Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tip # 7...Commit to learn how to conduct family history research

Sunday morning and all is well in Arizona. The Diamondbacks ruled over the Cubs. ASU won. The Diamondbacks made up for UA loss. But, UA should be proud. Their offensive tackle , Eben Britton, is a creative writing major and writes an online season diary for Obviously, he is a winner. And last but not least, the Cardinals haven't played yet, so all is well. Maybe with a bit of money is on the Diamondbacks.

So what does that have to do with family history? Baseball and sports have permeated my family history as participants and spectators. During highlights, I know who I watched the games with and all of our reactions. It is a bonding experience like no other. More on that thought during October and November month.

One of the biggest concerns I hear from new family history fans is "What should I do?" Another is "What is the best way?" There are a lot of answers available and each one is valuable. There is no right or wrong way to get started. But we need to seek the calm of a wonderful Sunday morning to find our way. As seen in the photo from the shores of Lake Michigan at Sheboygan , there is a ray of light upon us leading our path. We just need to follow it calmly like the ducks near the lighthouse. Therefore, today's tip is to make the commitment to learn.

My recommendation is always to start locally, especially if your family has lived in the same area for some time. The second option is online. And, of course, the third option is to travel. Some may require a budget, but much is available at no charge.

In my state, the Family History Society of Arizona offers a workshop this month by Betty Lou Malesky, editor of the Green Valley Genealogical Society's Past Tracks and First Vice President of the International Society of Family Writers and Editors (ISFHWE). "Expanding Your Horizons" will be held October 20 at Creighton United Methodist Church, 4900 E. Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ. For more details, visit their Web site at

Another huge local option is your library. My library has extensive online capabilities plus experienced individuals who are ready and willing to help you find books, books to exchange and databasesOnline options are so varied, it would be repetitive for me to list every link here. Again, I recommend checking a few Web sites for options. Read about five of the options and commit to the one which sounds best to you based on your time and budget.

When I attended the Milwaukee Genealogical Society workshop last April, I won a free online class because I traveled the farthest to the event. My commitment is to complete this course before the end of the year. For options from this source, visit

As you can see, the options are incredible. Do not let it overwhelm you. Check locally, check online, choose an option, and let it simmer for a bit. Watch baseball, watch football, relax and savor your Sunday and know you are ready to learn as your schedule permits. Just follow the ray of light and watch where it leads you.


Frank said...

Thanks for the nice comments about my beloved (and losing) UA football team. When does basketball start?
It is amazing how many family memories are tied into baseball. Maybe it is different for the younger generation which have so many other distractions. But, some of my earliest memories are watching the Saturday baseball game on NBC with my parents (games were announced by Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola).
Your tips for starting one's genealogical search locally is spot on. Thanks.

Ashley Bartkowski said...

I love the enthusiasm you show. Not only do you help with the information about family history but you also give everyone the inspiration to do it.

Anna said...

Thanks for both of your kind words!