Sunday, February 23, 2014

Take a Break From Research to Learn About Researching

Genealogy is an interesting field in that we touch upon so many areas of history. Unlike coin or baseball card collecting we just can't quickly look up all the information about an ancestor in a catalogue.

So what can we do? 

We can educate ourselves!

First of all, learn about the standards that are out there. The best known is The BSG Genealogical Standards Manual published by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. It has been recently updated and is a must have for any serious or even semi-serious researcher to have on their bookshelf.

Next, start attending meetings of your local historical or genealogical societies. Even if they aren't talking about an area of personal interest you may learn about different ways to research and new sources of information. Plus you can commiserate with other like minded souls and share your own happy finds and brick wall problems.

Look into attending courses and seminar at your local schools. Many school districts are now providing evening and weekend adult education courses on doing genealogy research.

Then there are the online webinars and videos from the various companies that create the software used to document your trees. Here a just a few I've made use of:
Don't forget about genealogy blogs and groups on Facebook. Katherine R. Willson has created an amazing list of over 3,600 related genealogy pages found on Facebook. It can be found at You will never know what tips will be talked about and lessons about history as other people write about their family history or research projects.

Finally, there are the university styled course from organizations like the National Institute for Genealogical Studies1. Their online courses cover many aspects of research from the very beginning stages of where to look for records to the all important methodologies of research. Even when I took the most basic of their courses I learned something new. There are also online course from the New England Historical Genealogical Society.

Tip for the day: take some time away from your research to learn more about researching!

1In order to be above board I do have to disclose that I am a student of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies but I do not receive any compensation for mentioning them.

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