..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, April 08, 2013

Motivation Monday - How To Get Motivated In Genealogy

As a child, I got a children's portable typewriter one year for Christmas. I immediately went around to all my family at the family Christmas party and tediously asked them their full name and birth dates. Then I typed the list up for them. I was so proud of myself.

That should have been a clue that one day, I would become a genealogist! I've always been an organized, detail oriented person. I didn't show much interest, of course, growing up. Children and teenagers are notoriously self centered. But I had an aunt that was doing genealogy. On a visit, after I had been married a couple of years, she gave us all photographs of some of our ancestors. I wrote what she told us on the back of the photographs. And for some reason my interest was kindled. After that I would write her asking some questions. I attended a family reunion and met a cousin of my Dad's who had written a book on their line which I purchased. That was on my father's side. On my mother's side, she had subscribed to some genealogy newsletters about her paternal line. I found a box full of these and it got me going in that direction.

Of course, I was totally at a loss on how to do it. Other than cemeteries, I didn't know how to do genealogical research. But one day I went to the library and the ladies in the genealogy room showed me how to use the microfiche machines, the copier and how to locate the censuses. Other than their help, I had no formal training. I was pretty much feeling my way around. I wandered around the books and I asked them for help and then came Ancestry.com. The ladies taught me how to use the library version of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest. For the first few years I just went to the library to work. I would take my lunch and my laptop and work all day. Finally, a few years ago, I realized I could pay for my own subscription and do all this research at home. Another watershed moment! I have not regretted it! It's been well worth it. I have an adjustable bed, a laptop and laptop table. Everything is on my laptop (with multiple backups on external hard drives) and stored digitally... copies of source records, photos, cemetery photos, ancestor photos, etc.

I've learned so much over the years I've been doing it and I'm very thankful for the ladies at the library and people who have shared their info on the Internet or by email or on their website and blogs. I've learned from them. Of course, with any ancestor data, I try to get sources for the information because I've seen websites with discrepancies, errors, typos, honest mistakes. But it can give you a clue and a lot of it is good and the best ones have sources for their information. But there are also people who have given their time and expertise to make videos on Youtube, blog posts, podcasts, etc. It's a college education in genealogy online,  in your home and for free! I appreciate that. Anyone who shares a tip, a how-to, their own research on a line, some motivation, a different way to look at something, a new way to organize or research, an interesting story... those are gems that just may help someone else and they do it for no other reason than to help someone else. If you have a chance to pay back, I hope you will. I have. I use my blog to post, I've taken videos of churches and cemeteries to post on Youtube for others. I've had comments on my videos thanking me because they had family there and lived too far away to visit it themselves. I've added graves to Findagrave.com. Just a few ways you can give back.

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