Genealogy Boot Camp


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A presentation given on May 5, 2012 at the Saskatchewan Library Association Annual Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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  • **Ongoing project for LAC to digitize its microfilm & microfiche collection; often new records sets such as school files can be found; IMAGES only – no nominal index
  • Genealogy Boot Camp

    1. 1. Genealogy Boot Camp Presented at the 2012 Saskatchewan Library Association Conference May 5, 2012 May P. ChanPrairie History Room, Regina Public Library ©2012
    2. 2. Or as I like to call this session… How Not to Let the Genealogists Scare You!
    3. 3. Does this sound familiar?My ancestor, Harris Klein/Kline, livedin various places in Canada, including Morris,Sask., circa 1909. He came to Canadaapprox.1888. Do you have reference material,ie, old directories, that you would be willing tocheck? If not, are you able to direct me tosources? He was a farmer and acarpenter. - Patron from Chicago, Illinois
    4. 4. Reaction #1
    5. 5. Reaction # 2
    6. 6. Workshop Objective
    7. 7. When “genealogists” approach the reference desk… They often arrive unprepared or only have a short time to do research Think staff can pull up the information from the computer if they just give you a name Give you way too much information all at once (“genealogy ramble”) Don’t know the difference between a library or an archives and don’t know their way around a library (e.g. Dewey system) Don’t understand research methodology or about genealogical resources in general
    8. 8. Steps to Follow for Staff… (reference interview) FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS!!!  Ask specific questions to narrow down what the patron is looking for (who, where & when) – “What do they need to find out today?”  Help them to focus on one family branch at a time  Extremely helpful if the patron has the information written down (e.g. variant spellings of the names)  Ask where and what they have already looked at  Don’t be afraid to ask why they need the records
    9. 9. Family Chronicle’s Record Selection Table This chart provides an excellent overview of where genealogists can track down specific information!!!
    10. 10. Most Frequently Asked for Records/Materials @ PHR Obituaries/Death notices from the Leader Post (1883 onwards) Newspaper articles Local or church histories Census records Immigration records, especially passenger lists City Directories
    11. 11. Basic Resources to Have in Your Library’s Collection Local history of your community/RM  Church/business/family histories Maps of your community Old phone books or directories Local newspaper (print or microfilm) and indexes; also any local clippings on prominent individuals or businesses in your community School yearbooks
    12. 12. Basic Genealogy Handbooks ListSaskatchewan Tracing Your Saskatchewan Ancestors, ed. Laura Hanowski. 3rd edition. Regina, SK: SGS, 2006 Tracing Your Aboriginal Ancestors, ed. Laura Hanowski. Regina, SK: SGS, 2006.
    13. 13. Basic Genealogy Handbooks List Geographic Names of Saskatchewan by Bill Barry. People Places Pub., 2003 Age Shall Not Weary Them by Bill Barry et al. People Places Pub., 2005.Canada Finding Your Canadian Ancestors by Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee. Ancestry Publishing, 2007.
    14. 14. Genealogy Magazines SGS Bulletin published by SGS (quarterly) Internet Genealogy published by Moorshead Magazines (bi-monthly) Family Chronicle published by Moorshead Magazines (bi-monthly)
    15. 15. Additionally… Keep in constant contact with all of the applicable community groups that have similar-typed collections or interest  Genealogical societies  Sask. Genealogical Society (20 branches across the province and one of the largest lending library of local histories in Canada)  Archives (local & church) - Sask. Council of Archives & Archivists institutional members:;repository/bro  Museums  Historical societies  Schools/churches/community groups (e.g. Legion)
    16. 16. Some Basic Programming Ideas… Discovering the library’s resources – Encore/Classic Catalogue, ILL service, newspaper databases, etc. Online genealogical resources  Basic information literacy – e.g. how to identify and locate reliable and trustworthy genealogical websites, how to use Google more effectively, etc. Invite a local genealogical chapter/archives/museum to come and talk about their resources**Helpful tip: try to find a suitable day & time that worksfor most of your users. For example, PHR always holdsits genealogy sessions Saturday mornings from 10 amto12 pm from February to May.
    17. 17. Really Useful Genealogy Websites to Know About
    18. 18. Canadian Genealogy Centre (CGC)
    19. 19. Canadian Genealogy Centre (CGC) The Centre includes all physical and online genealogical services of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). It offers genealogical content, services, advice, research tools and opportunities to work on joint projects in both English and French. Website launched in 2003 and is consistently cited as one of the best free resources for Canadian genealogists
    20. 20. Major Resources found on CGC Federal Census records (1871, 1881, 1901, & 1911 returns) Prairie Census records (1906 & 1916) Marriage bonds (Upper & Lower Canada, 1779-1865) Divorce records (1841-1968) Passenger lists (1865-1922 and 1925-1935) Immigration records (Home Children database, 1869-1930 and Immigrants from China, 1885-1950) Land grants (Western Land Grants, 1870-1930) Military records (Soldiers of the First World War and Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead) City directories (Who Was Where, 1861-1901)
    21. 21. In addition… Site offers a number of useful research guides covering a wide range of topics  “how to begin” is especially useful with free downloads of major genealogical charts (pedigree & family group sheet)  Search by Topics is also good for specific records such as military and immigration Site also offers virtual exhibits, a Flickr page of historical images, and podcasts
    22. 22. Microfilm Digitization Page (CGC)
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Website began in March 1999 and is available on any internet accessible computer Created and maintained by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS), better known as the Mormons Site offers over 1 billion records, including census and vital (BMDs) records as well as family histories Free for anyone to use. In some cases, depending on donor, you maybe required to sign in to view the records (note: registration is free!)
    25. 25. Browse by Location feature
    26. 26. Major Canadian Resources found on Sask. Probate Estate Files, 1887-1931 Sask. Judicial District Court Records, 1891-1954 (**images only!) Sask. Provincial Records, 1879-1987 – Homestead files (**images only!) Federal census records – 1851, 1871-1891 Ontario BMDs – 1869-1937 British Columbia BMDs – 1984-1986**Hint: Make sure you read the description notes for each record/collection set!!!
    27. 27. FamilySearch’s Learning Centre Offers a variety of free online genealogy courses includinghow to begin your genealogy, reading old handwrittendocuments, locating German records, etc.
    28. 28. Additional Websites Saskatchewan GenWeb Canadian GenWeb Project Cyndis List - meta site with a global focus Automated Genealogy – Canadian census Our Roots - local histories
    29. 29. Continued… Canadiana - history books Google News -newspapers, especially Leader Post & Star Phoenix Interment.Net - cemeteries Find a Grave – cemeteries Canadian County Atlases - Ontario maps
    30. 30. Staying Up-to Date Prairie History Blog - Saskatchewan Dick’s Eastman’s Newsletter - global Ancestry Insider – Ancestry & Family Search websites Genealogy Blog Finder - global
    31. 31. CLA’s Local History & Genealogy Services Network A new CLA chapter created in 2012 Info about the network can be found on the CLA website: Blog (still in progress): Membership to the network is free regardless of whether or not you have a CLA membership! First official meeting of the network will be at this year’s CLA Annual Conference in Ottawa
    32. 32. My Contact Info Email: Blog: Website: Slideshare: