My day yesterday was full of helping people get started in their genealogical research. There was a lot of traveling involved to be able to meet with the different classes, but I'm so grateful for the opportunities to share this wonderful
addiction hobby with others. I love it!
I drove an hour and a half to Port Angeles, Washington, to teach at the senior citizen center there. They have a fantastic facility that includes a computer lab. I've been teaching up there for more than a year, now. This month's class was fairly small, but still eager to learn. One of my sisters is going to assist me at the Forks Family Fair in May, so she and her daughter came along. This was their first time learning about doing family history research. It was fun for all of us.
The first hour, or so, was spent learning the very basics of genealogy. What is a pedigree chart? What is a family group record? How do we properly fill out those forms? Should we use genealogy software? What about sources and sourcing our information? I always enjoy making this presentation, and feel it is almost the most important as it creates the foundation for all of an individual's future experiences in family history.
During the second half of this class, I shared several websites which can form the base from which all internet research jumps. These sites are loaded with information that will then lead each researcher toward sites more suited to their specific research needs. I have often found that when I get myself stretched too thinly online, these are also great places where I can return and regroup. Obviously, there are many more sites which could be included in the list, but these can really get folks going.
- google.com (books.google.com)
- databases available through library cards (Heritage Quest, ProQuest)
- Family History Center Portal (Family History Centers only)
I was also able to make the internet presentation at a class for the Poulsbo Parks and Recreation Department in Poulsbo, Washington, last night. It was every bit as enjoyable, and the class expressed amazement at what can be found online. Just imagine how excited they'll be when they actually find information about their own families!
Maybe this list will help someone out there who is just getting started in their research. Or, maybe it will help some of you with more experience refocus. I know I've returned to these sites repeatedly. Hey. I have them bookmarked!