02 February 2014

Beginning Genealogy Using Accredited Methods

For now Sundays are my day of rest but I just want to record my thoughts about the Chicago Genealogical Society's meeting yesterday afternoon.  Marsha Peterson-Maass presented a 60-minute crash course called Beginning Genealogy Using Accredited Methods.

I met Marsha Peterson-Maass and found her to be warm and lovely.  I spoke with her a bit about starting my own genealogy business and immediately she gave me a suggestions for a direction I might take. Apparently, several would-be clients that she has encountered recently have been interested in DNA testing.

Hmmm, I thought, I could use this information.  I've been wondering where to start and DNA is as good a place as any.  So... my first goal is to put together a presentation on DNA testing for genealogy, and run with that.  Wish me luck.

Simultaneously, I plan to contact not only genealogical societies in Illinois, but I'm interested in contacting the activity directors of chicagoland senior centers.  Maybe they could use a speaker. I added a link from famberry.com to my Google+ page that says "If you don't tell your story another story will be told about you."  I wonder if seniors realize that!  I'm planning on helping them tell their story.

Back to Marsha.  She teaches a beginning Genealogy Course at the Newberry Library in Chicago and her 60 minute presentation made me want to go to the whole course!  I've been doing this for years and years, and still learned something from Marsha.  She started her presentation with a personal family story that was absolutely riveting.  She included research photos and the outcome of a WWII airman whose body was lost in the Philippines.  You've got to hear that story!

The bulk of the presentation was on using accredited methods in genealogical research and Marsha went through a case study of one individual step-by-step to prove or disprove individuality.  Her explanations were spot-on and when she was done you really understood that just because you found something, doesn't mean you're done, or that you've even found the right person.  It was a great presentation and I so enjoyed meeting her.

Should you be reading this and live in the Chicago area, please consider taking Marsha Peterson-Maass' course Fundamentals of Genealogy: Basics for Everyone. Information can be found on the Newberry Library's website at http://www.newberry.org/03082014-fundamentals-genealogy-basics-everyone
The next offering of this course starts on March 8th.

You can reach Marsha Peterson-Maass through her blog at http://fundamentalsofgenealogy.blogspot.com
or her Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Marsha-Peterson-Maass-Fundamentals-Of-Genealogy/433261850098058

01 February 2014

My First Day as a Professional Genealogist!

I got up this morning wanting to attend The Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists, my old genealogical society, for the first time in 10 or 12 years.  I wanted to meet the speaker, Jane Haldeman, a professional genealogist from Naperville Illinois.  She was to present From Land Records to Google Earth: Mapping your Family's Place.  So I got up, showered, dressed, even put on makeup for my first day as a professional genealogist.  There was snow coming down when I left my house and I should have realized the possibility that it may have been cancelled, but I was on a mission!  Long story short, the meeting was cancelled.  So here I sit an hour later, fully dressed on a Saturday morning and only slightly wondering what I'm going to do with my day.

While I was in the car I listened to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR.  The guest was Dr. Paul Sereno, Paleontologist from the University of Chicago, being questioned on Barney the Purple Dinosaur.  He failed miserably.  As it should be.  I'm pretty sure that he has little time for children's tv shows.  So I got in the house and looked him up.  This guy is a ROCK STAR!  I then thought a little about the difference between paleontology and genealogy as professions.  

I quickly discerned that genealogy is much cleaner.  Sure, sometimes the archives haven't been kept up and we see dust and mold; OH THE HORROR! But, we don't generally get dirty from head to toe.  Both professionals dig (research), write, report, speak in front of groups, and teach. The best similarities are tenacity and passion.  I think the passion breeds the tenacity.  Anyway, I wonder if Dr. Sereno's family tree is written.  I'd be happy to help.  I wonder... What do I need to accomplish in genealogy to become a ROCK STAR?

For the next couple of hours, I'm going to download my Legacy Family Tree 8, and play with it.  I paid less than $22 for this new version.  I've used Legacy for at least 10 years and I love it.  I can't wait to use the newest features.

At 1:30 the Chicago Genealogical Society meets at Chicago's Newberry Library.  Marsha Peterson-Maass will be presenting a 60-minute crash course called Beginning Genealogy Using Accredited Methods. And yes, I'm gonna check for cancellation before I go out!