Monday, September 24, 2012

More Tips From My Genealogy Pals

I always find tips from my genealogy buddies to be a great way to learn. Following is a few tips from some of my genealogy buddies. Thank you to Liza, Susan, Jean and Randy. You guys rock.

Lisa Alzo
          1. When searching online databases don't just type in names at random. First read the instructions! You will typically find them under "Frequently Asked Questions" "Help" or an "About This Website" sections and they will help you to understand what a database does and doesn't contain and any special tips for searching it.
          2. Understand the time period you're researching, including any laws that influenced record-keeping. Utilize the web or check for books at the library or sites such as Google Books or ArchiveGrid.
          3. Not all information is available online. You will have to step away from your computer and go exploring courthouses, cemeteries, libraries and other repositories to track down documents that have not yet been digitized.

Susan Clark
          1. I've one tip ---- slow down and think about how to use your database. Not something I did when I started using Legacy. I just uploaded a GEDCOM merged another and OMG! It's so easy to point, click, copy or paste that I didn't think about how I was entering info. So it was a mess. I have a system now, but the earlier research is a mishmash of notes, facts, events. This is really humbling when I need to share information with another researcher. All the software programs can be tailored to fit the users. Take a couple of days - or weeks, to learn you program and consider what you're planning to do with the information you're gathering. There is a big difference between someone who wants to write a book and someone who is validating earlier generations' research. Are you actively researching or recording existing research? Do you use digital media? Do you travel and need detailed location information for research? Or are you one of those who never plan to leave your living room? Set things up to work for you.

Jean Wilcox Hibben
          1. Don't give up
          2. Be willing to reach out to others for suggestions
          3. Focus on one line at a time

Randy Seaver
          1. Watch FamilySearch Learning Center Videos
          2. Use the FamilySearch Research Wiki
          3. Learn how to use Google effectively - search, news, images, reader, translate, alerts, etc.