29 February 2012

Recommendations for Genealogy Education And Assessing 2012 Goals

I do a goal check up at the end of each month, but had planned to blog quarterly about my progress.  I looked over what I had accomplished in January and February and thought I should share my progress with my loyal readers. 

I am loving the webinar explosion.  I have participated in eight webinars since the first week of January.  Plus, I will be viewing another one today.  I am amazed at how much information is available online in genealogy education.  Webinars coupled with Family Search Research Courses has provided me with more information than I can process sometimes.  I am loving it.  If you are looking for webinars check out Legacy, Jamboree Extension Series, and the calendar at Geneawebinars.

My 2012 Goals and the progress made are:

  • Research, record, and source vital record information for my mother's 11 brothers and sisters.
    • Progress is being made on this.  I am about half done.
  • Research Vinera Eglantine Powers parentage.
    • Great progress has been made thanks to the research of a 'cousin'.  I want to explore the parentage a little more before I go 'live' with the information.
  • View two webinars per month.
    • This has been the easiest one to complete. I averaged four a month.  I have viewed the following webinars:
      • Digital Books and Sites for Genealogists by James Tanner-A wonderful presentation of digital resources for genealogy.  I spend a lot of time with online researching and it always amazes me to find new sources.
      • 10 Ways to Jump Start Your Genealogy in 2012 by Thomas MacEntee-The title says it all!  10 Ways where the first letter of each way spells Genealogy. 
      • Discovering Your Massachusetts Ancestors by Marian Pierre Louis-I loved this webinar.  I especially appreciated the background information given on the history of Massachusetts.  Marion covered access to records: online, archives, and microfilm.  I learned about census records, including the Tax Valuation List of 1771 (new source for me), vital, land, probate, military and cemetery records.  This is one of the best webinars I have viewed. 
      • Google Reader Update by Dear Myrtle-As a long time user of google reader, I appreciated a review of it.
      • See the Patterns by Michael John Neill-Michael organizes his presentation in a way that is easy to follow.  He explained a four step process and techniques that will help one understand and organize genealogical information.  As someone who uses charts and tables, I enjoyed seeing his. 
      • Ten Brickwall Tips for Beginners by Marian Pierre-Louis- This webinar would be good for all levels of researchers.  Marian gave some good ideas on brickwall busting.  I don't always think to go back over and review my documentation, which is Marian's number one tip. 
      • Key to the Courthouse by Jan Sloan Broglin-I have limited experience with courthouse research so this webinar broadened my genealogical education.  The references given are ones I need to take a look at.
      • Digging Your Canadian Roots by Kathryn Lake Hogan-This webinar provided tips and techniques for researching your Canadian Ancestors, including websites to use for your research.  My great grandmother, Catharine McGee Watt, was born in Canada.  I am looking forward to using the information provided here to explore her roots in Canada.
  • Read research wiki's or courses twice a month.
    • This was my first experience with the Family Search Research Courses and I wasn't disappointed.  There is a wealth of information under the learn tab at familysearch.org.  If you haven't checked it out, I encourage you to do so.  I averaged three a month, plus a few five minute videos.  I viewed the following courses:
      • Inferential Genealogy by Dr. Tom Jones-I had the privilege of attending a class given by Dr. Jones at FGS 2011 in Springfield, Illinois and enjoyed it, so I chose him for my first research course and I wasn't disappointed.  This is an excellent course that every genealogist should take advantage of.  The best piece of advice Dr. Jones gave was, "Do not add someone to your family tree who should not be there."  Something everyone adding information online should remember.
      • Research Logs Part I and II-by G. David Dilts-I have a love/hate relationship with research logs.  I love the organizational benefits of them, but hate the time it takes to complete them.  I am trying to do a better job with them.  This course takes you through the mechanics of research logs and their importance.  One thing I liked was his advice on keeping everything on one log.  When I started I had research extracts, correspondence logs and research logs.  I created a new research log and look forward to using it.  He also stressed to start from this point forward and not worry about going back and creating research logs for past research.  Whew!  glad to hear that.
      • US Midwest Records Lesson 1, 2, and 3-I am fortunate that all eight of my great grandparents settled in Michigan.  A couple of them by way of Indiana, so I was curious to see what Midwest records would be covered in these lessons.  If you have Midwest ancestors this is a good introductory lesson.
      • 5 Minutes Genealogy-I was intrigued by this premise so I decided to check out the first video.  Well, 25 videos later, I was impressed.  Yes, I watched every one of them! (OCD maybe?)  Before you think I am crazy and have nothing else to do with my time, I watched them while I was sick, over a two week period.  My first thought was these would be great for kids.  They pack a lot of information in a short period of time.  I found myself chuckling a few times.  They would also be great for a beginning genealogist.  The videos cover everything from getting started, to finding records to how to get help.  I wouldn't say I learned anything, but if you have a budding genealogist in your family have them take a look.  They won't be disappointed.
Click on the titles of each course to be taken to the family search website and that course.

  • Finish the Glover surname file labels, using Family Roots Organizer System.
    • Zero, Zilch, Nada completed on this.  I guess I was too busy viewing 5 Minute Genealogy videos.
  • Add information received from a Glover researcher to my Roots Magic software.
    • This is completed.  I double checked her references and added the information to my family tree.  I am looking forward to collaborating further with her.  It is probably a good thing she lives in another state, or we would get nothing else done.
All in all it has been an excellent two months.  I think the cold weather and my being sick contributed to the success toward my goals.  I will have to remember this when the lazy days of summer beckon me to the beach.
All of the above webinars and research courses were free.   You can't beat that.  Do you have a webinar or research course recommendation?  Please share it in the comment section.


  1. You're doing a much better job at your goals! Great job. I'll have to evaluate mine soon! :) Keep up the great work!

  2. Thank you Cheryl. Cabin fever is a good motivator. Good luck with your goals.

  3. Brenda, It's nice to know I have a buddy in a lot of the webinars, and your writing about them will hopefully get more people interested in their value. (FREE and most educational.) Thanks for mentioning the wiki's and other sites, which are new to me. Great post, as always.

  4. Great job Brenda...wish I could say the same on my goals!