Summer is coming to a close. Among the vacations, picnics, and other fun did you get a chance to do any family history? You may have done more than you thought. Did you reunite with extended family at a reunion? Maybe visit some ancestor graves or historic sites? How about attend a family history or genealogy conference? If you’re ready to get back on track with your research, then I have just the thing for you – and it’s free!
The famed Family History Library will be holding two week-long events: the United States Research Seminar 2016, August 22nd to 26th, and the European Family History Conference 2016, September 12th to the 16th. The classes aim to help the beginning to intermediate researcher learn techniques for research in specific areas. You can register to attend in person or via webinar. Your registration includes a printed syllabus if you attend at the FHL, or one you can print at home if you’re watching the webinar.
The Family History Library has been key in my research, and yes, I feel very fortunate to live close enough to research there often. If you’re planning a trip in the future, I shared my ten steps to success. Like any library or archives, knowing how to prepare and what to expect once there can make all the difference. If a trip to the library is not feasible, you can still take advantage of the records.
The two events offered focus on record collections available at the FHL. Did you know that you can request microfilm be sent to a Family History Center near you? The cost depends on your location, but it is usually less expensive than a trip to Salt Lake City! More and more of the Family History Library records are being digitized and becoming available for free on FamilySearch, so learning how to find and use them will boost your research capability.
From the United States Seminar brochure:
Come and spend a week at the world renowned Family History Library learning from our expert staff genealogists on how to effectively use the FamilySearch Catalog, Historical Records, Research Wiki, and more. This year various regions of the United States will be explored. Learn what records are unique and similar to each region. Discover new techniques, strategies, and methodology to apply to your genealogical research problems.
Classes Include: New England, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South, Gulf South, Midwest, Great Plains, Pacific, and Mountain West Regions, U.S. Topics, and FamilySearch classes.
I registered for the Gulf South, Naturalization, Probate, and Land research classes. I’m especially interested in the Gulf South class, my region of choice for accreditation. I’m sure I’ll learn something new in the record type classes as well.
If your ancestors hail from Europe and you’ve been afraid to cross the pond in your research, maybe this conference will help you get started.
From the European Family History Conference brochure:
Come and spend a week at the world renowned Family History Library learning from our expert staff of genealogists as well as experienced guest genealogists. Learn how to effectively use historical records and how to do research in several European countries. Explore such topics as census, church, immigration, and vital records. Learn more about German, Swiss, Russian, and Polish research. Discover new techniques, strategies, and methodology to apply to your genealogical research problems.
Classes Include: Regional classes for Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, and Russia and other European research topics.
I haven’t delved into my German ancestors yet, but if I were getting started, this would be the perfect place to learn about the records and methodology.
The webinars will be available on the FamilySearch Wiki after the events, so if the timing doesn’t work for you all is not lost. Just be sure you make a note to yourself to check for them. If you can carve out a few hours from your week, why not treat yourself and learn from specialists in your research area. Jump start your research or give yourself the boost you need to get going again.
Below are links to registration and the brochures which give presenter biographies and a list of classes and times:
United States Research Seminar 2016 registration: in person attendee
United State Research Seminar 2016 registration: webinar guests
European Family History Conference 2016 registration: in person attendee
European Family History Conference 2016 registration: webinar guests
Best of luck in your family history efforts!
Visiting the Family History Library with my friends!