Friday, June 8, 2012

Genealogy Education - learning more about new topics

Crista Cowan from Ancestry Aces provided the following blog prompt:


When you encounter a new location, a new time period, a new religion, or a new military conflict in your family history where do you do to learn about it so you can do better genealogy research?  What are your favorite resources for genealogy education?

First I consult the books in my personal library.  I have built up my library to roughly over 100 books.  Some of my favorite standbys include:

Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide

Census Substitutes & State Records Vol 1 and 2 by William Dollarhide

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood

Land and Property Research in the United States by E. Wade Hone

Online my favorite sites include:

U.S. GenWeb http://usgenweb.org/

FamilySearch, the Learning Resources area, specifically the Research Wiki  https://www.familysearch.org/learn

Ancestry also has a Wiki, located under the learning center tab along the top of the page.  It utilizes information from the The Source and The Red Book, both great sources of information for a genealogist.

My other resources include state and county genealogy societies, state and county historical societies, and state and county archives.

There are so many sources to increase your knowledge of genealogy.  One of the best would be a local genealogy society.  Our society has mentors, special interest groups for specific topics and monthly learning opportunities.  The National Genealogy Society has learning opportunities along with state and local society's.  Conferences, seminars and webinars are another great source for education.  I like to attend the NGS Conferences, the Family History Expos (http://www.familyhistoryexpos.com/) and hopefully one day will make it to the Jamboree in California.  

Thanks to today's technology you can attend  a webinar, many with big name genealogists often for no or little cost.  RootsMagic, Legacy, Illinois State Genealogy Society, Southern California Jamboree, and Dear Myrtle are a few of the folks offering webinars to advance your skills.  You can also watch videos from YouTube, The National Genealogy Society, and  Genealogy Gems.  Then there are the podcasts!  Give Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems and Family Tree Magazine a listen or  try The Genealogy Guys or Family History:Genealogy Made Easy.  The podcast can be found at itunes and can be downloaded on a mp3 player or an ipod.  You can also burn them on to a CD.  


The important thing is to continue learning - it doesn't matter how you do it.



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