My interview with the head of the local historical society went exactly as I expected (she prefers that I don’t use her name). I asked two questions: How did you get started doing your family tree? How would you advise a new genealogist to begin her research?
She was bursting with enthusiasm. A retired teacher, she was really in her element. Not only did she tell me about her own genealogical search, but she began to teach me how to begin. She gave me forms – family group sheets, beginning pedigree charts (a visual representation that you fill out that represents your family tree), and some reading material to take home with me. We plan to meet again next week.
I was also very fortunate to meet two genealogists on twitter and a NJ genealogist who commented on my class blog with an invitation to email her. All were gracious enough to agree to be interviewed. All were willing to allow me to use their real names:
- Caroline Pointer (Twitter ID: FamilyStories, blog: http://yourfamilystory-cmpointer.blogspot.com/ )
- Paula Hinkel (Twitter ID: scgsgenealogy, blog: http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/ )
- Deborah Large Fox (blog: http://irishfamilyresearch.blogspot.com/)
All of these generous people told me how they got started, gave advice on how I could proceed, and one of them gave me a long list of free sites that I can access for information. Most of them, though interested in genealogy at a young age, didn’t become serious about it until adulthood. All offered to stay in touch and answer any other questions that might arise. I plan to use their extensive answers to aid me in my search for my ancestors. If I proceed with this topic for my thesis, then I will reconnect with them and, with their permission, use the information they provided and their identities in that as well.
A large, heartfelt thank you to all.