22 September 2010

Workshop Wednesday: Beyond the Basics at Allen County Public Library

This past weekend I spent two days in Fort Wayne, Indiana attending a "Beyond the Basics" two day mini-course, given through the Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library.  Margery Graham, C.G. and Steven W. Myers, M.L.S. presented an excellent workshop on these topics:  Problem Solving:  Breaking through Brick Walls in Your Research; Probate Records;  Land Records and Tax Lists;  Military Records;  Church Records;  and Tracing Your Ancestors Across the Atlantic. 

Once I saw their post at Genealogy Center blog, I didn't hesitate to sign up for it.  It was my first time attending a program at Allen County Public Library and I wasn't disappointed.  I had some experience with a couple of topics and none in others.  Here is my experience:

Brick Walls, of course, who doesn't need help with those! 
Probate Records, just started getting into
Land Records, very limited use
Military Records, have used a little
Church Records, never used them,YET! 
Tracing your Ancestors, was hoping for new tips and tricks there. 

Steven Myers started day one with a short presentation on the elements of the Genealogical Proof Standard.  I thought this was an excellent reminder and I could have spent more time learning about that.  I thought it set the tone for a professional workshop.

I came home with a binder full of resources for each section, but more importantly I liked the way the presenters encouraged attendees to think differently about your research.  The workshop didn't just give sources to check, it addressed how to look and think about things.  They provided strategies and clues to help with this.  For example, Steve talked about not narrowing your thinking, to use thought processes, if one type of military record is available for one war then it may be available for another.

The one brick wall suggestion I plan to use is to create a timeline.  This helps to identify gaps that you can make goals from.  I plan to make my first timeline of ancestor Daniel Fenn this week.  Hopefully, the tips I learned in the first session will help me to plan my next steps in research.

If you ever get a chance to attend an Allen County Library Genealogy Center program I would recommend it; it was great.

1 comment:

  1. Brenda, I'm so glad you had a wonderful learning experience there. Although, I am envious, I believe I will learn something from you. Especially about timelines, of which I have never done.