December 22, 2014

#PBS Genealogy Roadshow Reminder

Genealogy Roadshow logo

Genealogy Roadshow logo

Just a quick reminder…don’t forget to watch the premier episode of Genealogy Roadshow tonight on your local PBS station. Just in case, you might want to set your recorder for the series. I did!

If your genealogy juices get flowing afterwards, please visit my friend Thomas MacEntee’s blog…

  • Cyndi’s List for genealogy links, and the other mega genealogy links website…

Don’t forget to search my page…

FREE stuff and search the 1940 census

 

Elyse Doerflinger on Genealogical Organizational Skills

Quite some time back, in the mid-1990’s I began my serious genealogical research on my families and even though I tried to be organized it’s easy for it to get out of hand. Elyse has presented a 7 minute video and how to get organized, and if you are just beginning genealogy, or are über experienced, it’s worthwhile information that she presents. After a few seconds you can skip the promo ad.

You can also find Elyse at Elyse’s Genealogy Blog. Enjoy!

 

 

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The Next Step For Genealogy Societies: Embrace Social Networking

I just watched a new video by the Federation of Genealogical Societies presented by Thomas MacEntee entitled Social Networking for Genealogy Societies. I would encourage all genealogy societies to watch this video and share it at your next meeting.  I think it will open you eyes as you listen to Thomas’ presentation because he is giving you a very valuable lesson in how to bring your local society up to speed by utilizing social networking.

Social Networking Is Affordable Advertising

FREE: Your society may already be on Facebook, but if not, you may want to create a page and take advantage of this no cost way to advertise your organization. As Thomas MacEntee said, Facebook is now surpassing Google when it comes to being found on the Internet.

FREE: Twitter should be your additional choice for social networking. It’s a great tool for keeping your readers up to date.

FREE: Vimeo is where the Social Networking for Genealogy Societies video presentation is located.  Be ready to take notes when you watch the video because you’re going to want to refer back to other social networking sites and the mentioned ideas if your genealogy society is ready to “get social”.

 

How To Do A Genealogical Interview

Hand with pencil

Get comfortable

If you have made arrangements ahead of time to interview a particular person, try to do it in a quiet setting where there will be little or no interruptions. If you will be tape recording your subject, make sure ahead of time that your recorder is in prime working order (batteries, settings, etc.) and set it close enough to pick up all the dialog, especially if you have a quiet speaking interviewee. Talk about general topics if you will be taking notes, to get them comfortable with the interview setting. Speak slowly and clearly. Tell your subject that you will give them a break when they need one.

Begin with the basics

Depending on what you might already know about your subject’s name and birth dates, you can skip that information and focus on other questions that might give you more background information.

Some questions to ask:

  • Where were you born? (City, state, country)
  • Were you born at home, or in a hospital or nursing home?
  • Do you know what time of day you were born?
  • Was there a world event that took place the same day? (End of a war, weather event, etc.)
  • Were there other siblings? (This could lead to a long answer, so maybe save it to ask in a separate session.)
  • Where do you fall in birth order?
  • Did your parents both work? What were their professions?
  • What do you know about your mother’s/father’s ancestors? (City, state, country)
  • Are there any celebrities in your family tree?
  • Why did they come to the United States from that country?
  • Did they bring any family traditions with them?
  • What important lessons did you learn from your (Mother, father, grandparents, etc.)
  • Who were the best story tellers in your family?
  • What will you always remember about them?
  • Were you taught any special skills? (Cooking, carpentry, sewing, fishing, hunting, etc.)
  • What were the things you did as a child, teen, and adult that have given you the most pleasure?
  • Were you ever in any accidents?
  • What were the newest discoveries during the time you were growing up?
  • How has the world changed since you were a child?
  • In what way was the world better then?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?
  • What did you like to do after school?
  • Did you ride a bike to school, a bus, or walk? Or, were you taken to school by car?
  • Did you get good grades?
  • What was the extent of your formal education?
  • Is there anything that you would like to tell me about that you feel I should know?

Don’t expect to get all of your questions answered in one sitting. Take this list with you and highlight the most important things you want to know. If your subject is willing to answer more questions, then go back and ask your secondary questions.

Depending on your relationship with the subject, keep in mind that your questions could bring up sad or angry memories. If they do, either move on,change the subject or end the interview. This should be a fun exercise, not something unpleasant. Happy interviewing! :)

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