Choices and Titles: How do Lecture Titles Influence Our Choices?

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It's 2:00 in the afternoon, three quarters of the way through the second day of a regional genealogy conference. You are getting a bit tired. You look at the choices for the next hour. Here's what you find

  1. Learn to Love Maps, County Histories and City Directories
  2. Tame that Data: Excel and Genealogy
  3. Between the Censuses: Using Local Records to Fill in your Ancestories Stories
  4. Murphy's Law in Genealogy
  5. Notarial Records in Quebec: How to Learn More about Your Ancestors

Of course there are three other choices: you could go go and have a nap; you could visit the vendor area; or you could go sit in the food court and visit with your friend Joan. Based solely on the title, which do you select? What do you expect the chosen session will teach you?

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2 responses to “Choices and Titles: How do Lecture Titles Influence Our Choices?

  1. As usual, I’m torn between at least two of the choices, number 3 and number 5, both of which would be eminently useful to me!

    Since I’ve had some experience with Notarial Records, I would probably choose Between the Censuses. I’m sure there are some records to fill in between census which I hadn’t thought of using, and that’s what I would hope and expect to get out of such a session.

  2. Karen,
    Interesting choices. both your selections provide content information that helps you determine how they fit into your needs.Choice one is similar. Choices two and four, on the other hand are more opaque in their contents- you have fewer clues to the match between content and your needs.

    Are we attracted by clear application? Does that explain why sessions at a local conference with titles like, "Irish Research" or "Using the Census" seem so unappealing.

    I also resent unimaginative program planners who promote programs with such vague titles. I resent the same people who arbitarily change my lecture titles to shorten them. Imagine lecture #1 in the posting being shortened to "Learn to Love" or "County Histories". If a title is too long, consult the speaker or change the brochure format!

    All titles in the posting are titles on the program for FGS in Boston.

  3. Barbara Schenck

    I’d pick 1, 2 or 3.

    I have found great stuff in maps, city directories and county histories, and I’m always looking for ways to use them that I might not have thought of.

    I made a database to see if I could successfully sort the disparate information I have about folks with one surname in one particular county at one time. I don’t know if it would be better or worse than a spreadsheet done with Excel, so I might want to go to this one and see what I could learn.

    I’m always looking for local records to help track people down between censuses. I’ve used probates and inventories, equity and chancery court records, city directories, tax records, vestry minutes and brand books among others. But I’m sure there are things I’ve missed. I’d like this lecture to see if it gave me some new possibilities to check out.

    I think the title of the Murphy’s Law lecture isn’t clear enough about what is being offered. Maybe the blurb would explain. I know Murphy’s Law, but frankly, thinking about it applied to genealogy is just depressing . I already know that what can go wrong, will. It already has. That’s why I have brick walls!

    The notarial records in Quebec would interest me at another time in my research as my husband has Quebec ancestors, but they are on the back burner at the moment.

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