Friday, March 13, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 8-Going Over Collaterals and Checking Out Offline Education

 Participating in Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over has brought me to Week 8-Conductiong Collateral Reseach and Reviewing Offline Education Options.

Conducting Collateral Research-
 So often, when we are searching for information on our ancestors we tend to only focus on those in our direct line. We forget that valuable information can be found when researching the other family members. Birth and death records of siblings can provide us with parents names not found on our ancestors records, gathering information on Aunts, Uncles and Cousins may lead us to journals, pictures, and letters. Researching my collateral lines have brought me all this and more. My plan for going over my database will be to make sure I have all known collaterals entered in and records searched for, making sure I haven't missed anyone and any possible clues. If collateral research hasn't been part of your genealogy research, I encourage you to start doing it. Our ancestors lived in family units. Together they created records that can lead us to wonderful discoveries.

Death Certificate of Mary Dorrity
Image scanned from original 
     This death certificate of a collateral
 family member helped to answer the question
 of the mother's maiden name

Reviewing Offline Educational Opportunities-
  On of my favorite things to do is to learn about genealogy topics. From Methodology, DNA, Sharpening Skills, you name it, I want to educate myself and be the best researcher I can be. 
 There are many ways that can be accomplished by classes, conferences, and institutes both locally and nationally. 
 Local opportunities can come from college and university extended learning classes that feature genealogy-related topics. My local college has a beginning genealogy class that runs regularly. The libraries in the area offer a series of short lessons from time to time as well.  Societies and Clubs are a great resource depending on what is available in your area. I am a member of our local Grand Strand Genealogy Club. We meet once a month and have a speaker presenting on a genealogy subject. Most of the  Genealogy Societies, that I belong to are too far away to attend many meetings, but the information provided on their websites and monthly newsletters are well worth the membership fee. Local Societies are a great resource that is often overlooked. The people in these groups know the local area, history, and records.  Many times I have been able to ask a society member for help and have been told of records and local history that I had no idea about. These clues often lead to breaking down those brick walls. For my 'go over" my plan is to look into the societies in my research areas to make sure that I have joined those that could help me with my genealogy goals and that my current memberships are up to date. Supporting by attending meetings and volunteering when possible is also an important piece of this process. 
  My State Society offers a workshop once a year with two days of classes and an opportunity to research in the State Archives. Yearly attendance at this workshop and other Society activities is part of my plan.

  National and Regional Societies are among my favorites to attend. I have attended NGS and just had a great experience at my first FGS and Rootstech conference. Although expense and travel time is a factor for me when deciding to go, I would like to attend at least one each year. The learning and friendships made are invaluable.

   Genealogy Institutes are also on my To-Do list.
 1) Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburg (GRIP)
 2) Institutes of Genealogy of Historical Research (IGHR)
 3) National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR)
 4) Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG)
These programs feature intense study of varying genealogy topics that are taught by highly skilled researchers in the field. Getting to a point where I could attend one a year is part of my educational plan. 
   Checking the following sites keep me up to date on what is available in my area as well as around the country.
Cyndi's List-a search can be made for Education or for Societies in your area of interest.
Conference Keeper- a website providing information on upcoming conferences. 

Not only are all of these wonderful learning opportunities, but the chance to be with other genealogists, connecting with others who may be researching in the same areas or meeting a cousin or two is so much fun!  

With Thomas MacEntee
February 2015
What are your plans for Collateral Research and Offline Education?

Are we kin? Please, contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


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