Saturday, 19 December 2015

What do I need to learn, to be the best teller of my family's stories?

As 2016 approaches, I'm thinking about "reclaiming" my genealogy skills and knowledge.  I've really only used intuition and common research practices to date, in trying to find out as much as I can about my family history.  It's time to sharpen those skills, and to deepen my knowledge.

The areas/themes that I want particularly to understand are:

  1. Sources, citations, and references - what do they mean?  how do I put together a valid citation?  and how do I analyse a source or a citation?
  2. Research planning - so far, I've used a "scatter-gun" approach to my research.  I've simply followed what has presented to me really - not a very disciplined or rigorous approach at all :-(  
  3. Organising my information - once I've collected all this information about my ancestors, how do I record it properly, and organise it so that I can easily find it and easily share it with my family?
There are so many tutorials, classes, workshops, courses available to learn all of this!  I've whittled it down to a few that will help:
  1. DearMYRTLE will host the  2016 ESM's QuickLessons Study Group from 16 March to 28 September 2016, based on the QuickLessons put together by Elizabeth Shown Mills at her website  There are 21 QuickLessons which will be covered on a weekly basis with some breaks between.  I think this will give me some very good grounding in the whole area of sources and citations!
  2. Following a recommendation from Fiona on the danceskeletons blog, I downloaded a webinar by Marian Pierre-Louis titled "Plan your way to research success".  It is awesome!!  Lots of great information, examples, and inspiration to explain the usefulness of planning your research before you get started.  I really want to implement her ideas.  And I'll be stalking her for more webinars, because she's my new hero :-)
  3. I haven't quite finalised my approach for the third theme of organising my information.  I know it's about using OneNote a lot, regularly backing-up all the digital information to various safe places, and it probably involves me being more pedantic and focussed than I have been.  My approach will evolve, I'm sure :-)
So now I'm off to schedule some dates into my 2016 calendar for the QuickLessons Study Group, and to develop a research focus for the year ahead.

Happy gene-adventuring :-)

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