Sunday, April 8, 2012

Training The Rookie In Genealogy

The mission has changed my assignment. I am supposedly a rent a trainer, loaned to the training zone for two weeks.

LDS Conference Center
When a person enters our mission they go through two straight weeks of training. The training is to provide the missionary the basics on genealogy research. Many are assigned to zones that do not involve research. For example, there are missionaries that serve in the language translation zone. Every General Conference and many events at the Conference Center are translated into dozens of languages. The implementation of that is complex and takes many professionals and missionaries. Those assigned here will be doing their learning in these two weeks and outside their assignment.

Members are often called to this mission with minimal computer and genealogy skills. Such is the lady I am assigned to teach. It is my commitment to take her through our 1 on 1 training and prepare her to make her mission here a joyful experience in learning how to do her own research.

Of course each missionary comes to this mission with various levels of experience. Prior to arriving we fill out various forms, one of them being a personal assessment of our skill level, including skill levels in using a computer.

My trainee, rated herself either 0 or 1 on a scale of 0 to 5 in all categories. So I truly have a Rookie in Genealogy to train. What is exciting to me, on each category she added, "I am anxious to learn."

We met for a few hours Friday, and truly she shows enthusiasm and an excitement to learn.

What is your level of experience? Are you also a Rookie in Genealogy? If so, join with me for the next two weeks as I share with you what I share with my trainee.

I have already posted a few articles about getting started, but I now realize that they might not be what the rookie in genealogy needs to start with.

So here we go: Join in.

Take note, you cannot get fully trained in two weeks. I do believe, however, that I can provide the basics and that the curriculum that has been developed by our training zone will take you or anyone anxious to learn to a place they are launched successfully into many exciting experiences with their ancestors.

1- You must have basic computer skills. The web is a most powerful source of information. It has changed research immensely. You must know how to turn on a computer and use it beyond email. Monday, I will post the basic skills you will need. If you don't have them, persuade your nearest connection to a 10 year old and have them teach these to you.

2- Don't go buying a fancy software that does all sorts of cool things. Wait for that.

3- Download free software called PAF. Understand, you friend or relative that is into genealogy is going to argue with me on this point. I am your teacher. Do as I say. Get PAF, its simpler. Click here to go and download PAF:

Here is a video that gives you an overview of PAF.

4- Find out what conferences are within your access. Here in Salt Lake the biggy is RootsTech. The next one is in March 2013. RootsTech offers classes for all levels of interest and experience. If you can go - do so. If you cannot, find a local one. There is at least one a month somewhere. In my home area, there is an annual conference that moves back and forth between Bellevue and Redmond. You go to conferences because they are awesome. The handouts alone are often worth going.

Click Here for the Rootstech Site.

You can already tell I am offering things that are outside of a two week one on one training. That's what it takes, baby! The good news, it's a blast. More good news, you will learn a lot, very fast.

5- If you haven't figured it out yet, you must return to this blog periodically. Even after the two weeks of training there will be lots of tips and sites I will expose you to. Of course I mix in some stories of ancestors.

6- Our next assignment will be to organize the names of 5 generations of ancestors. This is Sunday. You have all day to do that and part of tomorrow. Go get em. Don't worry about names you can't find, do what you can. Gather with the names, birth dates, death dates, and marriage dates. That's a good start. Make sure you download PAF.

If you want, see if you can input some of the information you gather into PAF.

The pressure is on - the fun begins.

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