I’m in! Genealogy class, that is.
As I wrote about a while back, my first two attempts at getting in were unsuccessful. This time, though, 10 similar-minded family sleuth wannabes signed up for genealogist's Sherry Foresman's class and we’re nearly halfway through its six-week run.
Since writing family histories is different than genealogy, I want to sharpen my research skills so I can learn more about my own family’s roots. Sherry has been a big help to me, so I thought I’d share a few tidbits of knowledge she’s shared with the class. Even if you’re a veteran genealogist, her tips may serve as a quick refresher course.
- Start with yourself and work backwards through successive generations, verifying information as you go. Skipping generations or failure to verify can send you scampering down the wrong branches.
- If you’re doing library research, take a magnifying glass, a sheet of yellow paper (it helps bring up images from microfilm) and plenty of change for copying things. Be aware that many historical libraries have strict rules about what you can bring in so check ahead of time.
- Beginners should not subscribe to any pay genealogical services. There’s plenty available for free. Once you have a bit of experience, you’ll be better able to judge whether you need a paid service or not.
- Be careful in selecting a computer program in which to create your family tree. You may not be able to shift data between programs, which could be a big hassle when your tree grows to several hundred names.
If anybody needs genealogical help in Iowa, send Sherry an e-mail.