Too many of our members, what I will be talking about in the messages I submit this year will be old news. I hope what I say will be of some interest and help to our new members just starting out in their search. Many of our members are very good at research, they make it look so easy but it did not happen overnight. If you ask them they will tell you that they began like the rest of us. The more they worked at it the better they got, it was harder twenty years ago looking at microfilm and old records. Today with the help of the computer you can go on line to find your ancestors but you still need to know the basic.
After almost twenty years I am still a beginner I have made progress but my problems are spelling, computer and organizational skills. If it was not for the interest I have in genealogy and history I would have stopped long ago. It is my nature to do things the hard way but after watching the experts I am learning slowly. My advice to those who are starting out is to learn the basics this will be a big help and the better organize you are the better. When you find some new information on someone it is very important to record it on a chart so you have it. Don’t be like me and put it on a scrap of paper only to find that you lost it. This drove a friend of mine who will remain nameless crazy. The other thing he told me when I started looking at the microfilm of New Brunswick from 1851 to 1901 was to get a big notebook and record the information. After seven years and looking at the film three times I did it. In my defense I must say that looking at the film the first two times help me to become more familiar. So when I went through it the third time I put down all the information like I should have, this would have saved me a lot of time but as I said this is one of my handicaps.
The one thing I like most about people who do genealogy they are a special breed. They may be new at this or are experts and they are happy to help you or find someone who can. So if you are starting out don’t give up it takes time you will not do this in a week or two. Remember Rome was not burnt in a day.
Respectfully submitted, Orlan Smith
Vice President’s Message, March 2013 by Heather Feuerhelm is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at ac-gs.org.