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!
Tomorrow is January 16, 2013. Not a particularly auspicious day, but it will be the first time I’ve been back in school in over 40 years! Well, saying that I’ll be “in school” is a stretch because in the 21st century you can be “in school” and in the living room at home at the same time. So, we’ve broken at least one of the basic tenets of physics: an object can now be in 2 places at the same time! And I’m here to say it works.
I’m not intimidated about taking a class even if it is Boston University, but I’m a little intimidated about the fact that it wasn’t cheap and I feel highly motivated to be successful…no pressure!!! Making a time commitment; doing the reading; writing the assignments; passing…and all in a mere 16 weeks. Wish me luck!
The class will be a very intensive course in genealogical research. In it, I hope to expand my knowledge of where to go to get the data I need and what to do with it once I’ve found it! It’s not good enough to just find something at somebody’s web site and transcribe the information. It’s all about documentation, sources and proof. There are certainly many challenges, many of which I’m likely not even aware of.
I’m always aware that I don’t know what I don’t know, and that’s what makes this new adventure so interesting. Since I obviously don’t know what I haven’t learned yet, the prospect of improving my skills in multiple areas is a pretty exciting prospect. Although I’m arguably a bit of an expert in my “other career”, genealogy can be a daunting field to undertake. Just reading blogs from other expert researchers over the past year or so shows that just having a subscription to a couple of genealogy web sites barely scratches the surface.
I’ll continue to post about the course….if I have the time!
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.