Moving your genealogy database between programs using GEDCOM.

Since I know a courthouse visit is anxiety-provoking, I'm going to go ahead with the courthouse planning as a series of (hopefully) short posts over the next few days.

If you don't know what you don't know, I encourage you to look at the schedule for the upcoming FGS conference. The topics and speakers vary from conference to conference, based on the host city. See if those topics spark questions in your mind. Skip the Wednesday sessions, as they are focused on local genealogical society management. Hopping into Thursday, I am intrigued right away.

The first seminar listed after the keynote is: They Went Down With the Ship -- Do Their Records Survive? Clicking the plus, I can see that the speaker is talking about Great Lakes shipwrecks. What a unique topic! In the same hour are speakers on DNA, migration by river, Michigan research and several others. I'll be at the conference and already I can't decide which topic to pick in that hour!

Back to my point -- after having taken a little mental side trip. Reading the names of the seminars or the overview of the talk is such a reminder of the vast field of historical research. I know there is always something new to learn.

So drop me an email or leave a comment. What would you like to know that I might be able to share with you?

1 comment:

  1. So very many questions, I need to start at the beginning again.