Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ideas for a lineage workshop

Julie Cahill Tarr
prolific blogger at the GenBlog and 
Who Will Tell Their Story? made the following request via Facebook:
Does anyone have any tips or ideas for holding a lineage workshop? Our DAR chapter is doing one in October and we're still working on the details. Any advice would be appreciated...
Thus began a series of comments back and forth, and what emerged are GREAT IDEAS for any organization wishing to sponsor a beginners genealogy seminar. The parts in red I added when spiffing up the text for this blog post.

Pat Richley-Erickson Lineage workshop -- hmmm. DAR chapter members only? or for anyone wanting to a) join DAR and/or b) learn about genealogy in general?

Julie Cahill Tarr ‎[...] The workshop is really for to get people interested in genealogy and for people just getting started.

Pat Richley-Erickson OK, then I recommend:  

1. It isn't all on the Net (an overview of collecting family docs, with a workshop component to analyze info in a birth and in a death certificate.) Provide them with 2 copies of a transcription form, one to use with each document you have on the screen. I'd also give them a 1/2 page copy of those 2 documents, so they can refer back to it later. Be sure the form has an option to consider reliability.

2. A Few Good Sites (an overview of Cyndi's List, FamilySearch including wiki and records,, USGenWeb and GenealogyBank for a basic understanding of the how-to help and original documents available out there.) Don't overwhelm them with the plethora of online trees, freebie and subscription websites. Just give them three or four to cut their teeth on.

3. Type it ONCE, use it many times (an overview of the importance of using genealogy software to organize what you've learned from documents mentioning your ancestors. I suggest getting someone local who likes to use a specific program, but insist them mention the names and URLs of other Windows and Mac programs available.)

Julie Cahill Tarr ‎People are being told to bring documents if they have them, and I believe that's part of what we will be doing, helping them to analyze. What do you think about helping them fill in a pedigree chart to get started and walk away with something? 

Pat Richley-Erickson I am concerned that without a group analysis of 2 basic documents (including the concept of a death record being great for death date info, but birth info and parents are only clues.) 

Toward the end of your seminar, I would have them complete a pedigree chart if you like, but I'd really like to see them use software -- perhaps give them a CD with the free version of Legacy or RootsMagic (definitely NOT Personal Ancestral File.)

Pat Richley-Erickson I have a bunch of 512MB flash drives I could give you if you like, ‎for the software programs to go on.

Julie Cahill Tarr That is a nice idea, to provide them with the free versions of some popular programs.

Maybe the conversation Julie and I had today will foster some interest in hosting a beginning genealogy seminar? Gosh, I think Ol' Myrt here has ideas for three new webinars.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

1 comment:

  1. As your friendly Mac-using follower: Legacy can be used on the Mac under the low-cost program "Cross-Over." So Legacy could be the hand-out for Mac users with a note about Crossover.
    (I learned this on Second Life anyway, so it's only fair to pass it on.)