The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

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

Our Primary Cultures

When Demystifying Culture and Folklore, we see that who we are is a compilation of many influences. Some of these can be traced to ancestral traditions, behavior, historical events, etc. and lead to insights about our progenitors as well as ourselves. In Module 1, we look at The Value of Folklore within a Culture. This involves identifying and understanding our root cultures and the various factors contributing to its structure. Time is spent exploring several aspects, which is a good exercise to recognize the origins of our family traditions and beliefs. Within this analysis are the three primary cultures of race, ethnicity, and nationality. These are the core elements of who we are that we inherited directly from our ancestors. There will likely be overlaps as very few of us can claim a single origin.

Sub-cultures are where we personally connect and are revealed by our involvement and degree of participation. Folkways bring these elements together and keep the folklore of the group alive into future generations. As you uncover the surviving fragments, many will experience “aha” moments and declare “That’s why they do what they do!”

As you work through the course material, you will discover which cultures have influenced your family and identify the elements that have survived and are being perpetuated to the next generations. You may be surprised by what is revealed. Demystifying Culture and Folklore takes you on a journey, one that you didn’t realize you were already on. Pieces begin to fit together to reveal how race, ethnicity and nationality are uniquely interwoven in your family.

Visit our website for a complete list of courses offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

Demystifying Culture and Folklore: Intro

Every family historian begins their search with a few simple questions: Who were my ancestors? and… Where did they come from? Most of our first and second-generation answers are easily obtained from close family members – usually. However, our true story is far deeper than the basic facts of names, dates and locations. The complexity of our families cannot be defined in simple terms; we need to explore the inner dynamics and subtleties in the undercurrents of the inter-woven fabric of our family.

Culture and its accompanying behaviours, traditions, stories, etc. (Folklore) are an interesting and integral part of who we are as human beings. As we explore our roots, we are encouraged to begin to determine:

  • how has our primary cultures (race, ethnicity, nationality) influenced our ancestors over the generations; and,
  • how has our subcultures (religion, family, occupations, etc.) been formed and influenced by the intergenerational folklore passed down from our ancestors.

Looking more intently into our own lives and the lives of our forebears, we will discover unique family experiences, and uncover what has been hidden in plain sight. Unlike other research projects where official documents are accessed, and the basic facts are extracted and analyzed, examining the inner workings of our families – the things that have not been written down and perhaps never previously investigated, will stimulate the “why” questions for further study. These cause us to dig deeper in order to gain an understanding of the origins of our own folkways.

In the course Demystifying Culture and Folklore, each component will stimulate the need for deeper investigation and will prompt participants to pursue “the rest of the story” to verify what was revealed. The outcome will be a richer understanding of our family and the lives of our ancestors – Demystifying its unique Culture and the Folklore that has been passed down the generations.

Visit our website for a complete list of courses offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

Timelines for the Ladies in our Tree

One of the most useful tools in our Research Toolbox is the creation of Timelines. There are various types or styles, but essentially, a Timeline is a chronological list of the life events experienced by our ancestors. Use the method that works for you, one that records the information in an organized sequence.

Major events to include are the births, marriages and deaths (BMDs) of their family members. Be sure to include the locations and dates, and most importantly, the source citations for the origins of your information. This can be as simple as stories from an oral interview with Aunt Gladys, or information extracted from a letter or diary, or transcribed entries from the Family Bible.

Historical and local events should be included in your timelines as these influenced our ancestors, impacting them both directly and indirectly, and effecting their daily lives. Exploring the Timelines of our ancestors brings their lives into focus. Events at specific times had a great impact on these families, such as wars, conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics. Seeing them as a whole, rather than as separate, isolated events, helps us to understand the situations our ancestors faced and perhaps, what led to life-changing decisions.

Timelines also reveal any gaps in our research. We can then easily identify where we need to focus our research skills next. Filling in these gaps may break down a brick wall, or provide the clue needed to direct our next research steps.

Further information on researching your female ancestors can be found in the National Institutes for Genealogical Studies course: Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women 

Need More Courses – Package Discount

Our world sure has changed in just a couple of weeks! We all hope you and your families are all staying healthy during this challenging time.

We have been receiving a large number of emails and phone calls at The National Institute for Genealogical Studies regarding adding courses to the current student’s briefcase. Some emails are interesting, like this one received yesterday: ‘I need more courses or I’ll strangle my husband!’ Listening to the experts and staying home can be ‘stressful’!

If you have packages with remaining courses, or you have courses in the future course area, and you would like a course added to your current briefcase, please send us an email at: admin@genealogicalstudies.com letting us know which course you want added. NEED MORE COURSES? Until Tuesday, March 31st, we are making ALL PACKAGES available at a 10% discount. That could be a savings of up to $300! To receive your discount, use the code 27cv20 at the registration check-out. If you have any problems, call us at 1-800-580-0165 ext 1. We will be here all weekend.

Are your finances tight at the moment? No problem, call our office and we will set up a payment plan with NO interest and NO service fees.
Call: 1-800-580-0165 ext 1.

And naturally, if you are not well, or you are someone’s caregiver and need more time to complete a course already in your current course area, please also send an email letting us know which course requires an extension, and for how long. If you want us to re-start the course in a future month, that’s OK too. Just let us know which month you wish. Don’t worry, any assignments previously completed will move with the course.

Stay safe, stay healthy…
Louise St Denis. Managing Director

Digging Deeper into HER Story

Social History invites you to take a peek into the everyday life of your ancestors and reveals their interactions with their friends and their families. No one lives in a vacuum. We take on many, many roles during our lifetime. It was no different for your female ancestors. They fulfilled many roles, especially as Grandmothers, Mothers and Daughters within their family units. They were also cooks, teachers, housewives, event planners and chauffeurs – and that’s only in the home! Occupations will vary depending on their residence and the time period they lived in. Some common occupations include: seamstress, servant, domestic, bookkeeper, teacher, nurse, and so many more.

They belonged to organizations, such as church guilds and charities. The potential list is endless. They participated in community life and they made contributions that may or may not be recorded. Resources may not be in the usual places. We need to think outside of the usual documents and search for clues related to their interests and local commitments within their communities. They may be behind the scenes, but don’t let their involvement be forgotten.

Create a list of possible sources to include in your Research Plan. Do you know what her interests were? Do you have an occupation for her on her marriage record or a census record? Have you searched community newspaper articles to find activities she participated in? These are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. Where will you look?

Further information on researching your female ancestors can be found in the National Institutes for Genealogical Studies course: Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women

Course Deadline Extension

To our students who are currently working on courses

The last few months have been challenging. Every day life is evolving with new restrictions. It’s hard to be focused as these daily changes are compounded with the possibility of having ourselves or a loved one become ill.

You don’t need one more thing to worry about. So, we at The National Institute for Genealogical Studies have decided to extend all course end dates.

All courses due to end from now to March 31, 2020 now have an end date of April 30, 2020.

As we get closer to the end of March, we will take another look at courses that currently are scheduled to end from the April 1-15, 2020 and will let you know if any further extensions will be made.

We know this is a difficult time. Please remember, if you need help or have questions, we are here. We are available to answer questions during Virtual Meetings and by email or phone. If you need to move a course start date or have questions, please call  1-800-580-0165 ext 1 or email to admin@genealogicalstudies.com.

Please take care of you and your family. That’s what is important.

What’s in a Name?

The most challenging part of researching your female ancestors may be locating her maiden name. What was her name at birth? There are regions where your maiden name is always your legal name and it is not changed upon getting married. This is true for the province of Quebec in Canada. However, the most common practice in the past has been for women to take on their husband’s surname and pass it down to the next generation through their children. The maiden name is can be lost, especially if she moves away from the area of her birth. Even harder to track is when she becomes Mrs. John Smith, or even Mrs. J. Smith, in the records rather than using her full name.

An interesting clue can be found in the naming tradition of passing the mother’s maiden surname down to her children as a middle name, or even as a first name. If you see a surname as a given name, seek out its origin. A word of caution: Do not assume that this will always lead to a direct ancestor. The name may have been given for another reason. This is for sure – this middle surname has a story. Do your research and find the origin.

Create a list of Research Strategies. Census records may list a family member with a different surname. For example: the brother-in-law’s name is John Baker. Head of household’s wife’s maiden name MAY be Baker. Always seek documents to confirm your theory. Take note of witnesses at marriages and baptisms. These may be family members.

Further information on researching your female ancestors can be found in the National Institutes for Genealogical Studies course: Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women

Researching HER Story

Our female ancestors often present many challenges in our research. They aren’t really hidden, but they can at times seem to be invisible in the documents. The Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women  course offers Strategies and Guidelines to researching women’s history. Documenting the women in our tree may seem daunting, but she has left clues. You just need to uncover them.

As with all research, we start with our Home Sources. What do we know and How do we know it? Many clues can be gleaned from Diaries, Journals and Letters. These are a wealth of information and provide a glimpse into your ancestors’ daily life.
Heirlooms and Keepsakes are cherished family treasures. Do you know the stories behind them? Have you written it down so it will not be lost once you are gone?

Clothing and Jewelry show her style. Have you found photos of her wearing those pieces? It is even better when we can tie them together with a story or their origin.

Recipes and Traditions, especially around the holidays, have been passed from generation to generation. However, have they been written down? Do you know why certain food are prepared for specific holiday meals? Too many oral traditions have been lost once out of living memory. Ask elderly family members. What are their memories? How did they celebrate when they were children? For family recipes, be sure to record the recipes. A pinch of this and a dash of that – Have you tried to make it yourself? It may turn out differently in our modern ovens compared to using a wood stove or prepared over a fire!

Further information on researching your female ancestors can be found in the National Institutes for Genealogical Studies course: Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women

Finding Records on FamilySearch – Student Lecture

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 our current students. These are 30-minute lectures, 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 our students!


Student Lecture: Finding Records on FamilySearch presented by: Tara Shymanski
Thursday, March 5th – 9:00 PM Eastern; 8:00 PM Central; 6:00 PM Pacific; Friday, March 6th – 2:00 AM in London, England; 1:00 PM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION (Note: “Enter as a Guest”):
http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/ 

Presentation Description: There are thousands of digitized records on FamilySearch.org. Some records are indexed but many are not. Learn tips to find them using the record and catalogue search tabs.

Presenter: Tara Shymanski, genealogy professional with 10 years experience, is proficient in research methods. She has a BA in history and a Genealogy Research Certificate.

More information about the Lecturing Skills Including Preparation Course here:
https://www.genealogicalstudies.com/eng/courses.asp?courseID=508

How to Change the Start Date for Your Course

When you register for a new course, you will choose a Start Date. As the day approaches, you may find that this date is no longer convenient. Changing the date your course opens is easy.


In your Student Brief Case, scroll down to Future Courses. You will see a list of your courses with the scheduled date for them to open. (March 2, 2020)

To change the start date, click on the date. A new pop-up window will open.

Click on the drop-down menu with the scheduled date, choose a new date. (April 6, 2020)

Please Note: The scheduled date has NOT changed yet! You must click the Change Date button.

The pop-up window will close and your new start date will be displayed beside your course.

Be sure to check the start dates for your courses at the end of each month to ensure they will open when you are ready to work on them.

Note: Open courses always display their completion date. You will not be able to access the course past this date.

Here is the complete list of National Institute for Genealogical Studies Courses:
https://www.genealogicalstudies.com/eng/courses.asp

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