By Shannon Bennett, Student
The next required course I am taking for the National Institute is Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting. If you have followed my journey so far you might be able to guess what my reaction to this course is going to be.
Of course, it was pure excitement!
Seriously, even though these may be tedious activities to do, and the least fun of all the possible genealogy chores, they are important skills for successful research.
Practice makes perfect, both in the world at large and in genealogy. Every year I can see my skills improve, and I am interested to see how this course will add to my experience. It will hopefully fill any holes that I still have in these three related areas.
After looking through the course table of contents I was excited to see practical exercises. Once again, practice makes perfect and these practical lessons will help with that. Every time I have to read, analyze, and dissect a period handwritten document the sharper my skills are. I kind of hope there are a few unusual ones thrown in there because it is the weird ones that make you really work. Even if they are a record type that I might not personally go try and find it would still be interesting to work through them.
I also looked through the suggested reading list. Thankfully I have all of the books on my shelf already. I was excited to see Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry on the list since I just picked it up and have not had the chance to read it yet. Confession time: I have an interest in old handwritten documents. Mr. Sperry’s book was the latest in my collection on books and pamphlets that teach the reader how to understand various hands from different time frames and geographic locations. When I began my genealogy adventure I never knew that one of my odd interests would come in handy down the road.
Needless to say I am excited to get this course started. I hope you will follow along with me and see how it goes. Don’t forget at the end I will have a live chat where you can ask me about the course and hear more about what I learned. Oh, and of course, feel free to comment on any of the posts as we go too!
See you online!