The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

Keeping In Touch With The National Institute For Genealogical Studies

In the genealogy world we need to communicate with each other to keep abreast of the constantly evolving research methods and resources. The same is true within The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. As a student of the National Institute, there are various ways you can communicate with us and your fellow students. Here is how:

#1 By email to the National Institute

NOTE: When contacting us please include your FIRST & LAST NAME and the COURSE TITLE, including the COUNTRY the course applies to. It is also helpful if you include the module number and section title you are referring to.

i) admin@genealogicalstudies.com – for general questions;

ii) alert@genealogicalstudies.com – to advise us of broken links in your course materials and assignments–please be specific as to where problem is;

iii) exam@genealogicalstudies.com – questions pertaining to your course exam.

#2 By email to a fellow student

When you view a fellow student’s public assignment SUBMISSION/ANSWER and you would like to contact them about something in their posting, simply click on the envelope icon to the right of the student’s name. A new window will open where you can type your message. For privacy reasons, you will not see the recipient’s email address and they have the option to reply or not.

#3 Attend a Virtual Meeting

VIRTUAL MEETINGS ARE THE BEST PLACE TO COMMUNICATE with an instructor and fellow students. Anyone can participate! You do not have to be registered in the course to attend. When attending virtual meetings, please bring questions applicable to the topic being discussed.

Watch for our emails outlining upcoming virtual meetings dates and times. Or visit our website at www.genealogicalstudies.com, click on Information in the top menu bar, and then Virtual Learning Room for the full schedule.

#4 Follow the National Institute’s Blog

Go to http://blog.genealogicalstudies.com/ and scroll down. On the right hand side of the page you will see Subscribe to Blog via Email. In the text box, enter your email address and click on the Subscribe button. Once subscribed, you will receive an email each time we post an article. Each blog article includes a link to write a comment or share via social media. Look for these options at the end of each blog post.

#5 Follow us on Twitter

Once signed into your Twitter account, search for us on Twitter by our Twitter name @GeneaStudies. On our Twitter page, click on the Follow button to subscribe to our tweets. Not a member of Twitter? No problem, just go to Twitter www.twitter.com and join. Membership is free.

#6 Follow the National Institute on Facebook

To follow us on Facebook you must be a member. To join Facebook go to www.facebook.com and sign up. Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/geneastudies/ and click on the Like button on the top right of our page.

#7 Join a GenealogyWise group to communicate with your fellow students

Go to www.genealogywise.com/ and Sign Up. There are groups set up for each of the National Institute’s country streams; i.e. American, Australian, Canadian, English, German, Irish, and Scottish, as well as Methodology, Librarianship, Alumni, and First Timer FAQs.

#8 Follow GenealogyWise on Facebook

To follow us on Facebook you must be a member. To join Facebook go to www.facebook.com and sign up. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GenealogyWise and click on the Like button on the top right of our page.

#9 Consultation with an instructor ($)

If you want to have a one-on-one consultation with an instructor this can be arranged. Please email admin@genealogicalstudies.com to request an appointment. When emailing please provide some information as to what course and some background details you would like to discuss so we can recommend a consultation with an appropriate instructor. The consultation with an instructor is available for a modest fee.

 

Good luck with your studies and research!

Friends, Associates and Neighbors

Your FAN Club 

FAN is an acronym that stands for Friends, Associates, and Neighbors. The “FAN Club,” coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills, represents a person’s network of people to whom they connect. You may also hear the term “cluster research,” which is essentially the same thing.

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The idea behind using the FAN principle or cluster research is to identify and research the people involved with your ancestors, as those other people may have left a trail or clues that your ancestor did not. For example, you could be looking for the maiden name (and perhaps the parents and/or siblings) of a female ancestor. Studying the people in her FAN Club, as well as those in her husband’s, may provide clues or may even reveal the answer.

Oftentimes, the FAN methodology is implemented when all resources have been exhausted and there is still no answer to our research question. Instead of throwing in the towel, we turn to the people around our ancestor and explore their lives.  

Keep in mind that studying an ancestor’s associates will add more work to your plate, but the benefits are usually well worth your time and energy. With our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course you will learn more about applying the FAN principle to your research.  

Please Join us for Student Presentations!

We have a couple of student presentations coming up. We hope you can join us to show your support!

Simple Blue Laptop With Mouse by cuteimage/Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lecture, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

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Join us on Thursday, February 28th at 7:00 PM EST when  Victor Corrales presents “Hispanic Naming Conventions”.

Presenter: Victor Corrales is a genealogist with more than 25 years of experience in South America and Spain. He is a member of OGS, Hispagen, and UGA.

Presentation Description: An introduction to the naming conventions in Spain and Hispanic America. Learn about the origin of surnames, the double surname system and challenges in the immigration records to North America.

Time zones:
Wednesday, November 8th – 7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 PM Pacific;
Thursday, November 9th – midnight in London, England; 11:00 AM in Sydney, Australia

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

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Join us Thursday, March 7th at 5:00 PM EST when Brian Maclachlan presents “My journey researching ancestors”.

Presenter: Brian Maclachlan is a qualified genealogist, retired statistician, lecturer and member of the Society of Australian Genealogists wanting to help others with their genealogical research.

Presentation Description: My presentation covers my ten year unfinished journey researching my ancestors addressing why I started, use of Ancestry.com.au, how Genealogy studies assisted, DNA tests and plans for the future.

Time zones:
Thursday, March 7th – 5:00 PM Eastern; 4:00 PM Central; 2:00 PM Pacific; 10:00 PM in London, England;
Friday, March 8th – 9:00 AM in Sydney, Australia

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

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Join us Wednesday, March 20th at 2:00 PM EDT when Sherri Dowdle presents “Remember the Time…Recording the stories that frame your life”.

Presenter: Sherri Dowdle is a genealogy enthusiast specializing in capturing life stories, climbing family trees and motivating others to do the same.

Presentation Description: Everyone has stories that circulate through their family; funny, tragic and inspirational. These tales frame our lives. Be inspired to discover, record and share your family stories with future generations.

Time zones:
Wednesday, March 20th – 2:00 PM Eastern; 1:00 PM Central; 11:00 AM Pacific; 6:00 PM in London, England;
Thursday, March 21st – 5:00 AM in Sydney, Australia

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

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We would like to thank Kathy Holland for hosting these student presentations.

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Remember, to join a Virtual Meeting … anyone can participate. Hope to see you there!

To enter the Virtual Learning Room for a session you would like to attend, please click on the Location link or enter the Location URL into your browser. (No user name or password required; “Enter as a Guest”)

NOTE: Please sign in with your first AND last names when joining a Virtual Meeting. This will help everyone differentiate between individuals with the same name. (No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

 

Timelines are Important

Why Use Timelines 

A timeline is a visual representation of events in sequential order. Timelines are often used in genealogy to place an ancestor in a historical context giving us a better understanding of their lives and how they fit into the world around them. Timelines can help break down brick walls allowing us to see: 

  • Where a person was and when. 
  • Gaps in time where information is missing. 
  • Instances where two people of the same name might be combined. 
  • Possible scenarios (for example, finding a large gap in the birth of children during the Civil War period). 

But also keep in mind timelines are a great basis for writing biographies and genealogies, as well as a visual component to share with others.

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Timelines are great tools to help us put our research in a different perspective. The visual nature of a timeline often reveals clues for additional research. There are three general types of timelines: basic, comparative, and historical.  

With our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course you will learn more about building your own timelines and how to use them in your research.  

 

Ancestors Associates

Tracking Your Ancestors Associates  

So how do you keep track of all your ancestor’s associates? First, you will want to create a list that represents each of the three categories of the FAN Club (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors). You should incorporate connection details and research notes and maintain this list as a master. Keeping this master list will pay dividends in the future when the same associates become a recurring theme in your ancestor’s life.

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While a list is great (and a highly-recommended starting point), you may also want to create a visual representation of your ancestor’s network. Many people like to use the idea of a mind map when dealing with cluster research. The possibilities are endless, so experiment and find something that works for you.

It is also important to show connections between associates. When you see the same person involved in the life of your ancestor and his other associates, this could be a person high on your priority list to investigate. With our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course you will learn even more on the methods for tracking your ancestors’ associates.  

Analyze Your Timelines

Time to Analyze  

Once you have developed your timeline, take a step back and really study it. What does it tell you? Are their gaps in your timeline that need to be accounted for? Is there a new location you are not familiar with? And perhaps most importantly for brick wall busting, has the timeline revealed an answer to your question, and if not, do you have some leads to follow up on? You will use this analysis to record your thoughts and plan your next steps.

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The timeline gives you a period of time to investigate and locations relative to the period of time. Put your analysis and plan of action in writing, this helps to keep all of your thoughts organized. As you uncover new items of information, be sure to update any timelines you have created and review and analyze them again with the new data.   

Also, keep in mind that timelines may identify other questions that either need answering or something you might want to explore to understand your ancestor better. The timeline can easily be your basis for developing a plan related to these new research ideas. With our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course you will learn how to develop these timelines and analyze your results. All helping you to break down that brick wall.  

Terms to be Aware of

Marriage Documents 

Most of the documents below are not proof that a marriage took place, only that a marriage was being planned. Just like today, there were many broken engagements.

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  • Marriage license: When the county receives a completed marriage license application form from an engaged couple along with the payment, then they will issue the couple a marriage license.  
  • Marriage return: When a marriage is performed by someone, such as a minister or justice of the peace, the marriage license is returned to the court. The marriage license is now called a “marriage return” and is recorded in the marriage register by the town or county clerk.  
  • Marriage banns: In a parish church an announcement is made to the general membership that two people intend to marry. This was usually done over three successive Sundays. This gave time for the congregation to let the clergy know if either person was not able to marry for any reason.  
  • Marriage intention: In New England, the Intention was treated much like the Banns. Only the Intention is published in the town meeting books prior to the marriage.  
  • Marriage bond: A prospective groom posts a bond in the county of the bride’s residence. The bond is bought as a surety that there is no reason the groom cannot marry.  

With our United States: Vital Records course you will learn more about marriage records and how they will help you in your genealogy research.  

Your Ancestors Network

Patterns and Relationships of our Ancestors  

Analyzing your ancestor’s network can be challenging. There are usually many people and often times, they are interconnected. Additionally, there are many different variables at play so you may be on the lookout for something specific for one question you are trying to answer. As you explore your ancestor’s  FAN Club (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors), be sure to keep track of your discoveries by making notes to yourself.

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  • Are there people in your ancestor’s network, not identified as family, that have the same surname as that person? 
  • Does the same person keep appearing as an associate over a long period of time or as a neighbor across two or more locations? 
  • Do you see clusters of associates and neighbors that share a surname? 

The people identified from the questions above are usually the ones that deem further research at a higher priority. This does not mean you want to discard the others that do not fit these criteria. Of course, if after researching the “high priority” people you still have no answers, you will want to move on to the other people in the FAN Club.

In addition to exploring patterns to figure out who requires further research, the FAN Club may reveal the possibility of two or more people merged into one. Learning to analyze your ancestor’s patterns and relationships is part of our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course. 

Timelines

Comparative Timeline 

Comparative timelines can be used to compare two or more people/families. For example, the objective may be to determine the migration of two separate families joined together by marriage. A timeline showing both families will help to focus the research.

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Unlike a basic timeline, a comparative timeline shows each year, whether there is an event or not. Constructing a timeline whether simple, detailed or comparative, can help illustrate gaps of time. The timeline can help determine where to look for records. 

You can take comparative timelines a step further by adding additional family members or associates to the mix. For example, you could follow, and ultimately compare, children, siblings, in-laws or even neighbors, to see if other connections can be made.   

A comparative timeline is also useful when trying to sort out identities. Sometimes we run across instances of name changes or aliases, and of course, we all have those female ancestors with unknown maiden names or parents. A comparative timeline can help you track each of the individuals to see if any fit the pattern to be your ancestor. For more information on Comparative Timelines and our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course.

Clients

Client Relationships 

It is often said that people tend to hire service professionals that they know, like, and trust. Clients entrust us with their life stories, their precious photographs, and personal data on their entire family tree. Developing and maintaining a respectful, professional relationship – that is warm and friendly but not too close – is a key skill that should be considered of utmost importance.  

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Difficult Discussions 

You may find yourself in difficult situations where you will have to deliver some sort of bad news to a client. If you find these situations difficult, stop and think about what it would feel like if you were in the client’s shoes. You will go a long way toward helping the client accept the situation if you approach them with possible solutions to the problem. 

Another situation might arise when you feel you must refuse a client’s request, perhaps because you believe it is unethical. Here are some suggestions for having a conversation with the client about this difficult subject: 

  • Try to keep from expressing judgment of the client. 
  • Time the conversation for as soon as you learn of the situation as possible.  
  • Steer the conversation away from blame or accusation.  

You may find, however, that a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, and you may have to withdraw from the project. 

Client Feedback 

Another prime opportunity to communicate with clients is when all the work is done (i.e., after you have completed the book, presented them with a family tree, or pulled the records they requested). Soliciting feedback and evaluation is something that many entrepreneurs neglect to do. When you have received evaluations or feedback, be sure to review them in detail. Make note of any positive comments for your Compliments File. Look for suggestions for improvement and follow through on them.  

In the course Business Skills: Business Administration  you will discover more about keeping your clients happy and growing your business. 

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