Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Perfect Genealogy Workshop

Max beneath the tree

I am finally back home with the usual Christmas decoration take down, put away hanging over my head on my list of must dos.  A big thank you to my husband who completed the take down part of this job while I was attending a genealogy workshop.  Many of the decorations are now piled on our dining room table for me to wrap and pack away. I think I can handle this if I listen to a Genealogy Gems podcast while I work. Additionally, the return of wrong size, duplicate, or broken gifts is also on the agenda for this afternoon.  Luckily, these are minimal and, as usual, a result of last minute desperation buying. 

Well, as I mentioned I have been very busy at a local 3 day genealogy workshop. I took the following courses:

    Methods for Hard Drive Organization.
    Antique Photo Identification including Age Progression
    Reverse Genealogy through Correspondence with Living Family Members
    Google Earth for Genealogy - Beginning Map Overlays
    Backing up your Data
    Online Research Sites
    Family Treemaker Software - crashes and how to do a manual uninstall
    Genealogy apps for the iPod Touch

This workshop specifically targeted the organizational deficiencies and haphazard practices of the research oriented genealogist who loves the chase through history, but lacks the will to do the follow-up record keeping.  I'm a bit like the Dr. Who of genealogy so this was a workshop I needed. 

Classes started early - most days about 6:00 a.m.  Coffee was allowed in the comfortable classroom, and there was a break for breakfast between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.  Then the participants, each sitting with their computer in front of them, proceeded with the task assigned, talking and moving from computer to computer, sharing their knowledge and understanding.  Interruptions by outsiders were not tolerated, and they were asked to  participate or . . . . . . . .well, leave.  Breaks for lunch were up to the individual while dinner was a more organized affair.  After dinner, the work conitinued with the first two courses mentioned being the longest and usually going until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m.  The Google Earth for Genealogy - Beginning Map Overlays was a distance learning class taught via computer by Lisa Louise Cooke.

My original intent was to continue the distance learning class on Google Earth , but on the last day, I unexpected decided to sign up for the Family Treemaker Software class instead.  It was a grueling class full of frustrations and problems, but finally, it all came together, however it left little time for the class I had to lead - Online Research Sites.  A quick, brief overview was given of several of my favorite sites and participants practiced using the sites, but a more thorough investigation is needed in the future.  This, of course, means that I will have to be invited back for a Part II course and a continuation of the Google Earth series.

I proclaim the workshop a success!  The price was reasonable - $0.00.  The participants congenial and helpful - my brother and I.  The environment pleasant - my brother's family room and my sister-in-law's comfy chair. The food was delicious - Prime rib leftovers make great sandwiches!

I see another workshop in my future for 2011!  Happy New Year.


  1. Sounds blissful. I can't imagine having a relative that shares my passion for genealogy. Lucky you!

    Happy 2011 to you.

  2. This is such a funny tongue in cheek post. I plan a Genealogy Workshop at my parents very soon.

  3. Hi,
    Your genealogy workshop, with brother and prime rib sandwiches, sounds like a meeting of the minds -- I can identify!
    Just wanted to say thanks so much for commenting on my NYE post--Josef Gärtz leaving for America to start a new year--1911 -- with a new life.
    I think I mentioned to you that my family's neighborhood was right near yours -- on Washington Blvd. I grew up at 4222 W. Washington and my family had a connection to Chicago's West Garfield Park (2328 Washington is, I believe, East Garfield Park) from 1912 - 1994. Anyway, there it is again -- the Washington Blvd. connection.