The new year of genealogy classes at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church has begun. I am again teaching five weeks of classes, with two different courses scheduled each Tuesday evening. The first is called “Genealogy: Family History Basics” and meets from 6:30 to 7:30. And the second session, which is designed to complement the first (and give me a place to enhance and improve genealogy lectures), is called “Five Genealogy Talks,” and meets from 7:45 to 8:45.
The topic of last Tuesday’s first hour was “Important First Steps.” The class members and I introduced ourselves to each other and we discovered that most of class consisted of beginners, who are just starting out. We have a mother-daughter couple and a grandmother-granddaughter couple, but no husband-wife couples this time.
The second hour was made up of almost the same group of students. The topic for the week was, “How Do You Know? Understanding Evidence and Citing Your Sources.”
I plan to post some more details about each of these sessions very soon.
Next week’s first hour topic will be “The Census,” about one of my favorite genealogy resources. This is a resource that many beginning genealogists can use, but that experienced genealogists use as well. Ancestry.com, and some other commercial and private sites, offer access to the digital images of the United States Federal census or to transcriptions of the contents of the census. We’ll learn what the census contains and about how we can access it.
The second hour’s topic will be “Information Overload: Organizing Your Genealogy Records.” We’ll learn about how to organize the names, dates, places and relationships, as well as how to organize research plans and notes, and how to organize the stacks of paperwork genealogists seem to generate.