Monthly Archives: May 2006

Self-directed Learning: A Confession to Tom Jones

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Dear Tom,

There are very few people in Saskatchewan interested in advanced genealogy so the only classes in the community seem to be geared to beginners or intermediate genealogists and focus on records. Sounds just like the situation in Oklahoma,Shropshire, Montana, Midlothian and Manitoba and . Might even be a universal problem. But I digress.

I needed a class. There was nothing suitable, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was reviewing my collection of NGS and FGS conference syllabuses and found in the 2002 NGS Conference Syllabus the material for your lecture, “Proved? Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was (Some Reliable and others Not Reliable)” I remember it as a very impressive lecture, but you know I am a fan.

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Reading Aloud: A Guided Student Participation Experience

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Recently I was sitting in the back of a class presented by my young friend Bill Terry. Bill was trying to show a bunch of us old dogs some new ideas on making our goals into daily activities. He was struggling with the learner-participation thing and shared an intensely personal experience in examining his life priorities. But he needed to work it into the framework of these new ideas. What he did was control the participation by assigning short readings of just a couple of lines to several students and then one by one had them read, make a short comment, then he tied it into his personal experience. How could you use this in your lectures, workshops, classes?

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Learning to Research Background Information


Kay Haviland Freilich wrote and article entitled, "Skill Building: Background Information: An Overlooked Research Tool" which appeared in the September 2005 issue of On Board: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists pages 17 and 18. She wrote about the importance of knowing the background information on our ancestors time and place. She zeroed in on learning the laws, geographic and political jurisdictional changes, and the creation of records. This is the sort of thing librarians have training in, searching for background information. How do they do it?

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My Favorite Ancestor and other Desperate Program Ideas

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Somewhere on the continent every year there are a dozen or a hundred genealogy societies who in desparation for a program invite members to share an account of their favorite ancestor. I'd like to suggest the program planners give that one a rest. Here's some thoughts.

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Irish Genealogy Classes On-Line

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My friend, Louise St. Denis at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies emailed me recently to remind me of some on-line classes starting this week at the Institute. I've been feeling guilty these past few months about ignoring my Irish ancestors. It seems the Connors are getting harder to ignore, but I have no knowledge of Irish records. The following classes might do the trick. Check them out on the website.

  • Irish: Census & Census Substitute Records
  • Irish: Electoral & Taxation Records
  • Irish: Land Administration Records
  • Irish: Military, Naval & Pension Records
  • Irish: Understanding Ireland, History & Source Records

The Irish research program at the National Institute is under the direction of Brian Hutchison, CG. Brian's program offers courses in Irish research that I've never seen offered before for on-line learners. Courses of this quality and detail are not free, of course. But then you already know you pay for better instruction.

Check it out. 

Who Else is Reading Genealogy Education?

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There is a little bird in my blog that keeps track of various statistics. I look at it every day to see how things are going. Since inception Genealogy Education has attracted 21,000 hits, according to the statistics bird. What that means is that in doing a web search the searcher has entered a string broad enough to pick up one of my postings. It does not mean the searcher actually looked at it. Pity, it sounds so impressive, an average of over 5000 hits per month.

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