Dedicated Uninterrupted Research Yields Positive Results
Thoughtful consideration and pondering on the results of our many Retreats at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City has been encouraging. To see the difference one dedicated and uninterrupted week of research makes in the abilities and awareness for attendees has been fantastic. We have had beginners who were hoping to learn the correct way to get started with their research. We’ve also enjoyed seasoned researchers hoping to get an edge on a new area of research and we’ve helped experts who understand research procedures and want personalized assistance and deeper insight. All have been surprised by what they learned and how their approach to research can improve with the guidance of 24/7 genealogists.
Observations We’ve made during the week long Retreats:
- Beginning genealogists get off to a quick start when learning procedures used by professionals thus avoiding pitfalls experienced by self-taught genealogists
- Seasoned genealogists discovered there are many facets of “Basic Sources” and “Research Strategies” they were not aware of and this surprised them immensely
- Expert genealogists utilized the classroom experience to broaden their understanding of resources and strategies, then immediately took advantage of the professional assistance available during library time much quicker than others attending
Expert genealogists recognize there is always more to learn. They realize there is power in collaboration and ask every professional at the Retreat similar questions to get each one’s unique approach to a problem. By utilizing a multi-faceted approach to the same problem they quickly identify a strategy they have not yet tried.
Seasoned genealogists are comfortable with their research abilities and often have a hard time changing their focus to include a larger slice or perspective of the time period and records available. But once they see the difference following a systematic procedure makes the light turns on and they begin to have success on those long time dead end research problems that have plagued them for years.
Beginners are easily overwhelmed by the mere size and breadth of the Family History Library collections. As they take time to learn how the FamilySearch Catalog works and how it is tied to Historical Records, the Research Wiki, WorldCat and more they begin to make strides forward in their research. Working with charts and forms, including timelines and research logs, effectively gives them the next boost they need to track research and effectively get help from others (whether they use paper or a computer does not matter).
At each Retreat we learn something from our attendees that we didn’t know before. It may be a computer trick that is just what we need or some detail about a website we’ve never heard of. Sometimes they just know things because of their experience in their family. One thing for sure is that attendees are always surprised by what they learn and how it changes their approach to research and correctly documenting what they already have.
Here is a list of things we have seen researchers across the board recognize and embrace:
- Organization is critical all along the way
- Changing focus is hard but doable when the importance is understood
- Classroom instruction followed by application speeds up the learning process
- Following a systematic approach increases results
In each case the researcher, whether beginner, seasoned or expert, embraced research at a different level of understanding. They showed more dedication to best practices and recognized that professional assistance gives them in-depth guidance into the records for the place and time they were researching. They gained appreciation for collaborating with others and learned how it positively increases the overall research experience.
We realize there are many of our friends and fellow researchers who would love to attend a Retreat in Salt Lake City, but personal circumstances do not allow it. Whether finances or travel are your personal challenges, if you have small children, care for elderly parents, have an ailing spouse, work, or other responsibility that ties you close to home, we still want to assist you where possible. And, we know we can.
For more than 15 years we have offered local events throughout the United States designed to assist genealogists with their research goals. During this time we have seen trends come and go. We have also noticed that sound research practices do not change. The tools we use and access to records have changed. It can be challenging to keep up with the speed of these changes. Learning correct research procedures and following best practices is still critical to producing accurate and truthful genealogies. Just because the tools and access has increased don’t get caught in the trap of relaxing or researching at a lesser standard of accuracy.
We assist you in recognizing faulty research conclusions made previously either by yourself or someone else. Fundamental research conclusions are based on records that:
- Are accurately gathered and extracted
- Detail all possible candidates for the family being researched
- Are used to fully and carefully document your research
- Allow a thorough comparison of various records
- Show evidence of conflicting data (if all the evidence agrees it has been falsified)
For those of you actively researching your family history full time, one day a week, in little snippets of time, or however you do it, we commend you for your desires and efforts.
Today we are offering you support with your research desires in the following ways:
- Retreat to Salt Lake City for in-depth instruction and personal assistance on research projects removed from distractions and interruptions
- Local Expo classes at different venues
- Research Guides and Class Videos for home viewing (recorded live)
- Ask-a- Pro Q & A available online
- Online Webinars co-sponsored with LifeStory Productions
We know the more you learn about the records, history, culture, and happenings in your ancestors’ lives, the more records you will find that document them. We are dedicated to assisting you in finding those records, using the tools and resources available online, in a library or archive, on the ground locally, and where ever they might be. Come join us in a great celebration of learning.