The recording of today's webinar, "Playing Nice In The Genealogy Sandbox" by Thomas MacEntee is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com
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Genealogy is all about connecting with your ancestors. As part of this process, we often need to connect with other genealogists and share research. It isn’t always as easy as it seems! Learn the best ways to connect with other family historians and share resources including research, documents and research strategies. Discover the various methods of locating other researchers and the best practices to ensure that your work is shared and credited in a responsible manner.
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If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 44 minute recording of "Playing Nice In The Genealogy Sandbox" PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view in our webinar library
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The Genealogy Do-Over Workbook by Thomas MacEntee - 3.99
Back in December 2014, I made a big announcement online and in social media: Genealogy and I are parting ways. Done. Finished. Game over.
Have you ever said to yourself, “That’s it! I’ve had it and it just isn’t worth it anymore!” Well, have you? Sort of like the character Howard Beale in the movie Network when he says, live on air, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
By the end of 2014, after more than 25 years of researching my own family history, that is how I felt.
My Past Genealogy Research Frustrates Me!
While many who read my post thought that I was leaving the genealogy community or closing down my genealogy business, I had to clarify what I meant by “leaving:” Starting in 2015, I planned on setting my 20+ years of genealogy research aside and starting over. From scratch.
Seriously. How many times have you thought about doing the same thing? Did you start your research the same way I did, by just collecting names, grabbing stuff from other online trees, or pasting text into your genealogy software? Lately, has the prospect of going back and citing sources or proving facts and evidence brought you down and ruined your genealogy buzz? Do you throw up your hands and say, “I give up!” only to return to the same review and edit process days or weeks later?
If you are like me, you need a genealogy makeover. Better yet, a Genealogy Do-Over. That is what I decided to call the journey upon which I embarked in early 2015. Now I want you to come along.Genealogy Do-Over: A New Journey of Genealogical Discovery
Here is the short summary of The Genealogy Do-Over: I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (* certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on long-distance trips can be retained).
Since I started my initial research, much has changed in the areas of genealogy research methodology and education. I now realize the need to collect facts and track them properly, including the use of source citations. I now understand the process of analyzing evidence and proving facts to reach a conclusion. In essence, I know a lot more about the “process” of genealogical research and I want to put it to use.
This is not to say that I have not been following proven guidelines when it comes to finding family history. For my research clients (mostly pro bono), I actually employ all the methods advocated by many in the genealogy community. However, when it comes to my own research from years ago, I am not walking the walk . . . I have just been talking the talk.
It is not always easy to “walk backwards” and review every bit of information gathered over the years. Instead, I wanted to do more than re-walk a trodden path: I wanted to head out from the same starting point and see where the journey took me. I knew I would have access to better tools, better knowledge and be better equipped for each twist and turn. Now, I encourage you to join me on this journey.
The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 12 mileposts or journey markers that are laid out over one year. You can choose to pace yourself differently. You can even decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add your own. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are on a firm footing to finding your ancestors.
A short synopsis of the route:
- Take inventory of what you have, box up the physical items and set them aside.
- Move all digital genealogy files into a HOLD folder.
- Gather tools to research.
- Set research goals.
- Start with your own knowledge and write it down.
- Start tracking research.
- Interview family members.
- And more!
And then, month by month, continue with research, add more skills and areas of focus including citing sources, tracking searches, building a research toolbox, creating an educational plan, researching offline as well as online, and more.
By the end of the year, hopefully you will have completed a review of a firm foundation in genealogy and family history research skill building. I realize that some focus areas may differ; anyone along for the journey has the freedom to add or remove content. This program has to work for you and should not be something that you dread each week or that you find you are working against.
You’re Invited – You Get a Genealogy Do-Over Too
I created The Genealogy Do-Over as a collaborative community effort to re-examine the way in which each of us has personally pursued our genealogical research. My intent was to be honest with myself without beating myself up. I wanted to feel the joy of looking at one small fact and perhaps realizing that I never looked at it from all angles. I wanted the discipline of not following a possible lead just because it shakes or makes more noise than other leads.
Most of all, I wanted to be open to all possibilities on my journey of genealogical self-discovery and to enjoy that journey. This has meant researching genealogy with a plan, with a purpose, with sound practices and with the support of my fellow researchers. I do not intend to make this journey again. The Genealogy Do-Over is my chance, and your chance, to get it right!
68 pages | Published 2015 | PDF (download-only) edition
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- Photography for Genealogy by Nicka Smith. February 1.
- The WHO of Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger. February 8.
- Deciphering German Script by Gail Blankenau. February 10.
- Be Your Own Digital Archivist: Preserve Your Research by Cyndi Ingle. February 15.
- Weaving DNA Test Results into a Proof Argument by Karen Stanbary, CG. February 21.
- Finding Missing Persons With DNA Testing by Diahan Southard. February 22.
- Apprentices, Indentured Servants, and Redemptioners: White Slavery in America by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG. March 1.
- 50 Websites Every Genealogist Should Know by Gena Philibert-Ortega. March 8.
- Home on the Range: Kansas Research Tips by Cari Taplin, CG. March 10.
- Why are Irish records so weird? by John Grenham. March 15.
- Are You My Grandpa? Men of the Same Name by Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG. March 21.
- Picture This: Images You Can Freely Use by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. March 22.
- Introduction to Quaker Genealogy Research by Craig Scott, MA, CG, FUGA. March 29.
- Preserve, Share, and Search Your Digital Pictures with Google Photos by Geoff Rasmussen. April 5.
- Your Whiteboard in the Cloud: Trello for Genealogists by Lisa Alzo. April 12.
- Complete Photo Restoration in 4 Easy Steps by Eric Basir. April 14.
- The Genealogy in Government Documents by Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA. April 18.
- Neighborhood Reconstruction: Effective Use of Land Records by Mary Hill, AG. April 19.
- Finding and Using Land Ownership Maps by Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA. April 26.
- Researching Criminal Records by Ron Arons. April 28.
- Take Me Back to Where I Belong: Transportation Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. May 3.
- Beginning Danish Research by Charles Fritz Juengling, AG. May 10.
- New York City and State Governmental Vital Records by Jane Wilcox. May 12.
- MAXY DNA: Correlating mt-at-X-Y DNA with the GPS by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL. May 16.
- Remember Me: Lifestreaming and the Modern Genealogist by Thomas MacEntee. May 17.
- WikiTree: Free for All without a Free-for-All by Eowyn Langholf. May 24.
- The Great War: Researching Your World War I Ancestors by Michael L. Strauss, AG. May 31.
- Researching Your Minnesota Ancestors by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. June 7.
- How Harry Potter Can Teach You About DNA by Blaine Bettinger. June 14.
- What Now? Your Next Steps with Autosomal DNA Testing by Diahan Southard. June 16.
- Beating the Bushes: Using the GPS to Find Jacob Bush's Father by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. June 20.
- Virtual Family Reunions: Super Easy, Super Fun by Pat Richley and Russ Worthington. June 21.
- Canada's Top 10 by Kathryn Lake Hogan. June 28.
- Censational Census Strategies by Mary Kircher Roddy. July 5.
- Google Books: the tool you should use every day! by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 12.
- Tips for Snapping Pics: How to Take Perfect Family Photographs by Jared Hodges. July 14.
- Analyzing Documents Sparks Ideas for Further Research by Angela Packer McGhie, CG. July 18.
- The Firelands, The Connecticut Western Reserve, and the Ohio Territory by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG. July 19.
- Family History Adhesive: The Science of Why History Binds Families and the Simple Tech of How to Do It by Janet Hovorka. July 26.
- Tracing Your West Country Ancestors by Kirsty Gray. August 2.
- A Taxing Matter: Using Tax Lists in Genealogy by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. August 9.
- Using Pictures with Legacy Family Tree by Geoff Rasmussen. August 11.
- Analyzing Probate Records of Slaveholders to Identify Enslaved Ancestors by LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG. August 15.
- Finding Your Ancestors in German Directories by Ursula C. Krause. August 16.
- How to do Mexican Research and Be Successful by Jonathan Walker. August 23.
- Getting Started with Evidentia by Edward A. Thompson. August 30.
- Top Tech Tips for the Technologist and the Genealogist by Geoff Rasmussen. September 6.
- Finding Isaac Rogers by Nicka Smith. September 13.
- The ABCs and 123s of Researching Your Ancestor's School Records by Melissa Barker. September 15.
- When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Proved Conclusion? by Tom Jones, Ph.D, CG, CGL. September 19.
- WolframAlpha for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. September 20.
- Quick Guide to Texas Research by Deena Coutant. September 27.
- No Easy Button: Using “Immersion Genealogy” to Understand Your Ancestors by Lisa Alzo. October 4.
- Southern States Migration Patterns by Mary Hill, AG. October 11.
- Is Your Society Growing? Social Media may be your saving grace by Pat Richley. October 13.
- Databases, Search Engines, and the Genealogical Proof Standard by David Ouimette, CG. October 17.
- The WPA: Sources for Your Genealogy by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 18.
- Midwestern & Plains States Level Census Records by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. October 25.
- Is this the End? Taking Your German Brick Walls Down Piece by Piece by Luana Darby and Ursula C. Krause. November 1.
- New York City Genealogical Research: Navigating Through The Five Boroughs by Michael L. Strauss, AG. November 8.
- Using Non-Population Schedules for Context and Evidence by Jill Morelli. November 10.
- British and Irish research: the differences by Brian Donovan. November 15.
- Research in Federal Records: Some Assembly Required by Malissa Ruffner, JD, CG. November 21.
- Understanding Alabama by Rorey Cathcart. November 29.
- Finding Your Roots in Catholic Records by Lisa Toth Salinas. December 6.
- I Thought He Was My Ancestor: Avoiding the Six Biggest Genealogy Mistakes by James M. Baker, PhD, CG. December 13.
- Finding Your Nordic Parish of Birth by Jill Morelli. December 15.
- The Law and the Reasonably Exhaustive (Re)Search by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. December 19.
- Palmetto Pride - South Carolina for Genealogist by Rorey Cathcart. December 20.
- Problems and Pitfalls of a Reasonably Shallow Search by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. December 27.
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