Unfortunately, things haven’t slowed down at work at all this week … if anything, the work (and stress) has increased. Thankfully, about 8 inches of snow got dumped on Chattanooga last night, so today (Thursday) I’m playing catch-up.
This is one of the objectives that I’m pushing to the end of the Do-Over because my plan is to make sure the materials I have for my known relatives and ancestors have been properly cited and entered into RootsMagic, and only entering those individuals whose existence can be proven.* Because I know that will take me a while (at the rate I’m going, my great-great grandchildren will be retired), I’m avoiding adding any new research just yet.
*and by proven, I simply mean that they are mentioned in an existing document; they will be attached to the family when the relationships are adequately proven.
Objective: Review Offline Education Options
As a rule, I try to attend at least one genealogy conference per year. Unfortunately, until there is a significant amount of fresh content at the national conferences, this is becoming less of a priority for me. While I did fly out to Salt Lake City at the same time as the FGS/RootsTech conferences, I didn’t actually attend either one. I spent pretty much all of my time in the library. This would have been a difficult choice to make with only one conference in town … but TWO?
The choice for me was pretty easy – I spent a significant amount of money just getting to SLC. There was absolutely no way I wasn’t going to take advantage of my proximity to the Family History Library. Once I looked at the schedules for both conferences, the choice was practically made for me. Most of the session offerings were either duplicates of talks I had already heard at prior conferences or webinars, or had no bearing on my current research needs. I understand that the organizers need to make sure that some topics are consistently repeated for new attendees. I get it. I do. But it’s frustrating to try to find enough sessions you haven’t already heard (beware of those where the speaker has simply provided a “fresh” new title to the same tired presentation they’ve given for the past 6 years) and that appeal to your current genealogical needs to justify the cost to register for the conference, hotel, meals, and travel. Perhaps similar topics but different presenters would help mix things up a little. Something for organizers of future events to think about.
I also would like to attend a genealogy institute each year (I have been successful only once in this endeavor). I was shooting for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University this year, but with the SLC trip scheduled the second week of February, the timing was off between registering for IGHR and my bank account balance. Maybe next year. One thing I love about these institutes is that you make one choice for your topic of study and the classes fall under that topic. If you go back the next year and select a different topic, you won’t hear the same thing you heard the year before. But the biggest benefit (in my opinion) is the time you get to spend with fellow genealogists. Perhaps you are able to break down a brick wall while having a casual discussion about immigration records over breakfast with your table-mates. Maybe one of the ancestors you use as an example in your homework is also an ancestor of a classmate. Stranger things have happened.
For now though, I am going to focus on local and regional conferences and classes for my offline education needs. I will also continue to use my Mastering Genealogical Proof, Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques, and Elements of Genealogical Analysis to keep things fresh in my noggin.
Next week’s topics are (1) conduct cluster research, and (2) organize research materials – documents and photos. Oy.
Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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