Sunday, March 31, 2013

Genealogy 101 in Fredericksburg, VA

We were so excited to welcome participants to the second session of Introductory Genealogy and Beyond on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg, VA. The library’s largest meeting room was filled with beginning genealogists eager to learn how to trace their ancestors.  At yesterday’s session they learned from Charles “Chuck” Mason, Jr. CG the many reasons it is critical to cite sources, and to: “Cite Your Sources as You Find Them!Mr. Mason repeated, “ Do not think you will do it later. You never will!”

Mr. Mason shared examples of source citations, stating many scholarly works use the Chicago Manual of Style. Other sources were books by Richard S. Lackey, the PAF Documentation Guidelines, and Evidence! Citations & Analysis for the Family Historian by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

I wish he had mentioned Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, by Elizabeth Shown Mills. This book is important as it shows how to cite online source materials. 

The second session was lead by Tish Como, librarian at the Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, Virginia.  Mrs. Como’s talk covered Genealogy 201: Beyond the Basics.  As a genealogy reference librarian, she had many research stories to share with wonderful examples in her PowerPoint presentation. Her handouts provided information and sources for genealogists of all levels.

Although she admits she is not one to read directions, as her husband frequently reminds her, she did encourage her audience to read the research tips when entering a new online database. What is the source of the records contained therein? Record what you find and what you don’t find. Evaluate carefully; be flexible and persistent.

Stay organized, another quality she has trouble with, but at lunch we discussed the fact that each person has to develop an organizational process that best suits their lifestyle. Some of us use Pendaflex family folders with individual family manila (or individual) folders within; some use the three-ring binder method for each family line. Whatever works for you is the right way.

Following the session, participants were given a tour of the library’s Virginiana Room. Besides having all sorts of information on Virginia, the room has a ScanPro, state of the art microfilm reader that allows patrons to print, email or download images.  If you have Virginia ancestors, the Virginiana Room is a must.

The next session of Introductory Genealogy and Beyond will be Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:00 – 12:00 p.m. at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA.  The sessions will feature Phyllis Marilyn (Jule) Legare who will cover Timelines; how our ancestors fit into the broad picture of life, and how events shaped their choices and lives.  The second presentation will cover Military Research, how to use military service and pension records in tracing your ancestors.

Creating and Using Blogs: Don’t forget our regular meeting to be held Wednesday, April 10, 7:00 p.m. at the Salem Church Branch Library.  Shannon Bennett, club member and contributing writer to Family Tree Magazine and other genealogical publications, will discuss how blogs can be created and why they are useful in genealogical research.  See you then!

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