Friday, April 08, 2005

21st Century Research Tools


Sometime this past month I attended a meeting where someone spoke of
sponsoring a research trip to Salt Lake City. That sponsor reported he/she had
given up and other such memberships LONG AGO. <Aaack!> Yet,
this individual was presenting him/herself as a resource for struggling
genealogists to rely upon in preparation for this trip. Further, this
"guide" explained a benefit of joining his/her group would be to
attend brick-wall strategy meetings back at the hotel rooms at night.


masthead subtitle surely comes to mind in this instance: "Uniting a
Tradition of Excellence with 21st Century Research Technology"

We simply MUST combine top-quality tried-and-true research
techniques with a growing understanding of the use of modern digital resources
to effectively climb our family trees.

While no one person can expect to know it all, I rather
follow Family Chronicle Magazine publisher Halvor Moorshead's suggestion. In the
Feb 2005 issue, he stated "The Internet is the Way to Start. There; I've
finally said it. I know it is heresy to tell new genealogists that they can
conduct most of their research using the Internet but I've come to believe

For this "research tour guide" to completely
discount the most valuable census images online completely floored me. We're not
even talking about the other online indices that lead us to the microfilm of
original documents mentioning our ancestors.

For this "research tour guide"
to refer to the printed FHL Research outlines (rather than the more up-to-date
online versions) places blinders on family historians. By this
inaccurate, out-dated recommendation her "followers" would never know
about the new resources recommended by the FHL These outlines now list
some of the online resources available for the locality in question. View these
online at:

For a week's trip to the Family History Library in Salt
Lake City, I'd spend about 40-60 hours of preparation time. I would do all I
could online in advance. I would identify about 50-75 specific microfilm, fiche,
book and maps I would need to view once I got to the Family History Library. I
simply would NOT waste my time looking at census microfilm. It's quite simply
easier to view the census (even if page by page) online.

I am still so entirely amazed by the short-sighted
attitude of this "research tour guide" that I can hardly type!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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