The Organized Genealogist
What you'll learn
- • Keep your genealogy documents organized and do your research in a systematic manner. • Document everything as you discover it, and to stay organized from the start. • Interpret common genealogy terms, facts, occupations, and abbreviations. • Explain what a second cousin twice removed is. • Get and use standard genealogy documentation and tracking form. • Determine which information is accurate and which needs further investigation. • Cite sources accurately for reference. • Use the copyright laws that apply to genealogy hobbyists. • Apply standard genealogy ethics and expectations in using information. • Identify primary and secondary evidence, and what to do with each type.
- A computer with Internet access and ability to read PDF and DOC documents is needed to use the course materials. You should be comfortable using a computer and the Internet, know how to save files and keep them organized on your computer, and to print so you can print out the forms. You’ll spend quite a bit of time independently browsing the sites I show you. If you have genealogy software, great! You’re that much further ahead. BUT, you don’t need software to take this course. Manual systems still work nicely.
Genealogy is such an absorbing pastime that most of us don't get organized until we’re buried in information, legends, vital statistics, phantom relatives, and all of the vast hodgepodge of documents we find.
In "The Organized Genealogist," one of our "Everything Olde is New Again!" series of genealogy courses, you'll learn how to navigate through the obstacles most of us run into sooner or later. In this course, you'll unravel the maze of forms and fundamentals to help you organize your research.
Get and keep your genealogy research under control whether you are just starting this adventure, or a seasoned family historian.
When two pieces of information disagree, you'll have a way to determine which is more likely to be correct? You'll know where you found your ancestry information and have a better idea of it's accuracy.
Get organized and stay organized with:
- Family data tracking forms
- Common searches to find basic genealogy evidence
- What to look for on primary and secondary evidence
- How to spot errors, even on official documents
- What's a third cousin twice removed
- Genealogy filing systems
- Ancestral numbering systems
- Easy citations
- Copyright violations to avoid
Spend your time researching and discovering, not retracing
Avoid wracking your memory. You'll have your research all written down, and nicely organized. You'll be able to find those sites you didn't think you'll ever need again.
You'll have access to examples of the types of inaccuracies you might come across, even in official documents. But YOU won't get discouraged by these because you'll know how to manage that information. More importantly, you'll learn techniques for analyzing conflicting information, or how to uncover previously elusive information (or ancestors.)
Content and Overview
I designed this course because I learned, personally, what a mess all these documents and artifacts could become.
- Where to find forms at no cost, including one interactive set designed in Excel
- How to fill out the forms using common records.
- Where to look for records
- How to distinguish between primary, secondary and best evidence
- What is considered proof
- How to connect the dots between different pieces of evidence
- How to make use of incorrect information found on official documents
- What numbering systems are and how to use them
- Why you don't mix your mom's family photos with your dad's
- How copyright law affects your decisions to share what you find
You'll, also, get a full 53-page textbook with links to every site we visit, downloads and assignments for practice and discussion.
And you will learn enough to be able to determine whether or not you really are related to Kevin Bacon. Isn't everyone?
What my classroom students say about my genealogy courses ~
Exceeded my expectations. Micki was a wonderful instructor who came to class with years of research experience which she shared with us. I found her to be very encouraging and very helpful and was generous with help even when class wasn’t in session. ~ Allenda Elam
Learned useful ways to approach brick walls. ~ William Sadler
Wonderful Class. I’d like to take it again. ~ Nancy Copple
The course was great. ~ Anonymous
I am very pleased with the guidance course materials and helpfulness of the instructor. ~ Glen Crain
Really appreciate your research, printed and DVD package. ~ Bonnie Sadler
Who this course is for:
- • If you are new to genealogy, this course is for you. • If your records are in a glorious mess, this course is for you. • If you never took the time to learn how to write citations consistently, this course is for you. • If you don’t know that there ARE copyrights you could violate, this course is for you. • If you’d like to know more about what things were called way back when, this course is for you. • If you need a system of documenting and filing your records, this course is for you. • If you currently use the shotgun approach, or simply follow the impulsive "next-link-you-find" method for research, this course is for you. • If you don’t know the difference between primary or secondary evidence, this course is for you. • If you document every find, systematically and with clarity, and know exactly what your next search will be, have an efficient set of tracking forms and a filing system the IRS would envy, this probably isn’t the course for you. In fact, you should be teaching this course instead of me.
I began working on my genealogy in 1985, picking up where my Mom left off. Soon, I learned that my cousin had picked up where his Mom left off, so we combined our trees and discoveries. My first challenge was a brick wall: who were my maternal great-grandparents and why did they put their children in an orphanage.
My next challenge was a family legend about how the Hearst empire took ownership of my great-great-uncle's Homestake Mines. While the legends were far more exciting than the facts, it turned out to be a very interesting story, anyway.
Since then, we've uncovered the truth behind family legends and revealed our ancestors adventurous lives so thoroughly that we just published one biography in a local history publication, and are planning a few more writings.
Through research contacts, I was invited to start genealogy clubs and teach genealogy through local history museums and community education programs. When searching for further education on family history research I discovered there were no ancestry related courses on Udemy, and thought there just needed to be a few.
I am adapting my classroom courses to Udemy's online format.
Through genealogy I've met relatives whose ancestors helped locate the Homestake mines, relatives all over the world with whom I've developed relationships, and learned much more about my family that I couldn't have known otherwise,
Please join one of my courses to embark, literally, on "the adventure of your life." Genealogy is truly one of the most rewarding hobbies you'll ever engage in. You just never know what you'll discover.