Monday, September 15, 2008

Classes, here I come!

I attended my first genealogy class last Saturday that I am taking at the local community college. I assumed this first class would cover the basics of this field and it wouldn't be difficult. There again what do they say about assuming? The lesson did cover all the essentials on beginning genealogy, and I found I have so much to learn!

This is why I am taking this class, I want to do everything genealogically correct. Discussion included organization, standards and guidelines, and how to research.

I have worked hard over the years to be organized, and have redone my files and methods a few times. I discovered Saturday that how I am currently organized will eventually burden me with tons of paper duplication.........ho hum.....here we go again!

The instructor actually gave me kudos though on my current organization method! I would not need to change my basic system. I was so thrilled thinking I didn't have to go through a whole reorganization process again! I am pretty proud of myself for being as organized as I am! (Saves me on some homework too!) My computer files are set up the same as my paper files, so again no need to change that either.

I have run across the issue of paper duplication so understood this could be a real problem. Luckily, the teacher made this an easy fix for me, as I can adapt how I file my records without changing my system. I can also adapt my records accordingly on my computer, simple enough.

When discussing the Genealogical Standards and Guidelines, I found many were basic common sense. We didn't cover all the standards and guidelines I am sure but what we did cover was a great beginning! This class is all about sound practices and research, just what I am looking for.

I am embarrassed to say, most of my research has consisted of using the Internet. Over the years I have been collecting information from family and newly discovered family members. I have also spent numerous hours scanning, transcribing and organizing along the way. I have taken several online courses but have mostly been a "learn as I go" type of person. I was ready for more structure; hence this class.

Tonight has already changed all of that. Part of our homework assignment consists of traveling to the library and finding answers to a variety of questions the instructor posted. Problem solving involving research in many different types of records. I knew this would be tough for me. I spent two hours exploring the library's holdings and tried to act as though I were experienced and knew what I was doing. There are just way to many books in that building!

In the end I was able to accomplish maybe half of my assignment, the toughest ones are still ahead. I am more than thrilled to learn how to use the library for my research, I KNOW in the future this will be such a benefit. The best part of my library experience was realizing several answers to these questions could have been found on the Internet, but I was learning to find the answers in the library! It is sad to think with our advanced computer age, we can get so behind in the real world. I can't wait until I feel accomplished enough to go into a library and REALLY know how to research. Practice, practice, practice!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri



5 comments:

  1. Now I'm excited. I know my research is not even organized for mainstream. It's more like an organized mess. I need to get it together.

    this has inspired me. I'm going to look at my community college and see if they have a genealogy class.

    don't feel bad. Most of my research is online. Not much by way of the library. However, I do spend alot of time ordering documents from the counties I research.

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  2. I made the same decision as you about 5 years ago to seek a structured and formal genealogical education. I had been researching my family for 20 years via the self-taught method. After the first year of formal education, I could not believe the change in direction my research went. I wasn't chasing my tail anymore, I was better organized and I was able to immediately fill in gaps in lines that I though never possible.
    I am glad to see another person take their research (either for themselves or others) to a higher place by seeking a proper education.

    Good for you!

    Sheri Fenley

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  3. Hi a. spence,

    I am excited that you are excited! Good luck in your findings of a class, hope you are as fortunate as I am! I will be anxious to hear!

    Hello to you too Sheri!

    Did you have many bad habits to break after 20 years of research and then having formal education?

    Thank you both for sharing with me!

    Msteri

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  4. Formal education is always and good thing.

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  5. Yes Dru I believe education is the key tool!

    Msteri

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