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.
Great news…I think! I’ve finally figured out how to get my debut performance on Ludlow Community TV uploaded to YouTube. Click here http://youtu.be/3GqKT2WEov4 to view. This one is about basics. But I just recorded the second session where we talked about interviewing relatives as a part of your family research. I’ll be uploading that one later this week. Comments are welcome!! And don’t forget to visit www.oldbones.co where I try to keep up with all upcoming programs.
Usually, I’m talking to people who are trying to find their ancestors both near and distant. Usually, I’m encouraging them to seek out the older generations in their families (before it’s too late!) to get to the bottom of family stories, ask the right questions, seek out diaries, letters, photos…anything that may help shed light on what might prove to be a fascinating family history.
Today, I had the opportunity to talk to that generation, the older generation. My message was largely, be cooperative! Tell the stories….even it some of them make you uncomfortable! You might be the only person that knows about Uncle Harry’s first wife, the one that “no one talks about!” I am somewhat fortunate in that the “treasures” that I’ve gleaned from my own family members are not only uniqie, but tell some very interesting stories themselves. Today, I showed an article from the Springfield Union of January 4, 1887. I found it at www.genealogybank.com. It describes a train wreck in the West Springfield, MA freight yard. One man was killed, several injured and a great deal of the cargo was desctroyed in the resulting fire. This incident is of particluar interest to me. I have a letter about spoons. Yes, spoons! Auntie Perham (I haven’t figured out who she is exactly, but that’s another blog another day!) sent my Great Grandmother Tuggey a letter about spoons. I quote her here: “I sent you the spoons nearly two weeks since & I don’t hear anything I think perhaps they were on the train that was smashed near Springfield.” She had shipped them “Express” with a value of $25. So I’m not sure if she was worried about the spoons or any potential claim for a loss! Otherwise, why would she have mentioned the insurance?
At any rate, no one needs to worry about the spoons…I brought them with me to the presentation to show everyone how sometimes a few things in that old box in the attic can tell an interesting story: The article about the wreck, the letter from Auntie Perham and the velvet lined box of spoons. I think it makes a great little family story!