You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

This past Saturday I lectured for NTLGC. We started with a small-group discussion exercise where we used various books as topic prompts. Afterwards, I presented on analyzing what level of a genealogists you are and then a mini introduction to the Genealogical Proof Standard.

One of the topics we discussed were examples of records that beginner genealogists use versus the records that intermediate or advanced genealogists use. I had gotten the idea for the topic from a webinar done by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL titled “Your Personal Education Plan: Sifting though the Options.”

This is a bit dramatic to say, but I feel like that webinar changed my life – genealogically speaking. I went into it thinking that I was an advanced genealogist and learned that I was an intermediate genealogist. It opened my eyes that I had so much more room to grow than I thought I did. After that, I went on my first trip to the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City and also to my first national conference by attending the FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, IN.

Ultimately, all of that led to me making the decision that I would like to be a professional genealogist when I retire from teaching. I imagine that I am going to meet Elissa Scalise Powell this summer at GRIP, and if it isn’t too awkward, I’d like to thank her for opening my eyes.

I’ve been listening to many podcasts and webinars lately. One of them that I watched today was from NYG&B titled “Indexing New York: The New York Land Records Project.” I didn’t know that FamilySearch was working on indexing the index for the Land Records. I haven’t completed any indexing in awhile and felt inspired to do so.

I think that indexing would be a good item to add to my genealogy education plan as it would help me practice reading and transcribing handwriting in addition to introducing me to records that I was unaware existed and familiarizing myself with them. I completed a small batch:

I indexed 5 US, Pennsylvania – WWI Draft Registration Cards

Since the last time that I blogged, I have worked on getting records for my First Families of Pennsylvania application. I copied my Dad’s birth certificate and ordered death certificates for a bunch of ancestors from NYSDOH: Ella Whittaker, Felix McGinity, Elizabeth McGinity, Nelson Johnson, and Cornelia Johnson. As they say that it may take up to 8 months to receive them back, I may not receive them until January 2020.

I also ordered two death certificates from Chemung Co. for Clarence Webb and Thomas Stratton. I don’t think that those will take as long to come in. I am hoping that both of those death certificates will list parent’s names on them. I would be surprised if it did for Thomas Stratton as our understanding was that he was orphaned in England, but you never know!