Monday, September 1, 2008

Teaching Genealogy

I taught my latest installment of "Getting Started in Genealogy" for the Tennessee Genealogical Society. We had a good crowd in attendance. It's always such fun to introduce a person to genealogical research for the first time, or to give something new to those who've been doing it a while.

Now I'm gearing up for a Kentucky Gray family reunion in September and the Towne Family Association meeting in Branson Missouri at the end of the month. I've been a member of TFA for MANY years, but never attended one of their yearly meetings, since the meetings were usually held in New England. I'm excited about this one. I'm also putting together a presentation on Advanced Genealogy Research Using the Internet for the Tennessee Genealogical Society's November Seminar. Sometimes I think I should say "just go through Cyndi's List - you'll find pointers to what you need", but I think everyone likes to hear or be shown some of the exciting places to go.

Something I've found in teaching, in general, is that people who are not totally comfortable with computers, often lack the confidence to "play" with the computer, or with websites. It's this "playing" that teaches you what you can do, what's on the site, and how best to use the site. You can't "break" the site OR the computer. You can always get out of what you're in and start over if something "hangs". No harm is done. I often end up teaching about folders, files, printers and right-clicking as much as genealogy when sitting with a new person. Particularly on I stress MISSPELLING surnames in order to find other possibilities. I usually give an example of searching for my Guynn's, where I found them listed as GIVIN in the index. Their name was spelled GWIN on the actual document and the "W" had been misread as an "I" and a "V" by the indexer. That one was found by reading the WHOLE index and reading for FIRST names. Those are "genealogy happy dance" moments.

I visited the grandkids a couple of weekends ago:

Now if working full time just didn't get in the way of my "life"!!

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