Monday, September 22, 2014

Genealogy Resources at Your Fingertips

Genealogy Resources at Your Fingertips
Genealogy Resources at Your Fingertips
A couple of weekends ago, while participating in the filming of PBS' Genealogy Roadshow in the beautiful and historic New Orleans, I had the honor and privilege of talking to the general public about genealogical societies and how they can help them with their research.

Some of those who I talked to had been doing research on and off for years. Some had never even attempted, but were curious. Quite a few had started but had stopped for various reasons, but mostly because they hadn't known what they were really doing or they had hit brick walls and could not go any further.

For those completely new to the idea, I showed them some of the usual websites and what they could find using information they already had.

Others brought their brick wall problems. In fact, the first day, I was helping this couple who had been trying to find a death certificate for an ancestor who had the audacity to have a name that was both unique and easily misspelled.

And we finally found it by trial-and-error using various phonetic spellings of the name. It was all we could do to contain our excitement. But, hey, they were filming a T.V. show behind us. And as we were discussing how finding that one death certificate answered one question and raised fifteen more, the PBS Genealogy Roadshow Event Producer came over and whispered, "You can take your lunch now."

<dramatic pause>

<blinks eyes several times>

I was aghast. Did she not know genealogists do not go to lunch when we are in the middle of a genealogy quest? We had a ton of clues on that death certificate to follow up on, but I went because, hey, they were filming a T.V. show behind us. (But not before I emailed the death certificate to the couple. I'm sneaky like that.)

No matter who I talked to, though, I explained how not all the information that you need to help you solve your family history mysteries is online. In fact, a lot of it is not online.

And that's where genealogical societies can come in handy.

They're kind of like your "boots on the ground" in those locations you cannot get to for research.

They're your place to learn more about how to research, where to research, and what tools to research with.

They're your support system who can get excited with you when you find that one clue you've been searching for years for.

They're going to listen to you tell that family story again (for the fifteenth time) because they know you'll listen to theirs (for the fifteenth time).

They're your source for that local history no one knows or remembers, and many of the societies have libraries bursting with books, microfilm, etc. just waiting for a look-up request.

Finding one or more genealogical societies to help you out and be your support system can be a key part of your genealogy success.

Genealogy Resources at Your Fingertips
Genealogy Resources at Your Fingertips
And that's where FGS can help. With our hundreds of Member Societies across the nation and around the world providing a multitude of family history resources, our Society Hall quite literally puts research resources at your finger tips. Finding a genealogical society to get plugged into couldn't be easier, really, especially with our mobile app.

Download it today for your iOS device or your Android device and find a genealogical society near you and/or in the locations you are researching. If you want, join as many as you like. (We won't judge.)

And, hey, while using it, you don't have to worry about a T.V. show being filmed behind you either.

(For more behind-the-scenes images of FGS at the filming of Genealogy Roadshow, please visit our Facebook Page.)

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