There are many resources available on almost any family history topic. If you are frustrated at not being able to find what you want, or need help understanding what you have found, that may be a signal to join your local genealogical society.
Newcomers are welcome at all societies, where experts are interested in helping you. Remember that all of us were newcomers at some point regardless of our current skill level. We have all been in the same place as you, and we were assisted by experts who answered those "silly questions" we were hesitant to ask.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel by yourself, or spend hours alone in a dusty archive. Ask questions of your local experts learn where the information you need is located and help yourself to acquire better skills. The journey down discovery road is always exciting! Remember to help other beginners as you acquire new skills.
Yes, You Can! Genealogy for the Learning-Disabled
The Southern California Genealogical Society is hosting a free webinar designed to help those with learning disabilities (specifically, dyslexia and related problems) learn ways to be successful in doing genealogical research. Hints for reading records and reports and writing up findings will be provided.
Speaker Jean Wilcox Hibben, CG, has been a college professor for 13 years, but is a dyslexic who went undiagnosed until her mid-30s. Today, she is known for her effective writing style, precise research skills and excellent conference programs.
In addition to being a popular speaker, writer and troubador, Jean holds a doctorate in folklore and MA in speech communication. She has served as an officer with several genealogical organizations and a volunteer at NARA (Pacific Region), and is director of the Corona (California) Family History Center.
The free 90-minute seminar - "Yes You Can! Do Genealogy in Spite of a Learning Disability" - is set for Wednesday, October 19, at 6pm Pacific, 7pm Mountain, 8pm Central and 9pm Pacific. To register, click here.
Google+ in the news
Don't know Circles from Hangouts? Streams from Profiles? Here are two items that may help.
-- Author Daniel Lynch (Google Your Family Tree) has launched a new blog, Google+ for Genealogists, subtitled "Expert tips and techniques for genealogy and family history enthusiasts worldwide.” The new blog informs readers of the newest online twist. I’m sure there will be another book on its way in the near future.
-- Family Tree Magazine's next webinar is titled Google+ for Genealogists, with instructor Kerry Scott, who will demonstrate how to use Google+. Registration (fee) for the event includes 30 days of one-on-one tech support from Scott.
Learn how to get started, set up Circles and take advantage of the genealogical possibilities. Tips include profiles, uploading photos, organizing multiple circles, locking posts for privacy and more.
The webinar is on Tuesday, October 25 at 8pm Eastern (7 Central, 6 Mountain, 5 Pacific). Early bird registration means a 20% discount. Go to ShopFamilyTree.com to register.
-- Library and Archives Canada announced the release of a new version of the online database Home Children (1869-1930). More than 20,000 names of children, who came to Canada between 1925 and 1932, were added to the extended version. The names were extracted from passengers lists held at Library and Archives Canada. For more information, click on the database.
-- Genealogy Canada Author Elizabeth LaPointe has listed new and improved sites for Canadian research: Golden Ireland-America (Irish immigrants), Charlotte County's History (50 New Brunswick communities), McFadyen-Parker History (family site), Scotch-Irish of Canada and others.
From the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) comes news that The Essex Genealogist (Essex County, Massachusetts), published since 1981, can be searched online.
The quarterly journal is published by the Essex Society of Genealogists, which was established in 1975. Volumes 1-10 ((1981- 1990) are currently available and additional volumes will be added. Search The Essex Genealogist database via first and last name; volume and page; and article title and subject.
Data includes cemetery transcriptions, Bible records, vital and church records for Essex County families, and also includes ancestor tables and lecture transcriptions.
MNopedia: Minnesota Encyclopedia is an online encyclopedia prototype on the state, created by the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). Explore the places your Minnesota ancestors lived, learn what life was like, and read essays on diverse topics. Resources include text, image, audio and video and links to much more.
Some topics covered: African Americans, agriculture, American Indians, architecture, business and industry, cities and towns, education, environment, health and medicine, immigration, labor, politics, religion and belief, sports and recreation, technology, the arts, transportation and women.
The MHS is looking for feedback on the website's beta version, as they continue testing and improving it. Create an account and help improve the website.
The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department website now features a genealogy section to assist visitors with family history research in the state. Resources are organized by county. On the state map, click on a county to see an overview of county history and relevant links, including organizations and repositories.
A county's resources may include courthouse contact details, types of records, detailed county map, existing towns with links, cemetery list, libraries, newspaper archives, genealogical and/or historical societies and more.
Do let us know if you have accessed any of these resources. What have you found, and how has it helped your own research? What new resources have you located for your own family history project? We look forward to hearing from you.