01 December 2009

Genealogy: Grab the good

How do genealogists stay on top of the field? How do we learn what we need to learn?

It's important to know how to access resources providing the information we require.

As a genealogy blogger - excuse me, geneablogger - I feel that everyone can find information in our myriad blogs. Each of us have particular niche interests and if we follow those specialized blogs (or write them!), all will be revealed. Well, a good part of it, anyway.

What else is out there? Here are some resources to ponder.

We need to know about new genealogy books, magazines and online resources. These resources may be in the collections of our local genealogical or historical societies or libraries.

Roots Television and YouTube are good sources for gen videos online. Our libraries also offer videos, DVDs and free online access to sometimes pricey databases.

For Jewish genealogists, the annual IAJGS conference on international Jewish genealogy is a must (July 11-16, 2010 - Los Angeles), JGSLA 2010. This year's location in Los Angeles and hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles, ensures creativity in programming and activities. It is the only annual event where worldwide researchers of all skill levels, archivists and experts come together for nearly six days of high-powered events running from early morning to late at night. Subscribe to the conference newsletter and blog.

Local regional conferences, such as the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree 2010 (June 11-13, 2010 - Burbank), are excellent learning opportunities. Jamboree attracted some 1,500 attendees last year and will likely exceed that number this year. It is the crown in the jewel of local/regional conferences. Hundreds of proposals submitted for a limited number of presentation slots indicate that it is a coveted conference for major speakers. Subscribe to the conference blog.

Want to learn something genealogical (many diverse topics) via an information-packed short-term practical course? Why not try GenClass.com?

For close-to-home help, get involved with your local genealogical society. Attend monthly programs, mini-workshops or conferences. Utilize their reference libraries available and the skills of society experts.

There's a lot of help out there for those who are beginning researchers, or for more advanced people who want to learn something new or brush up on a new skill.

As we journey down discovery road, the highway takes various twists and turns. A new branch may mean we need more information in another country, ethnicity or religion. Don't get lost on the road. Stay sharp, stay focused and ask for directions.

There is no shame in asking for directions and assistance. We were once all beginners and were helped by others who knew more than we did.

There are so many resources to provide help for whatever topic you require.

Make sure to utilize everything you possibly can for the most successful experience in tracking your ancestors.

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