Busy day for genealogy. The latest class began today in Brimfield, MA. This si the second series I’ve conducted at the Hitchcock Free Academy. Small group but we will still cover all of the material. As a matter of fact, we might even be able to get a little farther as there are fewer lines to research for the participants.
Next…and I should have been aware of this one… I had offered to make a presentation to the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society “this spring”. I should have realized that February was the month that we discussed but I hadn’t put it in my calendar. So, as I was getting ready for Hitchcock on Wednesday (and Yellow House on Thursday AND all the classwork for Boston U) I received an e-mail from WMGS containing their newsletter. The newsletter announced that I would be making a presentation! So, I raced from the class in Brimfield around 5:00 to get to Agawam for a 6:00 meeting. Made it!
Today I start transcribing again. The past few weeks had already been transcribed so posting was as simple as a copy/paste with a few comments. Here are the comments from the January 3rd entry, one hundred years ago!
Monday, February 3, 1913
We got up at 6 30 and the weather was much colder than Sunday. After breakfast and I got ready to go to Lemon on the rail change notes. We left at 9 30 and got to Lemon at 12 oclock sharp and had dinner. We did not start back till about 2 oclock because we did not want to get to early we would make the walks longer. We thought 22 miles iwas enough for one day. We got back about 4 00
Well, there you go! Walk 22 miles round trip for dinner??? In January??? In the CANADIAN WILDERNESS!!! And we worry about getting a parking spot right outside the entrance to the mall so we can wander around in a temperature controlled environment! I’ll be honest, I’ll take the mall over a walk in the woods to a place called “Lemon”….
This was Session III of “Introduction to Genealogy and Family Research”. This session was titled “Becoming a Genealogy Detective”. Maybe that why so many people showed up! This crowd was double the number of people who attended Session II last December. We managed to get through all the material planned for the night. Lots of great questions and great audience participation. Although the program was scheduled to end at 8 PM, only one person left at 8….everyone else stuck around for an additional half hour. These sessions were held under the auspices of the Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society. WMGS holds monthly meetings in Agawam, MA 10 months of the year where speakers on a wide variety of subjects make presentations which are free. Membership is only $20/year.
Anyone near Wilbraham, MA tonight is welcome to stop at the Wilbraham Public Library tonight. It’s the 3rd in a 4 part series “Introduction to Genealogy”. Each week there have been more and more participants so feel free to call the library at 413-596-6141 to make sure there’ll be room! Based on the popularity, I can see that there just might be some future programs. The last in this series will be held February 11th where we’ll work on individual pedigree charts and whatever other subjects may come up.
This series is “sponsored” by the Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society (WMGS) in an effort to help people who are interested in family research and encourage them to take part in courses such as these and introduce them to WMGS. Annual membership is only $20 and includes 10 monthly meetings held locally.
Over the full 4 sessions, we cover the basics of research, web sites (free and low-cost), definitions (soundex, vital records, etc), specific resources, naturalization, immigration, Ellis Island, name changes, spelling variations and “myth busting”!
Hopefully, some of you can make it tonight! See you there.
Last night was Session 2 of a 4 part class I’m holding at the Wilbraham Public Library on the basics of genealogy and family research. The first session went very well and everyone in attendance seemed to get a lot out of it. Well, I guess it was a good session because last night, about twice as many people as the first session showed up!! A wide variety of participants in the group: Some have done a substantial amount of research but most have only dabbled or are just beginning. We spent most of the night discussing web sites and went to a few so I could show them some shortcuts to their research. Lots of great interaction and we actually went over by about 45 minutes in the Q&A!!
Next, I finally registered to attend NERGC, the New England Regional Genealogy Conference. Karen and I went to the last conference which was held down the road in Springfield. Next year’s conference will be in Manchester, NH. I really got a lot out of the last one and I’m looking forward to this one. Many speakers, many subjects covered and much to learn. The easy part is registering; the hard part is trying to pick the sessions to attend. There are probably 5 or 6 different subjects being covered in each time frame such as DNA/genetics, the National Archives, immigration and naturalization, writing and publishing your work, advanced on-line research techniques and many more. I’ll also be leading one of the discussion groups at a luncheon on Saturday sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
And at last, I was able to register for the on-line “Certificate in Genealogical Research” course at Boston University. It begins January 16, 2013 and runs for 15 weeks. When that’s complete, I’ll begin the official certification process through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). As I get deeper and deeper involved in specific areas of research, I discover that I don’t know what I don’t know! Basically, it ain’t easy!
Two programs are coming up. I’ll be presenting “Introduction to Genealogy and Family Research” in at least 2 locations in the coming months. First, at Wilbraham Public Library, a basic “Intro” program will take place in four sessions, one per month beginning November 19th. The second and more comprehensive program will be held at YELLOW HOUSE COMMUNITY CENTER for LEARNING on a weekly basis beginning Thursday, January 17th 2013 and continuing for at least 5 and possibly 6 weeks. The curriculum for Yellow House has been submitted and is awaiting approval but will include census records, vital records, interviewing relatives, becoming a “genealogical detective”, soundex calculations, name variations, interviewing relatives effectively and will include individual assistance with pedigree charts and family group sheets.
Each of these are designed to open up into a more advanced sessions which may involve computer labs with hands on research by individual participants and designed around the needs of those who want to continue into deeper research strategies.
I’ll be updating my web site at www.oldbones.co to include these latest additions. Feel free to comment and let me know if you’re interested in joining either of the groups!