Apprentice Adventures

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Met for the first time with Barb, my new apprentice. A recent stroke has made a lot of research tasks challenging for me, so I figure I could train an enthusiastic genealogist to do professional quality research while she does the keyboard, microfim reader and footwork under my direction. Here’s what we discussed today

After the initial business of expectations was covered and concurred with, we discussed her current gen ed activities. She’s taking courses with the National institute for Genealogical Studies.

  • We discussed some reading assignnments and I gave her two articles on organizing records.
  • I asked her to purchase Mill’s Evidence! , the BCG  Genealogical Standards Manual, and a basic text on doing English research.
  • We then discussed the first learning task. I supplied a basic text on doing English research and  asked her to read each chapter carefully, then write a precis of about 500 words on the key concepts being taught. This was to be followed by creating 15 questions, mostly how and why questions, on the content of each chapter. These two tasks will assist her in close comprehension of each chapter. Probably drive her nuts, too.
  • As one of early chapters was on English census, I assigned a book by Susan Lomas, Making Use of the Census, to consult in following up on that chapter.
  • Finally I gave her a simple research assignment involving English Census and Civil Registration lookups.

We’ll meet and discuss progress soon.  i’ll be sharing more on the apprenticeadventure periodically.

What do you think?


4 responses to “Apprentice Adventures

  1. Ken,

    I like what you have done. My assumption is that your apprentice is looking to learn (or improve) her English research skills as opposed to Canadian or US research.

    What basic English text did you encourage her to purchase / read and analyse. Your approach seems a good way to force comprehension of the text rather than just reading it. Lumas’s book is a good addition.

    It appears to be a nice start.

    Keep us informed.


  2. Paul,
    Yes, like me, my apprentice does English research. And of course I assigned your fine book. Now here’s your opportunity to tell our readers why its such a good book for my apprentice.

    She ordered your book yesterday, by the way, so she is starting with a Stella Colwell book that teaches with a case study approach suited to her learning style. Next week I’ll assign specifics from your book.


  3. Mary Louise Fitzpatrick

    I’m curious. How did either of you get in touch with potential interns and/or apprentices? I have many done years of personal genealogical research and taken some formal courses, but would love to work with someone who has worked as a professional genealogist. So how did you make the connection?? Thanks ahead for any responses.

    Mary Louise

  4. Mary Louise,
    Over dinner with friends I mentioned an interest. Barb was another guest, as i recall. She’s a successful budsiness woman 3 months of the year, a genealogist the other 9.
    One other guest, a genealogist, also expressed interest but could not commit to 10 hrs a week.

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