She has a great assignment. She is going to serve at the Family History Library in the new Hosting Zone. She will be in the heart of where people come from miles around for their research and part of the support team. The week we arrived here on our mission a large group from Japan were here for their annual genealogy research. The Salt Lake City Family History Library has no equals anyhere. I encourage you to plan a visit some day.
Our new missionary isn't an expert now. Two weeks can give a good foundation but there is always a new challenge in genealogy. However, our rookie has a lot of new tools. She did go four generations further on one line that was a dead end.
Just so you know where she was when we started: she had ranked herself as a 0 to 1 level on a scale of 0 to 5 on almost every category including computer savvy. Her daughter had loaded her entire 5 generations plus more on PAF. PAF is a free family tree type program. We teach that program in our training. She and her daughter had visited areas and cemeteries of her ancestors. She came with a spirit of excitement about family history.
Here are the highlights of what I plan on repeating next month with another trainee missionary:
- As I mention above, use a Family Tree software. If you are a beginner start with PAF, it's free.
- Don't do any research without a research log at your side, taking notes on everything you do.
- Get organized now: Use the system I published here: click Some may resist as I did, but oh what a difference it makes. Oh how much time I wasted duplicating research before doing this and using research logs.
- Make a personal commitment to attend a minimum of 1 genealogy conference or workshop a year. We go to everyone we can. In the six months we have been on our mission we have attend 8. Each has been invaluable.
- Start your research on every person with these 3 sites: Family Search Ancestry.com & FindaGrave.com Ancestry is not cheap, but it is my favorite site.
- Become a regular at a local LDS family history center. Paid sites licenses such as Ancestry.com are usable under the church licenses.
- Start connecting with others with same research interests. Ancestry.com is a great place for that. FamilyTree and the add on software SharingTime (Currently $15.00 per year) are even better. Some can access new.family.search now and use SharingTime. New.familysearch will become FamilyTree.
- Download Jing at http://jingproject.com Jing is free and is perfect for making a photo out of anything you see on your screen. Photo's are an important part of family history.
- Block out a regular time to do online research. Several years ago for me this was Sunday. I would usually spend about 4 hours doing genealogy.
- Visit this site, study it, click its links for other sites. Aside from publishing occasionally articles about my ancestors and a few examples of my sick humor I post important articles and links for those who are interested in good genealogy research ideas.
- Get on or get ready for FamilyTree. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members can get on it now. By the end of the year anyone can. I'll announce that when it happens. FamilyTree is written about several times here and I encourage you to read these articles.
- Use Webinars as a learning tool. You can pick your topic and times. Genea Webinars is currently the best site I have found that aggregates and announces Webinars. Its link is in the right sidebar of this blog.
Training The Rookie in Genealogy
Training The Rookie in Genealogy - Day 2
Training The Rookie Genealogist - Day 3
Training The Rookie - Day 4
Training The Rookie Genealogist - Days 5 & 6
Training The Rookie Genealogist - Wrap up