This was AWESOME!
I am not particularly new to genealogy. I got interested when I was about 12 years old and was staying with my grandmother after school. She had a few family bibles she would show me and let me pour over for hours as well as some old hand-typed documents from previous genealogists detailing family history.
I have found family history and genealogical research fascinating ever since. When I was a teen, I starting compiling that information into family group sheets and pedigree charts and keeping it in 3-ring binders.
In college, for a class project I had to interview a family member and write a paper about their life story in context to historical events, local events, etc. during their lives. I interviewed my grandmother, which was one of the best college educational experiences I think I had. I learned so much about her life and about my family history with that one project. As well as wonderful memories of her I would not have had otherwise.
More recently, I have come to the conclusion that I need to be more methodical and make my research be much more in line with the genealogical proof standard. I need to share some of the stories that are floating around in my head that I haven't actually written down (which is part of the point of this blog) but also to keep track of what I factually know (with documentary evidence), what I need to find out, and keeping track of where I've already looked.
Today's sessions were fantastic. I learned some great search tips for making the most out of the Ancestry.com databases. How to use wild cards in the searches, how to do searches from the card catalog instead of searching directly from the tree and the advantages of doing some of the searches that way. As well as exceptional tips on analyzing sources and comparing records.
There was also a session on genetic ancestry research, specifically in reference to Ancestry's DNA test and how they use that for the ethnicity results as well as the cousin matching, DNA circles and new ancestry discoveries and how you can use this information to further your family research.
I also learned more about the NC State Archives and the State Library of North Carolina - I need to make a visit to these sometime soon. I don't really have many ancestors from NC but they should have some other information that will be very useful.
And the day ended with a wonderful session on using the research you've done to create family stories and how to share those stories with others.
So, I am now totally hyped and I'm sure I'm going to spend the next 12 hours straight glued to my Ancestry.com account (I probably should invest in eye drops because whenever I log into Ancestry.com I totally forget to blink for long periods of time) to try out all the new tips, tricks and skills I picked up today!